Friday, December 15, 2006

Millennium Development Goals & Monterrey Consensus

Millennium Development Goals

The UN General Assembly adopted on 8th September 2000 the eight millennium development goals as below:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

The goal is to meet all these goals by the target date of 2015. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Monterrey Consensus

A sort of sequel to the Millennium Development Goals is the Monterrey Consensus.

The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development. It was adopted by Heads of State and Government on 22 March 2002. Over fifty Heads of State and two hundred Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade participated in the event. Governments were joined by the Heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), prominent business and civil society leaders and other stakeholders. New development aid commitments from the United States and the European Union and other countries were made at the conference. Countries also reached agreements on other issues, including debt relief, fighting corruption, and policy coherence.

Since its adoption the Monterrey Consensus has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The document embraces six areas of Financing for Development:

  1. Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development.
  2. Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows.
  3. International Trade as an engine for development.
  4. Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development.
  5. External Debt.
  6. Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

Some critics suggest that the US has ignored the consensus because the total amount of US official development assistance, while very large, is still a small percentage of the US gross domestic product. Its much lower than other developed countries.