Since the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1946, knowledge related to
Social and Economic Development has evolved. There is now extensive experience
and progress that we can build on.
Setting the Stage: World Summit for Children
The World Summit for Children in 1990 was a milestone, when for the first time, 72
head of states and representatives met at the UN and agreed on key time bound goals on survival, health and education, by the year 2000. The implementation of these goals got a high priority in most low income countries and progress was monitored on an annual basis. They have had groundbreaking effects; social structures and policies were developed and made possible the social and economic development that has taken place over the last 20 years.
Earth Summit and Millennium Development Goals
The Summit for Children was followed by the Earth Summit, the world conferences on women and several other conferences and summits, in which additional key issues for social development were identified.
In the year 2000, after the World Summit, these key issues could be merged into one holistic set of eight goals and 21 concrete targets, the Millennium Development Goals (see the complete list here).
Development efforts are being focused on these critical goals, and as a result MDG1, global poverty has already been halved from the level of the year 1990. Some other goals are also already met, but inequalities and disparities persist and increase and that is in rich as well as poor countries.
Get Involved for a Sustainable Future
This is no longer a concern for development professionals only.
We all must get involved and ensure we are going towards a just and sustainable future.
For more information on the achievements of the Summit for Children and the Millennium Development Goals see Achievements.
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