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Human Development Report 2005

International Cooperation at a Crossroads – Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World

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The Human Development Report 2005 examines the scale of the challenge facing the world at the start of the ten year countdown to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals mark. The Report focuses on three pillars of cooperation, each of which is in urgent need of renovation. The first pillar is international aid; the MDG project has been compromised by chronic and sustained under-financing, allied to problems in aid quality. The second pillar is international trade; under the right conditions, trade can act as a powerful catalyst for human development. The ‘development round’ of World Trade Organization talks, launched in 2001, provided northern governments with an opportunity to create those conditions. The third pillar is that of security; violent conflict is a source of systematic human rights violation and a barrier to progress towards the MDGs that must be overcome.

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The state of human development

Sixty years ago the UN Charter pledged to free future generations from the scourge of war, to protect fundamental human rights and “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”. At the start of the new millennium the world’s governments renewed that pledge. The Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, sets out a bold vision for “larger freedom” in the twenty-first century. That vision holds out the promise of a new pattern of global integration built on the foundations of greater equity, social justice and respect for human rights. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of time-bound and quantified targets for reducing extreme poverty and extending universal rights by 2015, provide the benchmarks for measuring progress. More fundamentally, they reflect the shared aspirations of the global human community in a period of sweeping change.

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