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HDR05_complete.pdf, (6.17MB)
The 2005 Human Development
This Report is about the scale of the challenge
facing the world at the start of the 10-year
countdown to 2015. Its focus is on what governments
in rich countries can do to keep their side
of the global partnership bargain. This does not
imply that governments in developing countries
have no responsibility. On the contrary, they
have primary responsibility. No amount of international
cooperation can compensate for the
actions of governments that fail to prioritize
human development, to respect human rights,
to tackle inequality or to root out corruption.
But without a renewed commitment to cooperation
backed by practical action, the MDGs
will be missed—and the Millennium Declaration
will go down in history as just one more
empty promise.
We focus on three pillars of cooperation,
each in urgent need of renovation. The first pillar
is development assistance. International aid
is a key investment in human development. Returns
to that investment can be measured in the
human potential unleashed by averting avoidable
sickness and deaths, educating all children,
overcoming gender inequalities and creating
the conditions for sustained economic growth.
Development assistance suffers from two problems:
chronic underfinancing and poor quality.
There have been improvements on both fronts.
But much remains to be done to close the MDG
financing gaps and improve value for money.
The second pillar is international trade.
Under the right conditions trade can be a
powerful catalyst for human development.
The Doha “Development Round” of World
Trade Organization (WTO) talks, launched
in 2001, provided rich country governments
with an opportunity to create those conditions.
Four years on, nothing of substance has been
achieved. Rich country trade policies continue
to deny poor countries and poor people a fair
share of global prosperity—and they fly in the
face of the Millennium Declaration. More than
aid, trade has the potential to increase the share
of the world’s poorest countries and people
in global prosperity. Limiting that potential
through unfair trade policies is inconsistent
with a commitment to the MDGs. More than
that, it is unjust and hypocritical.
The third pillar is security. Violent conflict
blights the lives of hundreds of millions
of people. It is a source of systematic violations
of human rights and a barrier to progress towards
the MDGs. The nature of conflict has
changed, and new threats to collective security
have emerged. In an increasingly interconnected
world the threats posed by a failure
to prevent conflict, or to seize opportunities
for peace, inevitably cross national borders.
More effective international cooperation could
help to remove the barrier to MDG progress
created by violent conflict, creating the conditions
for accelerated human development and
real security.
The renovation needs to take place simultaneously
on each pillar of international cooperation.
Failure in any one area will undermine the
foundations for future progress. More effective
rules in international trade will count for little
in countries where violent conflict blocks opportunities
to participate in trade. Increased
aid without fairer trade rules will deliver suboptimal
results. And peace without the prospects
for improved human welfare and poverty
reduction that can be provided through aid and
trade will remain fragile.

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