Protection of the Poor and the Millennium Development Goals
Chapter 7: MDGs, Debt Distress and Poverty: Theoretical Roots of Policies Protecting the Poor in Debtor Countries
7. MDGs, debt distress and poverty: theoretical roots of policies protecting the poor in debtor countries At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration, which set eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world’s main development challenges. One hundred and forty seven heads of state and governments were present. Meeting these Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not eradicate poverty, but if achieved they would improve the living conditions of millions of people, quite often dramatically. The Millennium Declaration promises: ‘We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty . . . we are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.’ Implementing this right requests resources: financing the MDGs conflicts with financing debt service. Achieving the MDGs is directly connected with the idea of debtor protection, thus with a proper and fair solution to the debt problem. Supporting debtor countries in their efforts to achieve the MDGs without creating future debt problems has meanwhile become one of the officially declared aims of debt management. The eight MDGs drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration were broken down into 18 quantifiable targets measured by 48 indicators, which will be discussed in the next two chapters. These measuring rods allow the UN, but also the public at large, to monitor whether progress is made towards reaching...
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