Marking the start of a new century—and a new chapter in human history—United Nations Member States agreed in 2000 on eight Millennium Development Goals. The vision propelling the initiative, set out in the Millennium Declaration, is a world with less poverty, hunger and disease
and greater access to health care and education; a world in which women and men have equal opportunities and natural resources are conserved for future generations. The MDGs also call for a global partnership for development involving the private sector and civil society that includes sharing the benefits of new technologies with countries worldwide.
At two thirds of the way, how much progress so far?
Progress towards the MDGs is monitored through a set of 21 measurable and time-bound targets and 60 indicators. Most of the targets are to be achieved by 2015 and start from a 1990 baseline. This chart presents an assessment of progress so far for selected indicators and regions, on the basis of information available as of June 2010. While some indicators reflect data as recent as 2010, others rely on older statistics, dating as far back as 2005.
The Millennium Declaration in 2000 was a milestone in international cooperation, inspiring development efforts that have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Ten years later, world leaders will gather again at the United Nations in New York to review progress, assess obstacles and gaps, and agree on concrete strategies and actions to meet the eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Goals represent human needs and basic rights that every individual around the world should be able to enjoy—freedom from extreme poverty and hunger; quality education, productive and decent employment, good health and shelter; the right of women to give birth without risking their lives; and a world where environmental sustainability is a priority, and women and men live in equality. Leaders also pledged to forge a wide-ranging global partnership for development to achieve these universal objectives.
This report shows how much progress has been made. Perhaps most important, it shows that the Goals are achievable when nationally owned development strategies, policies and programmes are supported by international development partners. At the same time, it is clear that improvements in the lives of the poor have been unacceptably slow, and some hard-won gains are being eroded by the climate, food and economic crises.
The world possesses the resources and knowledge to ensure that even the poorest countries, and others held back by disease, geographic isolation or civil strife, can be empowered to achieve the MDGs. Meeting the goals is everyone’s business. Falling short would multiply the dangers of our world – from instability to epidemic diseases to environmental degradation. But achieving the goals will put us on a fast track to a world that is more stable, more just, and more secure. Billions of people are looking to the international community to realize the great vision embodied in the Millennium Declaration. Let us keep that promise.
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia
Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe. Emissions reductions decisions made today matter in determining impacts experienced not just over the next few decades, but in the coming centuries and millennia.
According to Climate Stabilization Targets; Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia, important policy decisions can be informed by recent advances in climate science that quantify the relationships between increases in carbon dioxide and global warming, related climate changes, and resulting impacts, such as changes in stream flow, wildfires, crop productivity, extreme hot summers, and sea level rise. One way to inform these choices is to consider the projected climate changes and impacts that would occur if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were stabilized at a particular concentration level. The book quantifies the outcomes of different stabilization targets for greenhouse gas concentrations using analyses and information drawn from the scientific literature. Although it does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.
Climate Stabilization Targets emphasizes the importance of 21st century choices regarding long-term climate stabilization.
The Age of Stupid, Why didn't we save ourselves when we had the chance?
The film begins in the year 2055 in a world ravaged by catastrophic climate change; London is flooded, Sydney is burning, Las Vegas has been swallowed up by desert, the Amazon rainforest has burnt up, snow has vanished from the Alps and nuclear war has laid waste to India.
An unnamed archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) is entrusted with the safekeeping of humanity's surviving store of art and knowledge. Alone in his vast repository off the coast of the largely ice-free Arctic, he reviews archive footage from back "when we could have saved ourselves", trying to discern where it all went wrong. Amid news reports of the gathering effects of climate change and global civilisation teetering towards destruction, he alights on six stories of individuals whose lives in the early years of the 21st century seem to illustrate aspects of the impending catastrophe. These six stories take the form of interweaving documentary segments that report on the lives of real people in the present, and switch the film's narrative form from fiction to fact.
Humiliation, and Global Security book is being "highly recommended" by Choice as follows (in July 2010): "In this far-ranging, sometimes brilliant book, Lindner (Columbia Univ. and Oslo Univ.) studies the social and political ramifications of human violations and world crises related to humiliation, defined as the enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of subjugation that harms or removes the dignity, pride, and honor of the other. A "transdisciplinary social scientist," the author charts how humiliation--and its antidote, love--are conditioned by large-scale, systemic social forces such as globalization. The force of this book resides in its construction of a compelling, compassionate alternative to the psychological effects of humiliation on gender and sexual relations, parenthood, and leadership. For Lindner, this alternative is not only love but also its psychological correlate, humility, both of which can become the basis of the social, political, and cultural change necessary to reform the harmful global tendency toward humiliation. Lindner's philosophy is avowedly non-dualist and rooted in ancient Eastern wisdom. A powerful follow up to her Making Enemies: Humiliation and International Conflict (CH, March 2007, 44-4114), this book appears in the "Contemporary Psychology" series; it will be indispensable for psychologists, humanists, and political scientists and invaluable to policy makers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. -- M. Uebel, University of Texas " (Choice is a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association)
"In an historic move, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously on 2 July 2010 to create a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.
"The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women -- to be known as UN Women -- is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement. It is part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
"I am grateful to Member States for having taken this major step forward for the world’s women and girls,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement welcoming the decision. "UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the globe." Read more ....
"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, as the head of UN Women. Ms. Bachelet brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership, highly honed political skills and uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among UN Agencies and many partners in both the public and private sector." Read more ....
Human Development Report 2010
"Rethinking Human Development"
From the UNDP HDR 2010 web page:
"Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realizing their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value. Since 1990, annual Human Development Reports have explored challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity, climate change, and mobility.
"The 2010 report will seek to articulate an agenda for change to underpin a New Human Development Deal that can significantly advance development thinking and policies. It will incorporate thinking from academia and the policy world as well as new research to be commissioned or undertaken by the Human Development Report Office. It will place significant emphasis on the knowledge that comes from developing countries and regions, in particular that garnered through the national and regional human development reports. This emphasis reflects the belief that placing people at the center of development also implies putting people at the center of the generation of knowledge about development, and that this is best achieved by understanding how communities and local actors understand the practice of development."
The PERN eLibrary is an important and unique reference tool for classic population-environment literature; journal articles; conference and working papers; relevant data sets; and educational resources. The eLibrary database is annotated and includes bibliographic citation information, Internet links to the materials, and keywords.
The Great Transition Initiative, by the Tellus Institute, may offer the most comprehensive/integrated scenarios of the sustainable development process at the regional and global levels. The reader is invited to explore these links:
7. Visualizations of the Sustainable Development Process
An interactive world atlas with country statistics related to sustainable development. Globalis aims to create an understanding for similarities and differences in human societies, as well as how we influence life on the planet. Click on the map to visit the Globalis interactive map: