Unfulfilled 3rd Millennium Development Goals (9)
Today we study the rate of materialization of the 8th goal of the Millennium Development Plan, which is the global participation in development. Do stay with us.
Among the eight goals of the Millennium Development Plan, undoubtedly the 8th goal which is the global participation in development is the most idealistic and all-encompassing goal that has been approved. The primary responsibility for access to the seven other goals of the Millennium Development Plan has been shouldered by developing and poor countries. However, the 8th goal has been the duty of developed and wealthy countries that have pledged to help poor and developing countries to advance these goals.
The 8th goal marks a beginning for attainment of one of the age-old aspirations of underdeveloped countries, which is to narrow the gap between the underdeveloped countries and the developed world. This time, the advanced and developed states pretend to help solve some of the existing problems and to pave the way for materialization of the 8th goal as much as possible. Meanwhile, the goals of the Millennium Development Plan show a global equation, within the framework of which political and economic reforms should have continuously been carried out in developing countries with the direct support of the developed world in the form of assistance, trade, investment, and relinquish of debts.
One of the other approaches in line with the 8th goal was to study the especial needs of lesser developed countries, and the especial needs and demands of developing landlocked countries and island states. The focal point of this goal was to study the state of employment of youths, to provide access to vital medications, to utilize modern technologies, especially the Information Technology, to cooperate with the private sector, and to pay attention to removal of debts and receipt of loans in a bid to create jobs in poor countries.
Based on released figures, in the recent fifteen years, significant progress has been made in a number of domains. For instance, in the year 2015, 95% of the international community has been covered by cell phone signals, and the number of cellphone subscribers has increased by ten folds, rising from 738 million people in the year 2000 to more than 7 billion people in the year 2015.
The official assistance of developed countries has been upped by 66% as of the year 2000 to the year 2014.
A senior official of the UN, in charge of the Asia-Pacific region, notes that in this region, a total number of 350 million people have been rescued from absolute poverty. This comes while some opine that the problems of developing countries are so intense and widespread that the resolution of these problems is very time-consuming and may even take at least a hundred years. However, during the recent years, an upbeat and promising horizon has been painted in this regard, based on a number of solid evidences. The UN Development Plan has confirmed this fact and has outlined that in the past two decades the number of people who live on less than $25 per day has dropped from 6.1 billion to 4.1 billion.
Recently, a research group affiliated to UN has released an especial report on the access of countries to Millennium Development Plan goals, studying these goals and elaborating the existing shortcomings and challenges ahead in implementation of these aims. This report points out that although relative progress has been globally made in this domain, there remains a wide gap among the world nations in global trade; rate of development; relinquish of debts; access to modern technologies and cheap medications.
This report also underlines that global economic downturn, and especially food and energy global price hikes pose an actual threat against human development, and cause mounting poverty, while the resolution of these problems is tied to further cooperation of nations and presentation of cemented frameworks in relations among countries.
According to plans, 7% of the annual revenues of rich countries were set aside for financial and technical assistance to poor countries. According to pundits, this percentage of rich countries’ national annual revenues amounted to roughly $300 billion. However, recent studies show only $130 billion has been provided as financial and technical assistance by rich countries for poor countries, per year. Meanwhile, the Scandinavian countries and Netherlands have maintained an exceptional performance in the recent years and have been the only countries that have practically given at least 7% of their annual national revenues in the form of financial and technical assistance to poor countries.
It was also expected that at least half of this $130 billion assistance of the rich countries to poor countries would be earmarked for empowerment of poor countries. However, in practice, only $20 billion per annum has been allocated for this purpose.
Meanwhile, based on recent studies, there is a widening gap between ten countries with average annual revenues and ten poor countries across the globe.
One of the goals of the UN Third Millennium Development Plan has been the growth of global trade. However, recent studies point out that progress in this domain has been sluggish. Establishment of an open, lawful, and predictable financial and commercial system and provision of access of poor countries to the markets of rich countries has been one of the main goals of this UN plan. Nonetheless, unfortunately, global progress in this arena has been negligible. This comes while the diversity and severalty of economic activities and global investments, creation of jobs, and maintenance of food security should be the set goals of all countries.
Now, at the end of the Third Millennium Development Plan, what measures have been taken for the progress of underdeveloped countries? Have states which at one time had taken advantage of the natural and human resources of poor countries, taken steps for improvement of the conditions in poor countries? These are the questions which still seemingly impede human and economic development in the world. Maybe for this reason, we are currently witness to many inequalities and injustices across the world. Certainly, as long as these conditions exist, the set goals of the Millennium Development Plan cannot be fulfilled.