The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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By 2015, all 189 United Nations member states have pledged to: Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction-nationally and internationally; Address the least developed countries’ special needs. This includes tariff-and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction;

Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing states; Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term; In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth; In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries; In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies...

Estimating the additional external funding needed to reach the goals is difficult because it requires information on costs that vary enormously by country. Moreover, prospects for domestic resource mobilization depend on future growth and reforms. Various studies have estimated that external aid will need to increase by $40-100 billion a year...This would require nearly doubling official development assistance from the 23 members of the organization for economic cooperation and development assistance committee, bringing the total to about 0.43 per cent of these countries’ gross national income...

Since the early Nineties, human development advocates have campaigned to increase social spending to at least 20 per cent of national and aid budgets. But aid for basic social services — critical for achieving the health, education, hunger and water and sanitation goals — remains less.

The idea that rich countries should give 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for global development was first proposed in 1969 in the report on international development, led by former Canadian prime minister Lester Pearson. This figure has been widely accepted as a reference target for official development assistance. Endorsed by the UN general assembly in 1970, it was part of the international development strategy for that decade. More recently:

n The Millennium Declaration calls on rich countries to give “more generous development assistance”. The Monterrey Consensus calls on “developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of GNP as official development assistance to developing countries and 0.15 per cent to 0.20 per the least developed countries”.

n The World Summit on Sustainable Development also urged “developed countries that have not done so, to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of GNP as ODA to developing countries, and to effectively implement their commitments on such assistance to the least developed countries”. If members of the OECD’s development assistance committee...actually delivered official development assistance equal to 0.7 per cent of their GNP, aid would be $165 billion a year — three times the current level and well above current estimates of what is needed to achieve the millennium development goals.

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