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POPULI. 1995 Jan; 22(12):4-5.According to speakers from 45 countries, at a UN General Assembly debate (November 17-18), "a major mobilization of resources and effective monitoring of follow-up actions are needed" in order to implement the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Algeria spoke for developing countries in the Group of 77 (G77) and China; commended the Programme's recognition of the key role played by population policies in development and its new approach that centered on people rather than numbers; called for concerted international mobilization to meet ICPD goals for maternal, infant, and child mortality, and access to education; and, since G77 had agreed at the Cairo Conference that developing countries should pay two-thirds of the implementation costs of the Programme, asked industrialized countries to provide the remaining third from new resources, rather than by diversion of existing development aid. It was reported that G77 is preparing a draft resolution which will address distribution of ICPD follow-up responsibilities. Germany spoke for the European Union; commended the shift of focus from demographics and population control to sustainable development, patterns of consumption, women's rights, and reproductive health; and suggested that the World Summit on Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women, which will be held in 1995, could carry on the Cairo agenda (a point underscored by Thailand). It was reported that several Western European countries had already pledged substantial increases in population assistance. Indonesia and South Korea addressed increasing South-South cooperation in population and development. Nigeria and the Holy See noted the emphasis on national sovereignty in regard to law, religion, and cultural values. Many called for a global conference on international migration. To ensure a common strategy for ICPD follow-up within the UN system, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has asked UNFPA Executive Director Nafis Sadik to chair an inter-agency task force. All UN agencies and organizations have been asked to review how they will promote implementation of the Programme of Action.
In: The progress of nations 1995, compiled by UNICEF. New York, New York, UNICEF, 1995. 29.The main activity of the UN International Committee on the Rights of the Child is the examination of each nation's progress in protecting children. The Committee assumes that by ratifying the Convention a government has made a deliberate commitment, and it seeks to help governments live up to their commitments. The Committee meets with government officials and nongovernmental organizations, researches the health, nutrition, and educational status indicators, studies the internal disparities, and monitors national legislation, juvenile justice systems, and institutional arrangements. Many countries still use child labor, have child prostitution, fail to protect children during armed conflicts, and allow discrimination against girls. These conditions can not be tolerated on the basis of culture and tradition; they are violations of the internationally accepted Convention. The rights of the child include civil and political rights and the right to adequate nutrition, primary health care, and a basic education to "the maximum extent of available resources." Juvenile criminals must be separated from adults or be in violation of article 37. Article 2 stipulates the same minimum marriage age for boys and girls. A lower age for girls is discriminatory. The Committee recommends training courses, comparative study of another country's system, or reviews of national establishments, institutions, plans, legal systems, and policies. Working with governments may be slow and bureaucratic, but it effects internal change. Governments cooperate once they understand that the Committee is not interested in criticizing but in helping. The Committee must review policies from 174 countries, and the task is behind schedule. Staffing is inadequate with only 10 elected members working for three months each year. More support is needed for researching and publicizing issues. The Committee prepares reports on each nation's performance against a universal standard. These reports are useful tools in increasing public pressure, monitoring progress, and protesting violations. The first reports have been received and after a five year interval, progress will be assessed. The second reports are coming due soon. Universal implementation of the Convention is still a work in progress and in need of public support.
BOLD. 1992 Nov; 3(1):9-10.This is the keynote address of H.E.Dr. Vincent Tabone, President of Malta, at the International Conference on Aging, which was held in San Diego in September 1992. He states that the conference celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Vienna International Plan of Action, and provides an opportunity to evaluate progress and plan future direction. Dr. Tabone, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, first introduced the question of aging at the UN General Assembly over twenty years ago; the United Nations Secretariat established its first program in the field of aging in 1970. At the World Assembly on Aging in 1982, all members adopted the International Plan of Action, which defined guidelines for policies and programs in support of the aging populations. As a direct result of this, and in support of the needs of developing countries, the UN signed an agreement with the government of Malta that established the International Institute on Aging as an autonomous body under the auspices of the UN; it is the major expression of the Vienna Plan of Action. Concern for aging populations has developed enough maturity and momentum to oversee its own progress. Although current events may relegate the social and economic implications of the aged to the sphere of rhetoric, they demand thinking in terms of generations and transcend all political boundaries. This conference will evaluate progress toward deflecting a situation where the elderly constitute an increasing proportion of the population, without adequate and appropriate provision for their livelihood, and could have direct bearing on encouraging and ensuring the continuity of the family's vital and traditional role in preserving the dignity, status, and well-being of its aging members. A nation which begrudges its dues to the elderly, the successful products of society and triumphs of life, denies its past. This conference is a reaffirmation of commitment to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, an omen of the review of the Global Targets on Aging for the year 2001 by the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session in October, and a stepping stone in the path toward integrating the elderly more fully into the mainstream of society. The year 1992 is a year for solidarity between the generations.
Washington, D.C., Futures Group, Gender in Economic and Social Systems Project [GENESYS], 1994 Oct. , 48 p. (GENESYS Special Study No. 17; USAID Contract No. PDC-0100-Z-00-9044-00)In order to reveal essential lessons learned about the process undertaken by major bilateral and multilateral donor agencies to institutionalize gender awareness in their organizational structure and programs and to define the scope of the remaining work in this area, this paper compares strategies of major agencies and assesses the degree to which these strategies have allowed the agencies to meet stated objectives. The first main section of the paper provides background information on the following issues: 1) the importance of recognizing women's dual productive and reproductive roles and of the concept of mainstreaming in the development of policies and plans of action; 2) the key structures and processes that enhance capacity for institutionalizing gender, including a commitment to raising awareness, the presence of a Women in Development (WID) office and/or staff, and WID training and research; 3) the process of incorporating gender issues into country programs and project cycles; 4) involving women in all stages of development programming; and 5) strategies for the future. The second section of the paper analyzes the institutionalization of gender issues into the development process funded by the bilateral donors (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US). Each analysis includes a look at the content and scope of the country's policy and plan of action, at organizational commitment to raising awareness, at efforts to build a knowledge base, at how gender issues are incorporated into programs and project cycles, and at efforts to bring women into the process. The same framework is applied to the consideration of multilateral donors (the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the UN Development Programme) contained in the final section of the paper.
PEOPLE. 1998 Feb; 7(1):8.With nearly 60% of the world's couples using modern contraception, reproductive health is now recognized as a human right. This is reflected in a 1997 UN report on reproductive rights and health that highlights the links among reproductive choice, gender equality, and sustainable development. The components of reproductive rights, including voluntary choice in marriage, in sexual relations, and in childbearing as well as the right to enjoy the highest attainable standards of sexual and reproductive health were agreed upon during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. The UN report traces these understandings to the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and various international human rights treaties. Because these treaties obligate governments to protect individuals against violations of their reproductive rights and to ensure universal access to safe and affordable services, the UN system for monitoring treaty compliance offers an important way to support efforts to protect and promote reproductive rights.
In: All of us. Births and a better life: population, development and environment in a globalized world. Selections from the pages of the Earth Times, edited by Jack Freeman and Pranay Gupte. New York, New York, Earth Times Books, 1999. 124-6.For populations to enjoy any of the economic fruits of development, access to political and civil rights must be observed. However, the main international body charged with protecting political and civil rights has in itself been misguided. Political gamesmanship, structural problems, and misguided priorities continue to plague the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Commission's mandate to discuss "civil liberties, the status of women, freedom of information, the protection of minorities, the prevention of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, language, or religion" has not been adequately upheld at the Commission sessions held in Geneva, Switzerland. Each country has its own agenda, which destroys the main goal of the Commission. In order for the Commission to be the preeminent human right forum, countries must cease their political posturing, strengthen conditions for state membership in the Commission, and address the world's most pressing human rights concerns.
New York Times on the Web. 2002 Jun 28;  p..The United Nations today issued a stinging public criticism of China's lackluster efforts to face its rapidly accelerating epidemic of H.I.V. infection and AIDS, saying the country is "on the verge of a catastrophe." In a new report, "H.I.V./AIDS: China's Titanic Peril," the Joint United Nations Program on H.I.V./AIDS criticized Chinese officials on many fronts, from the lack of adequate education programs to the absence of treatment for people infected with H.I.V. "We are now witnessing the unfolding of an H.I.V./AIDS epidemic of proportions beyond belief, an epidemic that calls for an urgent and proper but as yet unanswered quintessential response," the report said, noting that the lack of action meant China could have the largest number of people infected with H.I.V. in the world within a few years. While much of the report circulated as an internal document among United Nations agencies late last year, its very public release today at a large news conference in Beijing signaled a new willingness by the United Nations to press China into action. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2003. iv, 37 p. (ESA/P/WP.182)Governments’ views and policies with regard to the use of contraceptives have changed considerably during the second half of the 20th century. At the same time, many developing countries have experienced a transition from high to low fertility with a speed and magnitude that far exceeds the earlier fertility transition in European countries. Government policies on access to contraceptives have played an important role in the shift in reproductive behaviour. Low fertility now prevails in some developing countries, as well as in most developed countries. The use of contraception is currently widespread throughout the world. The highest prevalence rates at present are found in more developed countries and in China. This chapter begins with a global overview of the current situation with regard to Governments’ views and policies on contraception. It then briefly summarizes the five phases in the evolution of population policies, from the founding of the United Nations to the beginning of the 21st century. It examines the various policy recommendations concerning contraception adopted at the three United Nations international population conferences, and it discusses the role of regional population conferences in shaping the policies of developed and developing countries. As part of its work programme, the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat is responsible for the global monitoring of the implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). To this end, the Population Division maintains a Population Policy Data Bank, which includes information from many sources. Among these sources are official Government responses to the United Nations Population Inquiries; Government and inter-governmental publications, documents and other sources; and non-governmental publications and related materials. (excerpt)
Paris, France, UNESCO, 2002. 310 p.The Report is presented in six parts. Chapter 1 reaffirms why Education for All is of such overriding importance. Chapter 2 updates our understanding of progress towards, and prospects for, achieving the six EFA goals. Chapter 3 examines the international response to the call for EFA National Action Plans, the engagement of civil society in planning, and whether the distinctive challenges of HIV/AIDS, and conflict and emergency are being confronted. Chapter 4 assesses the costs of achieving the EFA goals and the availability of the resources to secure them. Chapter 5 explores whether the international commitments made in Dakar, and subsequently, are being met and, if so, by what means. Finally, Chapter 6 putts some of these threads together as a basis for looking forward and identifying opportunities for sustaining the momentum generated by the World Education Forum. (excerpt)
[Bangkok, Thailand], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], South East Asia HIV and Development Project, 2000 Jul. , 19 p.One of the greatest challenges for workers in HIV prevention is the establishment of programmes that result in primary prevention of the spread of HIV. Such programmes must target the temporal and spatial factors that create environments that are fertile for transmission, rather than simply reacting post facto to local trends in HIV prevalence and incidence. Recently, the role of development in affecting the vulnerability leading to possible HIV infection in communities has become increasingly clear. Development efforts can sometimes de-stabilize a community by moving people in or out of it, or by affecting people’s economic or cultural environment. For example, the construction of a dam can at once force people to leave their homes near the construction and find work elsewhere, and recruit new people into the area to work on the dam. Such social and cultural flux changes the way people behave and the populations with whom they are in contact. To be effective, HIV preventive efforts must be closely synchronized with exactly those development factors that acutely increase a population’s vulnerability. The proposed Early Warning Rapid Response System (EWRRS) has been conceived to establish this synchronization. By linking information about development activities with information about effective prevention for the populations affected, an EWRRS would have a critical role in HIV prevention. Knowing which development activities can trigger population movements, which populations are moving, where they will be, and what languages they speak can foster public- and private-sectoral coordination of immediate actions to educate and support these populations to reduce their vulnerability. Such knowledge can also lead to retooling development activities in order to achieve both the development objectives and HIV prevention. In May of 2000, representatives from the Greater Mekong Sub-region and international HIV specialists met in Bangkok for a Think Tank Consultation on the EWRRS. The work of that meeting is summarized here. While the EWRRS is an unconventional idea, the efficacy of which may be difficult to show at this point in its conception, its potential to promote well-informed and coordinated actions to significantly reduce HIV spread is compelling. (excerpt)
Essentials. 2003 Jan; (10): p..While the outcomes of monitoring poverty are not always self-evident and may become apparent only with time, it is important to draw key lessons from the experience. These outcomes have major implications for fostering innovations in poverty reduction strategies as well as programming for human development, political participation and social integration. The lessons learned from monitoring poverty presented in this ESSENTIALS are drawn from a diverse pool of resources from UNDP’s experience and those of key partner organizations. (excerpt)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 24-46.The solemn commitment that was made in Cairo in 1994 to make reproductive health care universally available was a culmination of efforts made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and all those concerned about a people-centred and human rights approach to population issues. The commitment posed important challenges to national governments and the international community, to policy makers, programme planners and service providers, and to the civil society at large. The role of UNFPA in building up the consensus for the reproductive health approach before Cairo had to continue after Cairo if the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) were to be achieved. UNFPA continues to be needed to strengthen the commitment, maintain the momentum, mobilize the required resources, and help national governments and the international community move from word to action, and from rhetoric to reality. Reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, is now one of three major programme areas for UNFPA. During 1997, reproductive health accounted for over 60 per cent of total programme allocations by the Fund. (excerpt)
In: Safe motherhood strategies: a review of the evidence, edited by Vincent De Brouwere, Wim Van Lerberghe. Antwerp, Belgium, ITGPress, 2001. 384-411. (Studies in Health Services Organisation and Policy No. 17)Successful advocacy requires clear messages and effective dissemination. The international health and development agencies have an important role to play in advocacy because of their visibility and access to resources. Yet advocacy for maternal health by the UN and other international agencies efforts has been relatively ineffectual because the messages have not always been clear and unambiguous and the dissemination strategies have been small-scale and sporadic. Messages have focused largely on the size of the problem of maternal mortality and its human rights dimensions. What has been missing until very recently, has been clarity about the interventions that work to reduce unsafe motherhood along with a way of measuring their impact. Dissemination strategies have included major international meetings, involvement of women’s health advocates, mobilisation of health care professionals and donor support. Yet on the whole these efforts have lacked conviction. Political commitment has been cautious, ambivalent, and at too low a level to make an impact either nationally or internationally. Alliances have been shifting and unstable and even “natural” allies have lacked conviction. Neither women’s advocacy groups nor health care professionals have invested in maternal health with the full force of their numbers or power. Real progress in improving maternal health will require outspoken and determined champions from within the health system and the medical community, particularly the obstetricians and gynaecologists, and from among decision-makers and politicians. But in addition, substantial and long-term funding – by governments and by donor agencies - is an essential and still missing component. (author's)
New York, New York, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 2004 Jan. 43 p. (Watch List on Children and Armed Conflict)This paper is a call to action urging the UN Security Council members, the UN system, regional bodies, civil society, and national governments to respond with the resources and remedies proportionate to the grave state of affairs for children in armed conflicts around the globe. It outlines three essential Action Areas where progress must be made to begin to close the gap between international commitments to protect children and the harsh reality that children experience: gross violations of their rights---with impunity. (excerpt)
Program note: using UN process indicators to assess needs in emergency obstetric services: Benin and Chad.
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2004 Jul; 86(1):110-120.The major obstetric complications that are taken into consideration for the calculation of the process indicators are hemorrhage, sepsis, prolonged or obstructed labor, eclampsiaysevere pre-eclampsia, complications from abortion, ruptured uterus and ectopic pregnancy. The following brief reports present data from needs assessments conducted with the UN Process Indicators in Benin and Chad in 2003. In each case, they reflect 12 months of facility data. (excerpt)
Indicators for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: definitions, rationale, concepts and sources.
New York, New York, United Nations, 2003 Oct.  p.This handbook contains basic metadata on the agreed list of quantitative indicators for monitoring progress towards the 8 goals and 18 targets derived from the Millennium Declaration. The list of indicators, developed using several criteria, is not intended to be prescriptive but to take into account the country setting and the views of various stakeholders in preparing country-level reports. Five main criteria guided the selection of indicators. They should: Provide relevant and robust measures of progress towards the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Be clear and straightforward to interpret and provide a basis for international comparison. Be broadly consistent with other global lists and avoid imposing an unnecessary burden on country teams, governments and other partners. Be based to the greatest extent possible on international standards, recommendations and best practices. Be constructed from well-established data sources, be quantifiable and be consistent to enable measurement over time. The handbook is designed to provide the United Nations country teams and national and international stakeholders with guidance on the definitions, rationale, concepts and sources of the data for the indicators that are being used to monitor the Millennium Development Goals. Just as the indicator list is dynamic and will necessarily evolve in response to changing national situations, so will the metadata change over time as concepts, definitions and methodologies change. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2004. 6 p.In order to achieve internationally agreed development goals, it is vital that the linkages between reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and care be addressed. To date, the benefits of the linkages have not been fully realized. United Nations agencies have initiated consultations with a wide range of stakeholders to identify opportunities for strengthening potential synergies between reproductive health and HIV/AIDS efforts. This Glion Call to Action reflects the consensus of one such consultation, which focused on the linkage between family planning (a key component of reproductive health) and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) (a key component of HIV/AIDS programmes). The focus of the Glion Call to Action on preventing HIV among women and children is fully consistent with the parallel need for increased commitment to the health and wellbeing of women themselves. Therefore, the Glion Call to Action rests on the consensus achieved at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and acknowledges the rights of women to decide freely on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, and the need to improve access to services so that couples and individuals can decide freely the number, spacing and timing of their children. In order to ensure that these rights are respected, policies, programmes and interventions must promote gender equality, and give priority to the poor and underserved populations. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):11.Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Target 11 (By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slums dwellers) provides an unprecedented opportunity to get the issue of urban poverty onto the international development agenda. Global reporting allows direct comparisons of progress to be made between countries and over time. But there has been criticism that these high level goals and targets lack national and local relevance. The slum estimates produced by UNHABITAT are a global public good. They allow the international community to monitor patterns and trends in the number and condition of slum dwellers. UNHABITAT’s projection that the slum population could double from 924 million in 2001 to 2 billion in 2030 shows how far we are from actually achieving cities without slums. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):10.The Millennium Declaration to which world leaders pledged themselves in 2000 has become the ‘organizing framework’ for many UN and bilateral programmes. This is because it contains a broad range of internationally agreed development goals ranging from poverty reduction, health, and gender equality to education and environmental sustainability. While the challenges and opportunities for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are varied, what is unique about them is the time-bound element and the outcome orientation embodied in the targets. It must be understood that the MDG targets are global targets based on aggregate trends of all countries. Therefore, even if the global targets are achieved, the inequalities between countries and among people may still persist. At the national and local levels, achieving these global targets requires political commitment and ownership, which can be mobilised only if these targets are set in local context. It must therefore be recognised that while the MDGs are global, they can most effectively be achieved through action at local level. Poverty is not only a global issue, but is deeply rooted in local processes that matter most to the poor. For poverty reduction programmes to become effective, it is necessary to achieve the MDGs at local level, set within the context of local reality, aspirations and priorities. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):12.Not enough is being done to gather street and house-hold-level statistics in slums and other urban pockets of poverty to implement the slum target of the Millennium Declaration. This is because country reports average out the figures they gather from all urban households, both rich and poor, to provide single estimates on poverty, education, health, employment, and the state of human settlements. Thus the plight of the urban poor is underestimated. It is further masked by the practice of simply providing averages between urban and rural areas. For instance, Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 20 African countries between 2000-2003 showed that children living in poor urban areas are as exposed to high morbidity and malnutrition as those in rural areas. The Nigeria data showed that malnutrition was higher in slums than in rural areas (38% versus 32%). (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):6.To answer the simple but central question of the title, the Millennium Development Strategy (MDS) prepared by the UN Millennium Project, recommended that, “during 2003- 2004, each country prepares its own Millennium Development Strategy Paper that builds explicitly on the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. The strategy suggests that this could be a revised version of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP)) which explicitly and suitably incorporate the MDGs. “Countries need to construct their own coherent strategy for achieving the MDGs, building on the various dimensions of policy,” it says. While many countries have undertaken such analyses in recent years, it would be interesting to find out, five years after the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, whether this work is systematically done. For UNHABITAT the question is: Are countries prepared to meet the target of improving significantly the lives of slum dwellers? To find out, a quick survey was conducted recently through the regional offices and UN-HABITAT Programme Managers (HPMs). (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):13.Finding the right indicators and the best approach to monitoring the myriad problems of urban poverty around the world can be complex or simple. In this debate, David Satterthwaite, Senior Fellow at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development, and Eduardo López Moreno, Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Global Urban Observatory, discuss some the alternatives. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):8.At the Millennium Summit world leaders pledged to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, as proposed in Nelson Mandela’s Cities Without Slums initiative. Since its inception 30 years ago, the human settlements programme has taken significant steps on the conceptualization of slums and security of tenure. Yet the goals of security of tenure and adequate shelter have always remained on the periphery of the international development agenda, despite the Istanbul Summit of 1996. As the first major global instrument of the international human settlements community, the Habitat Agenda is primarily a declaration of good principles. But the broad range of themes it articulates in politically correct language allows any stakeholder to defend any argument. Indeed the Habitat Agenda falls short of providing a focused, results-oriented road map. (excerpt)
Are cost effective interventions enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Money, infrastructure, and information are also vital [editorial]
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2005 Nov 12; 331(7525):1093-1094.At a high level forum in Paris this month policy makers are meeting to discuss the financial sustainability and coordination of activities essential for achieving the millennium development goals. Building on other targets set in the 1990s, such as those at the 1990 UN children’s summit, these ambitious goals agreed by 189 countries aim to markedly reduce poverty and hunger and improve education and health throughout the world by 2015. But many less developed countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, are falling short of the target to reduce child mortality by 4.4% a year, the rate required to cut deaths among children less than 5 years old by two thirds (from the 1990 level) by 2015. (excerpt)
Unkept promises: what the numbers say about poverty and gender. An international citizen's progress report on poverty eradication and gender equity. Advance Social Watch report 2005.
Montevideo, Uruguay, Social Watch, 2005. 114 p. (Social Watch Report)Almost five years have passed since the largest gathering ever of heads of State and government made this solemn promise to the peoples of the world: "we will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty."1 Almost ten years have passed since the leaders of the world solemnly committed themselves in Copenhagen "to the goal of eradicating poverty in the world, through decisive national actions and international cooperation, as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind."2 This is an ambitious agenda. So much so that it was compared by many leaders to the historic task of slavery abolition in the 19th century. Inspired by the Copenhagen Declaration and the complementary Beijing Platform for Action towards gender equity, 3 citizen groups from all over the world came together to form the Social Watch network. Every year since then, Social Watch has published a comprehensive report monitoring the governments' compliance with their international commitments. The findings of the national Social Watch coalitions in over 60 countries and the analysis of the available indicators coincide: the promises have remained largely unmet. Unless substantial changes are put in place soon, the targets set for the year 2015 will not be achieved. (excerpt)