Futurist Sees Progress and Obstacles in Achieving UN Development Goals.
Bethesda, Maryland December 05, 2007 Politics News(PRLEAP.COM) People around the world are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, and increasingly connected, and they are living longer, reports Jerome C. Glenn, director of the Millennium Project, in the January-February 2008 issue of THE FUTURIST magazine ( www.wfs.org ). “At the same time,” says Glenn, “the world is more corrupt, congested, warmer, and increasingly dangerous. Although the digital divide is beginning to close, income gaps are still expanding around the world and unemployment continues to grow.”
In his article, “Scanning the Global Situation and Prospects for the Future,” Glenn reveals a world that’s rapidly improving while still grappling with crime, environmental degradation, breakneck progress, and mounting uncertainty.
Among the key trends he points out:
* The world’s average life expectancy is increasing from 48 years for those born in 1955 to a likely 73 years for those who will be born in 2025.
* At the present rate, world poverty will be cut by more than half between 2000 and 2015, meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal for poverty reduction except in sub-Saharan Africa.
* Income disparities are increasing not just in the United States, but globally. Two percent of the world’s richest people own more than 50% of the world’s wealth, while the poorest 50% of people own 1%. The income of the 225 richest people in the world is equal to those of the poorest 2.7 billion, 40% of the world.
Glenn is chiefly concerned with analyzing and furthering international progress in reaching the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty, stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, and providing universal primary education, all by 2015. The United Nations Secretary-General commissioned the Millennium Project in 2002 to address such goals. According to Glenn, achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals could cost $135 billion (by current estimates). By comparison, he points out that the U.S. Congress has approved $600 billion for the war in Iraq, and may approve another $140 billion for 2008.
“These numbers speak to a global need for greater governmental, corporate, academic, scientific, engineering, and medical focus on the issues most relevant to the broader global situation," Glenn writes. "We should use the tools of globalization, such as the Internet, global trade, international trade treaties, and international outsourcing, to help cultures adapt in a way that preserves their unique contributions to humanity while improving the human condition.”
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