THE UNITED NATONS
The United Nations emerged after the demise of the moribund League of Nations, the UN was formally established on 24 October 1945 after series of peace conference from which the UN Charter was drafted by representatives from 50 countries, the name United Nations was coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt.(UNs page,2000)
The United Nations has been tagged successful in preventing another global war unlike its predecessor the League of Nations, stemming from these is a foray into meeting the needs of the South in the Context of the Millennium Development Goal.
The United Nations in its outlook and composition surpassed the League of Nations, the UN is composed of 5 principal organs having different specializations and different projects, the principal organs are: the General assembly, the Trusteeship council, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International court of Justice and Secretariat. The United Nations therefore looks all embracing and complex as many sub-organs exist in the Central organs, carrying out different functions to make the globe a better place, like the United Nations development programme which is crucial to the implementation and monitoring of the MDGs. (UN Chart, 2007)
THE UN AND A SYNOPSIS OF THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Millennium Development Goals project was commissioned in 2002, by the Ex-UN Secretary general, Kofi Annan. The MDGs purpose was to abate the trends of suffering and increase the conditions of living in the globe. The MDGs are divided into eight crucial goals: the goal to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, which forms the basis of this paper, goal to achieve universal education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternity health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, develop a global partnership for development.
The first goal is to eradicate poverty and hunger which states the level of poverty by submitting that in developing countries, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day, which should improve by the MDGs .(Millennium project,2006)
The second relates to empowerment of people through equal access to education by the Universal Primary Education, the third is centred at attaining gender equality in education and other spheres, ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education as submitted by UNESCO, Ratio of literate women to men, 15-24 years old.(Ibid)
Reducing mortality rate is another, by immunization and health care services, improvement of maternal health services is the fifth ,this is crucial to curb the spate of infant mortality, combating the HIV/AIDS monster and other diseases which is responsible for deaths and premature deaths, environmental sustainability which discourages emissions and pollutions ,improved infrastructure ,a global partnership for development ,aimed at addressing cases of indebtedness by countries, human development ,unemployment, economic stagnancy and aid.
This remains the core part of the MDGs, but the major concentration of the paper is on poverty and hunger eradication, which paves way for a critical analysis of the MDGs and how they have been implemented in the globe, with a reference to the United States progress on the MDGs through the civil society or government.
THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: PROGRESSIVE OR STAGNANT TOWARDS ERADICATION OF POVERTY AND HUNGER.
Here, I would like to know if the continual efforts of international organisations cum financial institutions have changed the spate or level of poverty in the globe. The target of eradicating poverty and hunger is paramount and crucial, from statistics progress has been recorded in that the number of people living below $1 dollar fell from 1.25 billion in 1990 to 980 million in 2004.(UN-MDG:2007)
The latest estimates on poverty draw on over 500 household surveys from 100 developing countries, representing 93 per cent of the population of the developing world. The international poverty line is based on a level of consumption representative of the poverty lines found in low-income countries. Since 2000, the international poverty line has been set at $1.08 a day, measured in terms of 1993 purchasing power parity (PPP). In the coming year, new estimates of PPP, based on 2005 prices, will be produced by the International Comparison Program. These new measures of the relative cost of living among countries will require a revision to the international poverty line and may change our understanding of the extent and distribution of global poverty. (Ibid)
Poverty rates have declined according to the reports, as we have in most developing regions, the average income of those living on less than $1 a day has increased. The poverty gap ratio, which reflects the depth of poverty as well as its incidence, has decreased in all regions except Western Asia; poverty reduction has paved way to growing inequality, as evidenced by the plight in Western Asia. The concern of inequality is prevalent although to some extent its universal, as the greatest proportion of children getting hungry are from Western Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which means the target of 2015 is not visible. (Ibid)
There seems to be different sources and submission to the project of eradicating poverty but the summary of all is that the MDGs are yet to have a significant impact as evidenced by the World Bank submission, that :
more than 600 million people will still be trapped in poverty in 2015, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and wherever poor health and lack of education deprive people of productive employment; environmental resources have been depleted or spoiled; and corruption, conflict, and misgovernance waste public resources and discourage private investment.
The first target must therefore be renewed, to achieve the target of eradicating poverty. (Worldbank, 2004)
THE UNITED STATES AND THE FIGHT OF ERADICATING POVERTY: AN ANALYTICAL SUBMISSION
The first step would be to recognize how the United States measures poverty, the measures include income, economic status, family configuration which have been flawed because of because of the inflation in goods and the declining relevance of the dollar in the Western economic club, the criteria used in tagging a family as poor solely lies in income, cases like food stamps and social security, Medicaid are left out. (National Centre for children in Poverty, 2007)
Analysing therefore seems difficult by the aforementioned, but different sources would be visited to actualize the aim of the paper.
Poverty in the situation of the United States refers to absolute income measure, the poverty level leads to hunger, according to several reports this is noticed among the young ones, Hormel report claims that ,sixty four percent of Americans believe that hunger problem is increasing, 29 percent believe it is remaining the same, and only 7 percent believe it is decreasing.(Hornel food- hunger survey ,2007)
Americans see hunger, poverty as an economic problem, which emphasizes a shift in the campaign for the white house by the Republican and Democratic Party, all majorly seeking to change or turn the United States economy around. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of Americans believe hunger in America is a very important social issue. (ibid).
The main cause of this predicament stands firm in the rising cost of crude oil, which has affected the price of food and other basic necessities, if crude oil prices incessantly rise, then more poverty and hunger would invade the United States alongside the current weakened dollar .(Ibid) According to BBC news , the United States Agriculture Department says that despite the strength of the US economy, some ten million American households, or one in ten, do not always have enough food to meet their basic needs.(BBCnews, 1999)
Civil society groups have been in the struggle of fighting poverty globally and even in the United States of America, like the Oxfam America,Interaction,Graaven foundation, Jubilee USA to mention but a few are major players in the fight against poverty in America.
POVERTY AND HUNGER: A PANANCEA IN SIGHT
The ugly phenomena of poverty and hunger as it spreads its tentacles all around the globe needs a drastic and fast response. The fast invading monster should however be sent out of planet earth, through the means of cooperation from the North-South politicians, governments.
As poverty is still on rampage despite the results from statistics disclosed in the course of the study, in Africa and Asia, there is still an urgent need to change the course of poverty, as the World Bank estimates that around 1.1 billion people live in poverty in the globe. (Sachs, 2005:34)
The MDGs however need more re-evaluation and implementation, the civil society has been in a central position, but much cooperation is needed with the government through policies.
Also, a need for proper monitoring of projects in the South is crucial, as most policies do fail in the South because of the problem of Maladministration and corruption.
The North, with strong countries like the United States should not only strengthen their policies and integration of the South in their budget cum plans, or else the problem of illegal migration and transit migration would escalate. The most crucial aspect of this discussion is doing a re-appraisal, rejuvenation of the Millennium Development Goals and proper evaluation by World Leaders, because with the interconnectedness of the globe, it becomes a problem shared by different countries if an urgent solution is not in sight.
The UN MDGs project has been analysed, submissions made about the progress as it affects the first goal, in tandem with the progress of eradicating poverty in the United States. The paper has been able to draw out the fact that the MDGs still needs more efforts to achieve the much needed targets especially in Africa and Asia. The problem of measuring poverty in the United States was also disclosed, efforts to improve on this was stated. The need for World leaders was also stressed as globalization has made the globe more interdependent, a problem somewhere in the globe affects the other parts .
There is more to be done in the annals of the academia also in terms of research ,logical criticisms and submissions, conferences to address the issue and cooperation of scholars with the civil society is important. Cooperation is an important weapon in the fight for the eradication of poverty and hunger in the World.
BBC News,1999, World: Americas Hunger in the USA,October 14th, 1999, accessed 5th April, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/475344.stm
Millenium Development Goals Report, 2007, Published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs DESA June 2007, accessed 5th April, 2008, http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/mdg2007.pdf
Millennium Project,2006, MDGs goals and targets, accessed 5th April, 2008,
National Centre for Children in Poverty,2007, Measuring Income and poverty in the United States, Colombia University,Mailman,school of public health, accessed 5th April, 2008, http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_707.pdf
Sachs,J, 2005, the end of poverty,book excerpt, accessed 5th April, 2008 , http://www.earth.columbia.edu/docs/endofpoverty/time031405.pdf
The Hormel Foods Hunger Survey A National Perspective and an Ohio Perspective,2007, accessed 5th April, 2008, www.hormelfoods.com/ASSETS/E2FAB425C0D745AC82FF2CB3DDB6ADB3/2007%20Hunger%20Survey%20Key%20Findings.pdf
The United Nations System, 2007, Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information, accessed 5th April, 2008, http://www.un.org/aboutun/chart_en.pdf
The World Bank Group 2004, Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, poverty, accessed 5th April, 2008, http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/GMIS/gdmis.do?siteId=2&goalId=5&menuId=LNAV01GOAL1
United Nations History, 2000, Basic Facts About the United Nations 2000, Sales No. E.00.I.21, accessed 5th, April 2008, http://www.un.org/aboutun/history.htm