Abstract

The stubbornly high incidence of extreme poverty in many parts of the world remains one of the greatest challenges facing the international community. The International Development Goals adopted by United Nations conferences in the early 1990s1 aim to halve the incidence of extreme poverty by 2015 as well as achieve correspondingly ambitious improvements in infant, child, and maternal mortality; education; reproductive health; and the environment. At the UN Millennium Summit held in 2000, world leaders underscored the need to intensify the fight against poverty, ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all, and help developing countries mobilize resources to finance their sustained development (see Box 5.1).