This paper presents a snapshot of changes in the world’s health and demographic conditions. The paper highlights that in most parts of the world, individuals are healthier and living longer, thanks to improved health services and living conditions and the more widespread use of immunization, antibiotics, and better contraceptives. Although this trend is likely to continue, hopes are fading in some regions where progress slowed or stopped in the 1990s, primarily as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Moreover, most regions of the developing world will not reach the Millennium Development Goals for health by 2015.
Under the aegis of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank, approximately 190 legislators from over 80 countries gathered in Paris on February 14-16 to discuss a wide range of development issues. This fifth annual meeting of the organization, which also drew governmerit officials, civil society I organizations, and representatives from the World I Bank and the IMF, I focused on rising concerns over the prospects for meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); continued frustration with trade and market access; the importance of improving the accountability of the international financial institutions; donor policies; and efforts to strengthen the role of parliamentarians in promoting development.