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United Nations
In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all

Report of the Secretary-General

United Nations

21 March 2005

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Introduction: a historic opportunity in 2005

  1. Five years into the new millennium, we have it in our power to pass on to our children a brighter inheritance than that bequeathed to any previous generation. We can halve global poverty and halt the spread of major known diseases in the next 10 years. We can reduce the prevalence of violent conflict and terrorism. We can increase respect for human dignity in every land. And we can forge a set of updated international institutions to help humanity achieve these noble goals. If we act boldly — and if we act together — we can make people everywhere more secure, more prosperous and better able to enjoy their fundamental human rights.

  2. All the conditions are in place for us to do so. In an era of global interdependence, the glue of common interest, if properly perceived, should bind all States together in this cause, as should the impulses of our common humanity. In an era of global abundance, our world has the resources to reduce dramatically the massive divides that persist between rich and poor, if only those resources can be unleashed in the service of all peoples. After a period of difficulty in international affairs, in the face of both new threats and old ones in new guises, there is a yearning in many quarters for a new consensus on which to base collective action. And a desire exists to make the most farreaching reforms in the history of the United Nations so as to equip and resource it to help advance this twenty-first century agenda.

  3. The year 2005 presents an opportunity to move decisively in this direction. In September, world leaders will come together in New York to review progress made since the United Nations Millennium Declaration1, adopted by all Member States in 2000. In preparation for that summit, Member States have asked me to report comprehensively on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. I respectfully submit that report today. I annex to it a proposed agenda to be taken up, and acted upon, at the summit.

  4. In preparing the present report, I have drawn on my eight years’ experience as Secretary-General, on my own conscience and convictions, and on my understanding of the Charter of the United Nations whose principles and purposes it is my duty to promote. I have also drawn inspiration from two wide-ranging reviews of our global challenges — one from the 16-member High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, whom I asked to make proposals to strengthen our collective security system (see A/59/565); the other from the 250 experts who undertook the Millennium Project, which required them to produce a plan of action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

  5. In the present report, I have resisted the temptation to include all areas in which progress is important or desirable. I have limited myself to items on which I believe action is both vital and achievable in the coming months. These are reforms that are within reach — reforms that are actionable if we can garner the necessary political will. With very few exceptions, this is an agenda of highest priorities for September. Many other issues will need to be advanced in other forums and on other occasions. And, of course, none of the proposals advanced here obviate the need for urgent action this year to make progress in resolving protracted conflicts that threaten regional and global stability.

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