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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Jan/Feb 2003 : Headlines


Wanted: Global Parnerships
Achieving sustainable development for all is the greatest challange.
Global Challenges For Humanity

The Millennium Projects has identified 15 Global Challenges, crucial questions for policy action now and in the next decade. It believes that making wise and timely decisions about these challenges will set the course of global development and societal achievements in the years immediately ahead. The 15 Global Challenges, listed below, are updated each year and enriched with regional views and indicators to measure progress. They are published in the annual State of the Future report.

1. How can sustainable development be achieved for all?
2. How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?
3. How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
4. How can genuine democracy emerge
from authoritarian regimes?
5. How can policymaking be made more sensitive to global long-term
6. How can globalization and the
convergence of information and
communications technologies work
for everyone?
7. How can ethical market economies be
encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
8. How can the threat of new and
reemerging diseases and immune microorganisms be reduced?
9. How can the capacity to decide be improved as the nature of work and institutions change?
10. How can shared values and new security strategies reduce
ethnic conflicts, terrorism and the use of weapons of mass destruction?
11. How can the changing status of women help improve the human condition?
12. How can organized crime be stopped from becoming more powerful and sophisticated global enterprises?
13. How can growing energy demand be met safely and efficiently?
14. How can scientific and technological breakthroughs be accelerated to improve the human condition?
15. How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions?

The Millennium Project has released a study exploring the feasibility, likelihood and priorities of a global sustainable development platform. The study calls for a “global partnership for development,” similar to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal. The study outlines the motivations for and implementation requirements of such a platform, and identifies the United Nations as the best candidate to coordinate such a program. The Millennium Project is an international think tank comprising more than 1,000 futurists, scholars, business leaders, scientists and policymakers from more than 50 countries, acting under the auspices of the American Council for the United Nations University. The study is available upon request.

According to the Millennium Project’s 2002 State of the Future report, the number one global challenge is making sustainable development achievable for all. Another Millennium Project study on countering terrorism also identified partnerships between the rich and poor as a key strategy. The Global Partnership for Development (GPD) study found that the principal motivations to implement such a platform are:

* to improve the environment for the benefit of humankind;
* to secure global equitable and peaceful development;
* to improve development alternatives for developing countries;
* and to establish global politics and rules in the age of globalization.

The study answers questions such as why the GPD should be implemented now; identifies targets for the GPD; outlines preconditions for a successful implementation, the most important of which is protecting human rights and international laws in recipient countries; and providing a two-phase framework for how such a program would be implemented, along with proposals for its financing:

* Phase One: Help the country or region (having a GDP below $5,000 per capita per year) emerge out of a state of crisis, and stabilize the country’s situation.

* Phase Two: Assist the country in becoming a “medium” developed country with a GDP of approximately $5,000, where entrepreneurial activities are sufficiently developed and investment, particularly of private capital, can flow into the country.

“There is no better time to consider a Global Partnership for Development than now, with the results of uneven global development, such as extreme poverty, disease, famine and terrorism, staring us in the face,” said Jerry Glenn, Millennium Project director. “While it will certainly not be easy, we cannot afford the consequences of inaction. Our study is intended to provide a thoughtful framework for debate about how to implement such a program.”

The Millennium Project is dedicated to exploring global futures by interviewing and surveying individuals at corporations, universities, NGOs, U.N. organizations and governments to understand world change and to identify actions to reach the best possible future for humanity as a whole. For information, call 202-686-5179; or visit

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