|Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century - White paper on international development (DFID - The Stationery Office, 1997, 86 p.)|
This White Paper sets out the Governments policies to achieve the sustainable development of this planet. It is first, and most importantly, about the single greatest challenge which the world faces - eliminating poverty. It is about ensuring that the poorest people in the world benefit as we move towards a new global society. It is about creating partnerships with developing countries and their peoples, on the basis of specific and achievable targets, to bring that about.
We can succeed. The overall successes of development in recent decades have been remarkable - people live longer; fewer mothers die in childbirth; fewer infants die from preventable diseases. But the numbers living in poverty are continuing to grow. Too many people - 1.3 billion too many - live in extreme poverty. The major UN Conferences of recent years have drawn together an agenda that could deliver sustained progress. There are good reasons for optimism. But to succeed we need to mobilise greater political will across the international community.
It is our duty to care about other people, in particular those less well off than ourselves. We all have a moral duty to reach out to the poor and needy. But we also owe it to our children and our grandchildren to address these issues as a matter of urgency. If we do not do so there is a real danger that, by the middle of the next century, the world will simply not be sustainable. The combination of population growth, environmental degradation and the conflict and disease to which this will lead could impose catastrophic pressures upon the planet. This White Paper outlines the ways in which we can make progress. To succeed, we need the active support of the people of Britain. In this area we could give a lead which would make us all very proud of our country and also secure a safe and decent future for all of us.
Secretary of State for International Development