Goals set by the United Nations Millennium Summit to lift millions of people out of poverty by 2015 will be possible, only if poor countries pursue wide-ranging reforms and rich countries keep their pledges to deliver financing for development, according to the 2003 United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) 2003. .
The Millennium Development Goals - endorsed by all members of the United Nations - set out eight specific cross-cutting goals essential in the fight against poverty. The first seven goals set out what poor countries must do to meet the goals and the eighth goal is aimed at rich countries and their commitment in responding with improved trade terms and increased aid.
The Report challenges rich countries to set concrete targets and deadlines and take action by:.
Dismantling unfair trade subsidies and tariffs to create a level playing field.
Writing off unsustainable debt.
Stepping up aid-flows.
Creating better access to technological progress.
In the Foreword to this year's report, the UNDP Administrator, Mr Mark Malloch Brown said, " The Human Development Report 2003 documents an unprecedented backslide in the human development indices in some of the world's poorest nations. More than one billion people still live in extreme poverty and for many, living standards are getting steadily worse."".
However, the report notes "If global progress continues at the same pace as in the 1990s, only the Millennium Development Goals of halving income poverty and halving the proportion of people without access to safe water stand a realistic chance of being met, thanks mainly to China and India, which together represent one-third of the world's population of six billion."".
The Millennium Development Compact argues investments in health and education are required for high and priority countries to break out of their poverty traps, which will in turn contribute to economic growth.