APC has obtained a copy of the ‘Millennium Declaration’ which will be signed by the heads-of-state attending the Millennium Summit. View it here for the first time.

Millennium Assembly & Summit Declaration


Editor’s note: This is the near-final draft which will be presented to the delegates to the Millennium Assembly and Summit meeting at the United Nation in New York, September 6 – 9, 2000. Delegates will undoubtedly make minor word changes during the session, but the essence of the Declaration will remain.

I. Values and Principles

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the United Nations, have gathered at the dawn of a new Millennium at United Nations Headquarters in New York to reaffirm our faith in the Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.

2. We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty, therefore, to all the world’s people, especially to the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs.

3. We reaffirm our commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, which have proved timeless and universal. Indeed, their relevance and capacity to inspire have increased as nations and peoples have become increasingly inter-connected and interdependent

4. We believe that the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world’s people. For while globalization offers great opportunities, at present its benefits are very unevenly distributed and its costs mainly borne by the developing countries. To be inclusive and equitable, globalization requires broad and sustained effort to create a shared future, based upon our common humanity in all its diversity. It also requires policies and measures that are sensitive to the needs of developing countries.

5. We consider certain fundamental values to be essential to international relations in the 21st Century. These include:

  • Multilateralism: The management of worldwide economic and social development as well as risks and threats to international peace and security must be a shared responsibility. As the most universal and most representative organization in the world, the United Nations must play a central role in exercising this responsibility.
  • Freedom: Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people best assures these rights.
  • Equality: No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development. The equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured.
  • Solidarity: Global challenges must be managed multilaterally, and in a way that shares the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with the most basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer, or who benefit least, are entitled to help from those who benefit most.
  • Tolerance: Human beings must respect each other, in all their diversity of faith, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should neither be feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity. Dialogue among all civilizations should be actively promoted.
  • Respect for nature: Prudence must be shown in the management of all living species and natural resources, in accordance with the precepts of sustainable development. Only so can the immeasurable riches provided to us by nature be preserved and passed on to our descendants. The current unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must be seriously addressed in the interest of our future

6. In translating these shared values into actions we have identified the key objectives to which we assign particular significance.

II. Peace, Security and Disarmament

7. We will spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war, both intra and interstate, which has claimed more than 5 million lives in the past decade. We will at the same time seek to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction.

8. We resolve therefore:

  • To strengthen respect for the rule of law, in international as in national affairs, and in particular to ensure the implementation of both the agreed provisions of treaties on the control of armaments and of international humanitarian and human rights laws. In this connection, we urge all States to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  • To enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security, by giving it the resources and the tools required to promote conflict prevention, the peaceful resolution of disputes, post-conflict peace building and reconstruction, and by strengthening the capacity of the Organization to conduct peace keeping operations.
  • To take concerted action against the menaces of terrorism and drug trafficking and to expedite the adoption of an International Convention against Terrorism.
  • To minimize the adverse effects of economic sanctions on innocent populations, and to subject sanctions regimes to regular reviews and to eliminate the adverse effects of sanctions on third parties.
  • To take concerted action to prevent the illegal traffic in small arms and light weapons, especially by creating greater transparency in arms transfers and supporting regional disarmament measures, in the light of the recommendations of the International Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Arms in all its aspects.
  • To call on all States to sign and ratify the Ottawa Treaty banning the manufacture, production, use and export of anti-personnel landmines.
  • To strive towards the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, and to convene a major international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.

III. Development and Poverty Eradication

9. We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently confined. We are committed to fully realising the right to development and freedom from want.

10. We resolve, therefore, to create an enabling environment- at national and global levels alike- which is conducive to development, the empowerment of women and the elimination of poverty.

11. At the national level, it is now widely accepted that success in meeting these objectives depends in large measure on the quality of governance within a country. Internationally, success depends on the existence of an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, which guarantees special and differential treatment of developing countries, and on corresponding provisions to facilitate investments, transfer of technology and knowledge as well as financial flows.

12. We also resolve to promote the special needs of the least developed countries and towards that end, call on the industrialized countries to: adopt, by the time of the 3rd United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, a policy of duty-free and quota-free access for essentially all exports from the least developed countries; to implement the enhanced program of debt relief for the heavily indebted poor countries without further delay; to agree to cancel all official debts of those countries in return for their making demonstrable commitments to poverty reduction; and to grant more generous development assistance, especially to countries which are genuinely making an effort to apply their resources to poverty reduction.

13. We also resolve to address the debt problems of low and medium income countries in a comprehensive and definitive manner.

14. We resolve further:

To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people (currently 22 per cent) whose income is less than one dollar a day.

To halve, by the same date, the proportion of people (currently 20 per cent) who are unable to access, or to afford, safe drinking water.

That by the same date children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education.

That by then we have halted, and begun to reverse, the spread of the HIV/AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major diseases which afflict humanity.

That, at the same time, we will have reduced the maternal mortality by three- fourths and under 5 infant mortality by two-thirds of their current rates.

That, by 2020, we will have achieved significant improvements in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers in the developing and transitional countries, in accordance with the Cities Without Slums initiative.

15. We also resolve:

  • To promote gender equality in its own right, and as an effective means of combating poverty, hunger and disease, and of stimulating development.
  • To develop and implement successful strategies that give young people everywhere the opportunity of finding decent and productive work.
  • To encourage the pharmaceutical industry to make essential drugs more widely available and affordable to all people in developing countries who need them.
  • To ensure that the benefits of new technologies, especially information technology, are available to all.
  • To strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.
  • To commit our governments to national policies and programmes directed specifically at reducing poverty in the poorest countries, to be developed and applied in consultation with civil society.
  • To develop strong partnerships with the private sector and civil society organizations in pursuit of development and poverty eradication.
  • To provide special assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, as well as those suffering from other diseases and their effects.

IV. Protecting our Common Environment

16. We must spare no effort to free all of humanity, and above all our children and grandchildren, from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, and whose resources can no longer provide for their needs.

17.We resolve, therefore, to adopt in all our environmental actions a new ethic of conservation and stewardship and, as first steps agree:

  • To adopt and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, so that it can enter into force no later than 2002- 10 years after the Rio Conference, and 20 years after the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and to begin the required reduction of emissions of greenhouse gasses, especially in developed countries.
  • To press for the full implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification.
  • To arrest the unsustainable exploitation of water resources by developing water management strategies at the regional, national and local levels including pricing structures promoting both equitable access and adequate supplies.
  • To intensify cooperation to reduce the number and effects of natural and man-made disasters.
  • To ensure free access to the information on the genetic code, since this belongs to all humanity.

V. Good Governance, Democracy and Human Rights

18. We will spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as the respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.

19. We resolve, therefore:

  • To fully observe and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • To strive for the full protection and promotion in all our countries of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
  • To support capacity building in all our countries to implement the principles and practices of democracy and respect for human rights including minority rights.
  • To press for more inclusive and participatory political processes in all of countries.
  • To rectify the prevailing imbalance in global decision-making, whereby rules to facilitate the expansion of markets have become more robust and enforceable, while measures and international cooperation that promote equally valid social objectives- such as development and poverty eradication, human rights, labour standards or environmental concerns- have lagged behind in implementation.
  • To ensure the right of the media to perform its essential role of informing the public, and the right of the public to receive ideas and information provided by the media.

VI. Protecting the Vulnerable

20. We will spare no effort to ensure that women and children and all civilian populations who suffer disproportionately the consequences of natural disasters and armed conflicts, are given every assistance and protection to regain normal life.

We resolve, therefore:

  • To expand the protection of civilians in complex emergencies.
  • To combat violence against women in all its forms,
  • To encourage the ratification and full implementation of the Convention of the Rights on the Child, as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts.

VII. Meeting the Special Needs of Africa

21. Extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa affects a higher proportion of the population than in any other region. It is compounded by a higher incidence of conflict, HIV/AIDS and other hardships.

22. We resolve, therefore, that we will take special measures to address these and other critical needs of Africa, including the need for debt cancellation, improved market access and enhanced ODA and FDI flows and give our full support to Africans in their struggle for durable peace and sustainable development.

VIII. Strengthening the United Nations

23. We will spare no effort to make the United Nations a more effective instrument for pursuing all of these priorities; the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease; the fight against injustice; the fight against violence, terror and crime; and the fight against the degradation and destruction of our common home.

24. We resolve, therefore:

To restore the centrality and enhance the effectiveness of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative and representative organ of the United Nations.

To call for the speedy reform and enlargement of the Security Council, making it more representative, effective and legitimate in the eyes of all the world’s people.

To further strengthen the Economic and Social Council, building on its recent achievements, so that it may be able to fulfill the role ascribed to it in the Charter.

To ensure that the Organization is provided with adequate resources, on a timely and predictable basis, so that it may carry out its mandates.

To urge the Secretariat to make the best use of those resources in the interests of all Member States, by adopting the best management practices and technologies available, and by concentrating on those tasks that reflect the priorities of Member States.

To ensure greater policy coherence and enhance cooperation amongst the United Nations, its Agencies, the Breton- Woods Institutions, as well as other multilateral bodies, with a view to securing a fully coordinated approach to the problems of peace and development.

To give full opportunities to civil society, parliamentarians, the private sector and other non-state actors to contribute to the achievement of the Organization’s goals and programs.

25. We request the General Assembly to review on a regular basis the progress made in implementing the provisions of this Declaration and, in cooperation with the Secretariat, issue periodic reports for information and further action.

26. We solemnly reaffirm on this historic occasion that the United Nations in the indispensable common house of the entire human family, and through which it will be able to realise its universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development. We will therefore pledge our unstinting support for the attainment of these common objectives.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods (www.CFACT.org). He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.