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The 0.7% target: An in-depth look

 

What is the 0.7% target?
Why 0.7% matters for the Millennium Development Goals
Why 0.7% matters for global security
Commitments to 0.7%
Calls to action for 0.7%
0.7 in the news

What is the 0.7% target?

0.7 refers to the repeated commitment of the world's governments to commit 0.7% of rich-countries' gross national product (GNP) to Official Development Assistance.

First pledged 35 years ago in a 1970 General Assembly Resolution, the 0.7 target has been affirmed in many international agreements over the years, including the March 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico PDFand at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johnannesburg later that year.

In Paragraph 42 of the Monterrey Consensus, world leaders reiterated their commitment, stating that “we urge developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries.”

Ours is the first generation in which the world can halve extreme poverty within the 0.7 envelope. In 1975, when the donor world economy was around half its current size, the Millennium Development Goals would have required much more than 1 percent of GNP from the donors. Today, after two and a half decades of sustained economic growth, the Goals are utterly affordable.

Why 0.7% matters for the Millennium Development Goals

The UN Millennium Project's analysis indicates that 0.7% of rich world GNI can provide enough resources to meet Millennium Development Goals, but developed countries must follow through on commitments and begin increasing ODA volumes today. If every developed country set and followed through on a timetable to reach 0.7% by 2015, the world could make dramatic progress in the fight against poverty and start on a path to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and end extreme poverty within a generation.

The UN Millennium Project's costing shows that a comprehensive package to meet the Millennium Development Goals would cost about $75-$150 US per person per year over the period, and that less than half of this would need to be financed by ODA.

To achieve the Goals, aid from industrialized countries should rise to 0.44 percent of the industrialized nations' GNP in 2006 and reach 0.54 percent of GNP by 2015- less than the global target 0.7 percent of GNP reaffirmed by world leaders at the Monterrey conference on financing development in 2002 PDF.

If one includes the other essential investment needs that are not directly related to the Millennium Development Goals, such as protecting global fisheries and managing geo-strategic and humanitarian crises, global aid will need to rise to 0.7 percent. If donor countries reached the 0.7 percent ODA target, they could generate the additional funding that will be needed for developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. 

The core inputs to development—teachers, health centers, roads, wells, medicines, to name a few—are eminently affordable if rich and poor countries alike follow through on their commitments.

Why 0.7% matters for global security

The 0.7 target has been recognized as a vital step towards promoting international and national security and stability. For example, the Report of the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change PDFrecommends that countries that aspire to global leadership through permanent membership on the UN Security Council be required to fulfill international commitments to official development assistance, including the 0.7 target:

"The many donor countries which currently fall short of the United Nations 0.7 per cent of gross national product ( GNP ) for official development assistance ( ODA ) should establish a timetable for reaching it." (p. 41)

"Among developed countries, achieving or making substantial progress towards the internationally agreed level of 0.7 per cent of GNP for ODA should be considered an important criterion of contribution [in considering reform of Security Council membership]." (p. 93)

Commitments to 0.7%

As of June 2005, 16 out of the 22 donor countries have met or agreed to meet the 0.7 target by no later than 2015.

Critically, on 24 May all EU Development Ministers met in Brussels and announced that by 2015, all of the original “EU-15”, Member states will set timetables to meet the 0.7 PDF target by 2015. In addition, the "new" EU countries (the accession countries which joined the EU after 2002) will achieve 0.33% by 2015. So far, only five countries have met or surpassed the 0.7 target:

The UN Millennium Project urges all developed countries to follow through on the Monterrey commitment “to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7.” We urge that “concrete efforts” require a specific timetable, and specifically a timetable before 2015, the target date for the Goals.

Official Development Assistance in 2005
(source: OECD 2005 External Link)

(*) Indicates countries that have NOT set a timetable for 0.7%.

Country

Aid as % of
GNI

Country

Aid as % of
GNI

Australia (*)

0.25

Japan (*)

0.28

Austria

0.52

Luxembourg

0.87

Belgium

0.53

Netherlands

0.82

Canada (*)

0.34

New Zealand

0.27

Denmark

0.81

Norway

0.93

Finland

0.47

Portugal

0.21

France

0.47

Spain

0.29

Germany

0.35

Sweden

0.92

Greece

0.24

Switzerland (*)

0.44

Ireland

0.41

United Kingdom

0.48

Italy

0.29

United States (*)

0.22


(source: OECD/DAC 2005)

Calls to action for 0.7%

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, In Larger Freedom (March 2005)
"Developed countries that have not already done so should establish timetables to achieve the 0.7 per cent target of gross national income for official development assistance by no later than 2015, starting with significant increases no later than 2006 and reaching 0.5 per cent by 2009."

Commission For Africa, Our Common Interest (March 2005)
"Rich countries should aim to spend 0.7 percent of their annual income on aid, with plans specified for meeting this target ."

UN Millennium Project, Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (January 2005)
"Ours is the first generation in which the world can halve extreme poverty within the 0.7 envelope. In 1975, when the donor world economy was around half its current size, the Goals would have required much more than 1 percent of GNP from the donors. Today, after two and a half decades of sustained economic growth, the Goals are utterly affordable. No new promises are needed—only following through on commitments already made."

High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (December 2004)
"The many donor countries which currently fall short of the United Nations 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA) should establish a timetable for reaching it.

Among developed countries, achieving or making substantial progress towards the internationally agreed level of 0.7 per cent of GNP for ODA should be considered an important criterion of contribution [in considering reform of Security Council membership]."

The Monterrey Consensus (March 2002)
World leaders met at the March 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, establishing a landmark framework for global development partnership in which developed and developing countries agreed to take joint actions for poverty reduction.

The Monterrey Consensus recognized that significant increases in aid would therefore be needed, and the donor countries committed to provide those additional resources, including the long-standing target of 0.7 percent of GNP:

"We recognize that a substantial increase in ODA and other resources will be required if developing countries are to achieve the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including those contained in the UN Millennium Declaration. To build support for ODA, we will cooperate to further improve policies and development strategies, both nationally and internationally, to enhance aid effectiveness (paragraph 41).

In that context, we urge developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries. (paragraph 42)"

Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August-4 September 2002)
"Make available the increased commitments in official development assistance announced by several developed countries at the International Conference on Financing for Development. Urge the developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as official development assistance to developing countries." (pg. 52)

0.7 in the news

25 June | New York Times
"Four Easy Pieces" (by Jeffrey D. Sachs) PDF
01 June 2005 | Toronto Star
"Falling short of Pearson goal" PDF
26 April 2005 | Asahi
"A strengthened commitment will yield support" PDF
22 April 2005 | Globe and Mail
“Promises aren't enough” PDF
20 April 2005 | Frankfurter Rundschau
"Deutschland ist der Schlüsselstein im Mosaik" PDF
14 April 2005 | New York Times
"Germany Steps up to the Plate" PDF
07 April 2005 | Statement by German Permanent Representative to the UN
"The German Chancellor and the Foreign Minister have announced a road map for the timely implemenation of the Millennium goals" PDF
18 January 2005| Globe and Mail
"The 0.7 per-cent solution" PDF

 

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Related Information
2006: The Year of Action
Millennium Villages
0.7 percent: Why it matters
Key Events in 2005
The 2005 World Summit
The G8 Gleneagles Summit: Doubling Aid to Africa
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