ForewordThe Progress of Nations charts the advances made since the 1990 World Summit for Children, at which governments pledged to take specific steps to improve the lives of their children.
Each year, the report challenges—even provokes—countries to fulfil those
promises, and the 1997 edition is no exception. It assesses such fundamental
areas as the quality of basic education, people's access to hygienic sanitation
and effect of AIDS on child death rates. It also highlights issues that
have been less visible on the development agenda, such as violence against
women and girls, how justice systems handle young offenders and the protection
of breastfeeding from unethical practices to market infant formula.
In detailing a broad range of both achievements made and challenges remaining, the report calls on every country not just to fulfil the pledges explicit in the goals established at the Summit, but to maintain children at the very top of their national agenda.
I am proud to commend The Progress of Nations 1997 to you.
Kofi A. Annan