The State of the World's Children 2000

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by Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations

An urgent call to leadership
This section of The State of the World's Children 2000 appeals to governments, agencies of the United Nations system, civil society, the private sector and children and families to come together in a new international coalition on behalf of children. It summarizes the progress made over the last decade in meeting the goals established at the 1990 World Summit for Children and in keeping faith with the ideals of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. And it presents the disparities between the visions and hopes of a decade ago and today's reality.

Undeclared war
Despite the progress made, the last decade has also witnessed countless abuses of women and children. This section of the report discusses four of the most daunting obstacles to full human development: HIV/AIDS, armed conflict and violence, increasing poverty and gender discrimination.

In a single generation
The picture that ultimately emerges in The State of the World's Children 2000 is a hopeful one, based on the belief that intergenerational patterns of poverty, violence, disease and discrimination can be broken in a single generation. This section offers compelling arguments about the power of early childhood care, quality education, and participation and development for adolescents in ensuring children's rights and human development. Finally, the essay concludes with an invitation to a grand, broad-based international alliance, necessarily visionary and pragmatic at once, committed to realizing the rights of women and children.

We start the 21st century with a vision and a commitment
Ten pages of evocative photographs showing the strength of families, communities, women, children and adolescents.

Leadership in the best interests of the child
Fifty-two individuals, representing hundreds of thousands more, who have distinguished themselves by their work on behalf of children, are noted.

Six maps illustrating child and adolescent populations; life expectancy; learning and education; children and adolescents at special risk; rich world, poor world; and unstable environments.

Statistical tables
Eight tables, with 193 countries listed alphabetically, regional summaries and world totals, present the latest available data on the well-being of children. Countries are first ranked in descending order of their estimated 1998 under-five mortality rate and this ranking is then included in each of the tables: basic indicators, nutritional status, health status, educational levels, demographics, economic indicators, the status of women and the rate of progress since 1960.


  1. South Africa: Helping children by helping families
  2. Indonesia's despair
  3. Children's risks in societies on the edge
  4. Zambia: Hope in the AIDS epicentre
  5. Seeds of Peace: Young people in Colombia
  6. The education age, past due

Text Figures

Figure 1. The growing gap between rich and poor countries
Figure 2. The distribution of income in three large economies
Figure 3. Increase in number of complex emergencies
Figure 4. Prevalence of violence against women by an intimate male partner in any relationship
Figure 5. Poverty and HIV prevalence
Figure 6. Growing wealth and declining ODA
Figure 7. Money spent on HIV/AIDS




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