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The Human Development Report was first produced in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the centre of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy, and advocacy. The goal was both massive and simple, with far ranging implications, going beyond income to assess the level of peoples's long-term well being. For the past 13 years, the Human Development Report has advocated development of the people, and for the people, emphasizing that the goals of development are the choices and freedoms.
Five years after signing the Millennium Declaration, and at the start of the 10-year countdown to the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals, the world's governments are at a crossroads. If they continue with business as usual, 2005 will be the year in which the pledge of theMillennium Declaration is broken. If they act now to deliver on their pledges to the world's poorest people, they can make 2005 the start of a decade for development, helping countries to get back on track for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and forging a new, more equitablepattern of globalization.
This year's Human Development Report takes stock of human development, including progress towards the MDGs. Looking beyond statistics, it highlights the human costs of missed targets and broken promises. Extreme inequality between countries and within countries is identified as one of the mainbarriers to human development--and as a powerful brake on accelerated progress towards the MDGs. New approaches to international cooperation are vital if the promise of the Millennium Declaration is to be realized. Practical action is needed to make the next 10 years a "decade for development". Focusing on aid, trade and security--three of the central pillars of international cooperation-- Human Development Report 2005 sets out a bold analysis of the problems and identifies solutions. It argues that rich countries need to move beyond encouraging words to align their policies with thecommitments made in the Millennium Declaration.