U.N. Millennium Declaration:Human rights, Democracy & Good Governance

United Nations A/RES/55/2
General Assembly Distr.: General
18 September 2000
Fifty-fifth session
Agenda item 60 (b)
00 55951
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/55/L.2)]
55/2. United Nations Millennium Declaration
The General Assembly
Adopts the following Declaration:
United Nations Millennium Declaration
I. Values and principles
1. We, heads of State and Government, have gathered at United Nations
Headquarters in New York from 6 to 8 September 2000, at the dawn of a new
millennium, 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 human
dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty
therefore to all the world’s people, especially 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 Charter of
the United Nations, which have proved timeless and universal. Indeed, their
relevance and capacity to inspire have increased, as nations and peoples have
become increasingly interconnected and interdependent.
4. We are determined to establish a just and lasting peace all over the world in
accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter. We rededicate
ourselves to support all efforts to uphold the sovereign equality of all States,
respect for their territorial integrity and political independence, resolution of
disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and
international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain
under colonial domination and foreign occupation, non-interference in the
internal affairs of States, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
respect for the equal rights of all without distinction as to race, sex, language
or religion and international cooperation in solving international problems of
an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.
5. 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 shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed. We recognize that
developing countries and countries with economies in transition face special
difficulties in responding to this central challenge. Thus, only through broad
and sustained efforts to create a shared future, based upon our common
humanity in all its diversity, can globalization be made fully inclusive and
equitable. These efforts must include policies and measures, at the global level,
which correspond to the needs of developing countries and economies in
transition and are formulated and implemented with their effective
6. We consider certain fundamental values to be essential to international
relations in the twenty-first century. These include:
• 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 in a way that distributes the
costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and
social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those
who benefit most.
• Tolerance. Human beings must respect one other, in all their diversity of
belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should
be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity.
A culture of peace and dialogue among all civilizations should be actively
• 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 in this way 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 changed in the
interest of our future welfare and that of our descendants.
• Shared responsibility. Responsibility for managing worldwide economic and
social development, as well as threats to international peace and security, must
be shared among the nations of the world and should be exercised
multilaterally. As the most universal and most representative organization in
the world, the United Nations must play the central role.
7. In order to translate these shared values into actions, we have identified key
objectives to which we assign special significance.
II. Peace, security and disarmament
8. We will spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war, whether
within or between States, which has claimed more than 5 million lives in the
past decade. We will also seek to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of
mass destruction.
9. We resolve therefore:
• To strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in national affairs
and, in particular, to ensure compliance by Member States with the decisions
of the International Court of Justice, in compliance with the Charter of the
United Nations, in cases to which they are parties.
• To make the United Nations more effective in maintaining peace and security
by giving it the resources and tools it needs for conflict prevention, peaceful
resolution of disputes, peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building and
reconstruction. In this context, we take note of the report of the Panel on
United Nations Peace Operations1 and request the General Assembly to
consider its recommendations expeditiously.
• To strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and regional
organizations, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the
• To ensure the implementation, by States Parties, of treaties in areas such as
arms control and disarmament and of international humanitarian law and
human rights law, and call upon all States to consider signing and ratifying the
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.2
• To take concerted action against international terrorism, and to accede as soon
as possible to all the relevant international conventions.
• To redouble our efforts to implement our commitment to counter the world
drug problem.
• To intensify our efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions,
including trafficking as well as smuggling in human beings and money
• To minimize the adverse effects of United Nations economic sanctions on
innocent populations, to subject such sanctions regimes to regular reviews and
to eliminate the adverse effects of sanctions on third parties.
• To strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly
nuclear weapons, and to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including
the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of
eliminating nuclear dangers.
• To take concerted action to end illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons,
especially by making arms transfers more transparent and supporting regional
disarmament measures, taking account of all the recommendations of the
forthcoming United Nations Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and
Light Weapons.
• To call on all States to consider acceding to the Convention on the Prohibition
of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and
1 A/55/305-S/2000/809; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-fifth Year, Supplement for July,
August and September 2000, document S/2000/809.
2 A/CONF.183/9.
on Their Destruction,3 as well as the amended mines protocol to the
Convention on conventional weapons.4
10. We urge Member States to observe the Olympic Truce, individually and
collectively, now and in the future, and to support the International Olympic
Committee in its efforts to promote peace and human understanding through
sport and the Olympic Ideal.
III. Development and poverty eradication
11. 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 subjected. We are committed to making the right
to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race
from want.
12. We resolve therefore to create an environment – at the national and global
levels alike – which is conducive to development and to the elimination of
13. Success in meeting these objectives depends, inter alia, on good governance
within each country. It also depends on good governance at the international
level and on transparency in the financial, monetary and trading systems. We
are committed to an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and nondiscriminatory
multilateral trading and financial system.
14. We are concerned about the obstacles developing countries face in mobilizing
the resources needed to finance their sustained development. We will therefore
make every effort to ensure the success of the High-level International and
Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development, to be held in 2001.
15. We also undertake to address the special needs of the least developed
countries. In this context, we welcome the Third United Nations Conference
on the Least Developed Countries to be held in May 2001 and will endeavour
to ensure its success. We call on the industrialized countries:
• To adopt, preferably by the time of that Conference, a policy of duty- and
quota-free access for essentially all exports from the least developed countries;
• To implement the enhanced programme of debt relief for the heavily indebted
poor countries without further delay and to agree to cancel all official bilateral
debts of those countries in return for their making demonstrable commitments
to poverty reduction; and
• To grant more generous development assistance, especially to countries that
are genuinely making an effort to apply their resources to poverty reduction.
16. We are also determined to deal comprehensively and effectively with the debt
problems of low- and middle-income developing countries, through various
national and international measures designed to make their debt sustainable in
the long term.
3 See CD/1478.
4 Amended protocol on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of mines, booby-traps and other devices
(CCW/CONF.I/16 (Part I), annex B).
17. We also resolve to address the special needs of small island developing States,
by implementing the Barbados Programme of Action5 and the outcome of the
twenty-second special session of the General Assembly rapidly and in full. We
urge the international community to ensure that, in the development of a
vulnerability index, the special needs of small island developing States are
taken into account.
18. We recognize the special needs and problems of the landlocked developing
countries, and urge both bilateral and multilateral donors to increase financial
and technical assistance to this group of countries to meet their special
development needs and to help them overcome the impediments of geography
by improving their transit transport systems.
19. We resolve further:
• To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people whose income
is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from
hunger and, by the same date, to halve the proportion of people who are unable
to reach or to afford safe drinking water.
• To ensure 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.
• By the same date, to have reduced maternal mortality by three quarters, and
under-five child mortality by two thirds, of their current rates.
• To have, by then, halted, and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS, the
scourge of malaria and other major diseases that afflict humanity.
• To provide special assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
• By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least
100 million slum dwellers as proposed in the “Cities Without Slums” initiative.
20. We also resolve:
• To promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways
to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is
truly sustainable.
• To develop and implement strategies that give young people everywhere a real
chance to find decent and productive work.
• To encourage the pharmaceutical industry to make essential drugs more widely
available and affordable by all who need them in developing countries.
• To develop strong partnerships with the private sector and with civil society
organizations in pursuit of development and poverty eradication.
5 Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Report of the
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown,
Barbados, 25 April-6May 1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.94.I.18 and corrigenda), chap. I,
resolution 1, annex II).
• To ensure that the benefits of new technologies, especially information and
communication technologies, in conformity with recommendations contained
in the ECOSOC 2000 Ministerial Declaration,6 are available to all.
IV. Protecting our common environment
21. 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 would no longer be sufficient for their
22. We reaffirm our support for the principles of sustainable development,
including those set out in Agenda 21,7 agreed upon at the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development.
23. We resolve therefore to adopt in all our environmental actions a new ethic of
conservation and stewardship and, as first steps, we resolve:
• To make every effort to ensure the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol,
preferably by the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in 2002, and to embark on the required
reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.
• To intensify our collective efforts for the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests.
• To press for the full implementation of the Convention on Biological
Diversity8 and the Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa.9
• To stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources by developing water
management strategies at the regional, national and local levels, which
promote both equitable access and adequate supplies.
• To intensify cooperation to reduce the number and effects of natural and manmade
• To ensure free access to information on the human genome sequence.
V. Human rights, democracy and good governance
24. We will spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law,
as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and
fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.
25. We resolve therefore:
6 E/2000/L.9.
7 Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June
1992 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: Resolutions adopted by the
Conference, resolution 1, annex II.
8 See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity (Environmental Law
and Institution Programme Activity Centre), June 1992.
9 A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix II.
• To respect fully and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.10
• To strive for the full protection and promotion in all our countries of civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights for all.
• To strengthen the capacity of all our countries to implement the principles and
practices of democracy and respect for human rights, including minority rights.
• To combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
• To take measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of
migrants, migrant workers and their families, to eliminate the increasing acts
of racism and xenophobia in many societies and to promote greater harmony
and tolerance in all societies.
• To work collectively for more inclusive political processes, allowing genuine
participation by all citizens in all our countries.
• To ensure the freedom of the media to perform their essential role and the right
of the public to have access to information.
VI. Protecting the vulnerable
26. We will spare no effort to ensure that children and all civilian populations that
suffer disproportionately the consequences of natural disasters, genocide,
armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies are given every assistance
and protection so that they can resume normal life as soon as possible.
We resolve therefore:
• To expand and strengthen the protection of civilians in complex emergencies,
in conformity with international humanitarian law.
• To strengthen international cooperation, including burden sharing in, and the
coordination of humanitarian assistance to, countries hosting refugees and to
help all refugees and displaced persons to return voluntarily to their homes, in
safety and dignity and to be smoothly reintegrated into their societies.
• To encourage the ratification and full implementation of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child12 and its optional protocols on the involvement of children
in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child
VII. Meeting the special needs of Africa
27. We will support the consolidation of democracy in Africa and assist Africans
in their struggle for lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable
development, thereby bringing Africa into the mainstream of the world
10 Resolution 217 A (III).
11 Resolution 34/180, annex.
12 Resolution 44/25, annex.
13 Resolution 54/263, annexes I and II.
28. We resolve therefore:
• To give full support to the political and institutional structures of emerging
democracies in Africa.
• To encourage and sustain regional and subregional mechanisms for preventing
conflict and promoting political stability, and to ensure a reliable flow of
resources for peacekeeping operations on the continent.
• To take special measures to address the challenges of poverty eradication and
sustainable development in Africa, including debt cancellation, improved
market access, enhanced Official Development Assistance and increased flows
of Foreign Direct Investment, as well as transfers of technology.
• To help Africa build up its capacity to tackle the spread of the HIV/AIDS
pandemic and other infectious diseases.
VIII. Strengthening the United Nations
29. We will spare no effort to make the United Nations a more effective instrument
for pursuing all of these priorities: the fight for development for all the peoples
of the world, 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.
30. We resolve therefore:
• To reaffirm the central position of the General Assembly as the chief
deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations,
and to enable it to play that role effectively.
• To intensify our efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security
Council in all its aspects.
• To strengthen further the Economic and Social Council, building on its recent
achievements, to help it fulfil the role ascribed to it in the Charter.
• To strengthen the International Court of Justice, in order to ensure justice and
the rule of law in international affairs.
• To encourage regular consultations and coordination among the principal
organs of the United Nations in pursuit of their functions.
• To ensure that the Organization is provided on a timely and predictable basis
with the resources it needs to carry out its mandates.
• To urge the Secretariat to make the best use of those resources, in accordance
with clear rules and procedures agreed by the General Assembly, 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
agreed priorities of Member States.
• To promote adherence to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and
Associated Personnel.14
14 Resolution 49/59, annex.
• To ensure greater policy coherence and better cooperation between the United
Nations, its agencies, the Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade
Organization, as well as other multilateral bodies, with a view to achieving a
fully coordinated approach to the problems of peace and development.
• To strengthen further cooperation between the United Nations and national
parliaments through their world organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in
various fields, including peace and security, economic and social development,
international law and human rights and democracy and gender issues.
• To give greater opportunities to the private sector, non-governmental
organizations and civil society, in general, to contribute to the realization of
the Organization’s goals and programmes.
31. We request the General Assembly to review on a regular basis the progress
made in implementing the provisions of this Declaration, and ask the
Secretary-General to issue periodic reports for consideration by the General
Assembly and as a basis for further action.
32. We solemnly reaffirm, on this historic occasion, that the United Nations is the
indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we
will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and
development. We therefore pledge our unstinting support for these common
objectives and our determination to achieve them.
8th plenary meeting
8 September 2000


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