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Pediatricians pride themselves on their advocacy for children, and that concern does not stop at the nation's borders. When the pediatric view extends to the wider world, some disturbing events come into focus:
But hopeful notes have been sounded. Last month, for example, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and Sweden announced an agreement to raise almost $4 billion on the bond market to fund a greatly expanded program of vaccine distribution in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that the joint effort will save the lives of 5 million children over the next decade. And at the recent UN summit meeting in New York City, heads of state voiced support for the Millennium Development Goals, which include cutting global poverty and its attendant ills in half by 2015. Although the United States had pushed for weaker language in the proclamation, in the end President Bush himself said, "We are committed to the Millennium Development Goals."