Considerable progress has been made over the past decade towards Millennium Development Goal 4. The number of deaths among children younger than 5 years has declined from 12 million in 1990 to 6·9 million in 2011.1 But do the surviving children have an equal chance to realise their human potential, achieve social justice, and contribute to sustainable development? The global community has an obligation to ensure that all children develop to full capacity, not only as a human right but also for equitable prosperity and sustainable progress of societies.

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