The eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide the most broad and comprehensive framework for international development that the world has ever agreed upon. Adopted by world leaders at the Millennium Summit in New York 6-8 September 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the MDGs goals provide benchmarks for tackling extreme world poverty.
The MDGs address issues that include income, poverty, hunger, education, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, technology, environmental degradation, global pertnership for development and international trade.
Progress towards the achievement of MDGs is monitored through country reports submitted to the United Nations by member countries.
A special review summit on the Millennium Development Goals will convene in New York on 20-22 September 2010 to coincide with the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, which opens on 14 September.
The eight Millennium Development Goals are broken down into 21 targets. The MDG goals and targets are:
Goal 1: To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The targets for this goal are to:
1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2: To achieve universal primary education. The target for this goal is to:
Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
Goal 3: To promote gender equality and empower women. The target for this goal is to:
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality. The target for this goal is to:
Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
Goal 5: Improve maternal health. The targets for this goal are to:
1. Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
2. Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The targets for this goal are to:
1. Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
2. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
3. Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. The targets for this goal are to:
1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
Goal 8: A global partnership for development. The targets for this goal include to:
1. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system. (This target includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction; both nationally and internationally)
2. Address the special needs of the least developed countries. (The special needs of the least developed countries include tariff and quota free access for the least developed countries’ exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction)
3. Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and Small Island developing States
4. Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term.
5. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
6. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications in developing countries
Estimates suggest that little progress has been made in sub-Saharan Africa on eradication of poverty while there has economic success in most of Asia. Primary school enrolment ratio of girls to boys in sub-Saharan Africa has only recently reached 71 per cent and 90 per cent in Southern Asia. Oceania and Western Asia still have large gender gaps.
A child born in a developing country is still over 13 times more likely to die within the first five years of life than a child born in an industrialized country. Some encouraging developments have sparked small victories in the battle against AIDS. Globally, emissions increased by 30 per cent from 1990 to 2005, with annual growth from 2000 to 2005 greater than in the preceding decade. Per capita emissions remain the highest in the developed regions.
You can read more about Millennium Development Goals here.