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Millennium Development Goals

Overview

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, to providing universal primary education – all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

The Millennium Development Goals are:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Each Goal has between one and eight targets, and each target has up to five indicators for monitoring progress. The UN Statistics website provides an official list of the Goals, targets and indicators.

Milestones:

Millennium Summit

In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, world leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which, among other things, committed their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and set out a series of time-bound targets – with a deadline of 2015 – that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.


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2005 World Summit

The 2005 World Summit, held from 14 to 16 September at United Nations Headquarters in New York, brought together more than 170 Heads of State and Government. It was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take bold decisions in the areas of development, security, human rights and reform of the United Nations. The agenda was based on an achievable set of proposals outlined in March 2005 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report, In Larger Freedom.

2008 High-level Event on the MDGs

At a High-level Event at UN Headquarters on 25 September 2008, governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups rallied around the call to action to slash poverty, hunger and disease, by announcing new commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The gathering "exceeded our most optimistic expectations," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, noting that the High-level Event generated an estimated $16 billion in pledges, including some $1.6 billion to bolster food security, more than $4.5 billion for education and $3 billion to combat malaria.

2010 Summit on the MDGs

The three-day Summit on the MDGs – formally a High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly (20-22 September 2010) – concluded with the adoption of a global action plan spelling out specific steps to be taken by all stakeholders to accelerate progress on each of the eight Goals, based on successes and lessons learnt over the last ten years. The Summit also generated a major push for women’s and children’s health, with governments, the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations pledging over $40 billion in resources for the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.

Next steps:

Clean drinking water runs freely from a communal water faucet in Ndombil, Senegal.

Clean drinking water runs freely from a communal water faucet in Ndombil, Senegal.

2013 General Assembly Event:

In the 2010 Summit outcome document, governments request the General Assembly to continue to review, on an annual basis, the progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including on the implementation of the Summit outcome. They also request the President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly to organize a special event in 2013 to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the Goals.

Post-2015 Framework:

In his closing remarks to the MDG Summit in September 2010, the Secretary-General said: “In a rapidly changing international environment, we must also look ahead, beyond the deadline for the goals. And so, in response to your request in the outcome document, I intend to initiate a process that will result in a post-2015 framework for the development work of the United Nations.”