Following up on measures to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

Thematic Debate on MDG "Recognising the achievements, addressing the challenges and getting back on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015"

On 8 September 2000, World Leaders meeting in New York for Millennium Summit, the largest gathering of Heads of State and Government in history, adopted the Millennium Declaration. The declaration resolved to “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.” It further resolved to “making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.”

To that end, eight development goals were set to be achieved by 2015, as follows;

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – to halve 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
  2. Achieve universal primary education - all children should complete a full course of primary schooling
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women – greater economic opportunities for women and elimination of gender disparities in access to education
  4. Reduce child mortality – reduce under-five child mortality by two thirds
  5. Improve maternal health - reduce maternal mortality by three quarters
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases – to have halted or begun to reverse the spread of these diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability  - to integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  8. Develop a global partnership for development – developing a fairer global trading system, addressing the problems of indebtedness, and greater cooperation with the private sector.

Since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals have become the universally recognised development framework, and the implementation of the goals has become the overriding international development objective.

At the 2005 World Summit, Leaders declared their “determination to ensure the timely and full realization of the development goals and objectives agreed at the major United Nations conferences and summits, including those agreed at the Millennium Summit that are described as the Millennium Development Goals.” World leaders further reaffirmed their commitment “to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all.”  

The 2007 MDG report presents uneven results in the progress on the attainment of the goals. There has been significant progress in many countries, even among those that continue to face great challenges. However, many countries remain off-track to attain the goals by 2015. The report states “the results achieved in the more successful cases demonstrate that success is possible in most countries, but that the MDGs will be attained only if concerted additional action is taken immediately and sustained until 2015.”

Building on progress achieved during the 61st session of the General Assembly achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 remains a priority for the 62nd session. The aim during the session will be to review the implementation of the goals, recommit efforts and resources to attain the goals, and build consensus for urgent action.

For more information about UN Millennium Development Goals and MDG Monitor.