The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. From this site, explore the efforts of the UN and its partners for building a better world.
What's Going On?
Some 2.4 billion people will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015 but faster progress on sanitation is possible, according to a joint WHO/UNICEF report. “There is an urgent need to ensure all the necessary pieces are in place – political commitment, funding, leadership – so the world can accelerate progress and reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) sanitation target” said Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment.
Among the key findings from the latest 2011 data, the report highlights that almost two-thirds of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, an increase of almost 1.9 billion people since 1990. The MDG drinking water target had been met and surpassed by 2010.
The report complements the call to action by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson for the world community to increase investment in proper sanitation and end open defecation by 2025.
Spearheaded by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) effort aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
EWEC has brought together over 200 partners and secured new funding for women’s and children’s health. With less than 1000 days until the 2015 target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), initiatives such as EWEC play a key role in building partnerships to accelerate achievements for improving maternal and child health.
The UN Foundation, JP Morgan and the MDG Health Alliance organized a 'Taking Action' summit in New York on 7 May to spotlight the key role the private sector can play in improving maternal health.
On 8 May, as part of the Global Mom Relay in support of the EWEC, Arianna Huffington, Jennifer Lopez and others participated in Mom+Social to connect moms everywhere through the power of social media. Get involved today!
Sapa, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) urged nations to work together to address the inequalities and inaccessibility of midwifery services. According to UNFPA, midwives save the lives of some 300,000 women each year and 10 times as many infants.
In a joint statement for the International Day of the Midwife, UNFPA and ICM stated, “The tireless work of midwives is also a crucial step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, targets A and B, by 2015 and beyond.” 5 May marked the International Day of the Midwife.
Herat, Afghanistan. UN Photo/
World Bank analysis from the Global Monitoring Report 2013 reveals that twenty fragile and conflict-affected states have recently met one or more targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The greatest progress has been on gender parity in education. The analysis also finds that eight fragile and conflict affected states have met the goal to halve extreme poverty and six fragile and conflict-affected countries have met the target on improved access to water.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said, “While these successes offer hope, the reality is that far too many fragile and conflict-affected countries lag behind the rest of the world. We need to offer timely and critical support to improve the lives of people living in these fragile countries.”
Asia-Pacific launch of Zero Hunger Challenge
Photo Credit: UN ESCAP
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) launched the Zero Hunger Challenge in the region on 29 April in Bangkok. “The attainment of the Millennium Development Goal on poverty and hunger in this region during the remaining 1,000 days in a big push is the first step to eliminating hunger,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said.
“Sustainable development and inclusive growth will not happen on empty stomachs,” said Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP’s Executive Secretary.
The Challenge, launched by the Secretary-General at Rio+20, has five objectives concerning food access, stunting, sustainability, productivity and waste.
Invest in the Future: World Malaria Day
Mohammed, suffering from malaria, recovers at a
Burundian run clinic in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.
Every year, there are about 660,000 malaria deaths globally, 91 per cent of which are in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
“Controlling malaria does more than improve human health. It boosts social well-being and economic development,” the Secretary-General said in his World Malaria Day message.
To help galvanize efforts for fighting the disease, on 25 April United Nations offices and partners around the world will hold special events, exhibits and film screenings to observe World Malaria Day.
“Invest in the future: defeat malaria” is the theme partners chose for the next three years to call attention to the big push needed to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and defeat malaria in the future.
The Roll Back Malaria map of activities worldwide shows many ways people can raise awareness of the preventable disease that kills 1 child every 60 seconds. View a special video for Malaria Day.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that talks with the World Bank will focus on education, climate change and sustainable energy, poverty, and the role of development banks.
In support of the Secretary-General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), a series of events are taking place in Washington, D.C., for the final sprint to achieve the global education targets by 2015. Events will culminate in the Learning for All Ministerial on 18 April at the World Bank, which will be webcast live. The Ministerial meetings will focus on improving access to education and quality of education in eight countries that are home to about one-half of the world’s out-of-school children.
On 19 April, the Secretary-General will engage in a conversation on ending poverty with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. The public is invited to participate in the conversation using #ittakes.