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News on Millennium Development Goals

MDG Advocates Launch Leaders Report

MDG Advocates and Secretary-General

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Launching new report, MDG Advocates outline challenges and opportunities for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by end of 2015. Led by the Prime Minister of Norway and President of the Republic of Rwanda, the MDG Leaders praise successes of improving people’s lives and demand more action during a high-level event. “The MDGs have transformed the lives of millions of people,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Global leaders show support and pledge their commitment to quality education

Michelle Obama

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, delivered the special key-note address today at the Global Education First Initiative’s (GEFI) high-level event. Mrs. Obama vowed to work with world leaders and education advocates to ensure all girls and young women have the opportunity to go to school; calling for quality education and the empowerment of girls and women to form part of the post-2015 development agenda.

UN Climate Summit 2014

UN Climate Summit logo

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.

World leaders reaffirm commitments to placing people at the centre of development

mother and child

Credit: UN Photo/David Ohana

A UN General Assembly special session examined 20 years of actions taken by governments to improve people’s lives and address population issues.

“We must renew our pledge to protect people – especially women and girls – as we strive to eradicate extreme poverty, protect the rights and dignity of all people and secure the future of our planet for generations to come,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

New UN Report Shows Gaps on MDGs

Woman in the Field

Poorest countries need more access to aid, trade, debt relief, medicines and technologies, says new UN report. Persistent gaps between promises made and delivered by developed countries hold back greater progress on the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG Gap Task Force Report 2014, entitled, “The State of the Global Partnership for Development,” tracks delivery on commitments listed under Millennium Development Goal 8—the global partnership for development.



World hunger falls, but 805 million still chronically undernourished

Woman in the Field

FAO/Juan Manuel Baliellas

The MDG target to halve proportion of world’s hungry is still within reach by end of 2015. One in nine people suffer from hunger, according to a new UN report. The State of Food Insecurity in the World confirmed a positive trend which has seen the number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by more than 200 million since 1990-92.







New Data Show Child Mortality Rates Falling Faster Than Ever


UN Photo/Logan Abassi

New United Nations data show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49 per cent between 1990 and 2013. New estimates in Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014 show that in 2013, 6.3 million children under five died from mostly preventable causes, around 200,000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17,000 child deaths each day.








Progress for children in South Asia, but inequalities still exist: UNICEF report


UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A new UNICEF report says there has been progress in the health and well-being of children in South Asia over the last 25 years, but glaring inequalities remain. "More than 2 million children in South Asia die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday ever year and more than 35 percent of the region's children have chronic malnutrition,” said Karin Hulshof, Regional Director for UNICEF in South Asia.






Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans


WMO/Olga Khoroshunova

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.



International Literacy Day: Literacy and Sustainable Development

shared bowl of food

The theme of International Literacy Day 2014 is “Literacy and Sustainable Development”. Literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, as it empowers people so that they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration. Literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.

FAO-WHO video shows how nutrition is a public issue

shared bowl of food

UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Hundreds of millions of people around the world continue to suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Governments are urged to make stronger commitments at November’s Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) to ensure healthier diets for all. That's according to the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization of the United Nations. This report has more information on the current global nutrition challenges.

Secretary-General’s message on 500 Days of Action for the MDGs

500 Days of Action for the MDGs poster

UN Photo

“There are many fires raging around the world today -- political turmoil, bloodshed, public health emergencies and human rights abuses. But there also burns a flame of hope – encouraging progress in the global drive to improve the lives of the world’s poorest through the Millennium Development Goals. Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000, the MDGs are an ambitious 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women’s empowerment…[Read the full statement]

Secretary-General and Malala celebrated 500 Days of Action for MDGs

Malala Yousafzai,UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Amy Robach

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Malala Yousafzai joined UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Amy Robach and young people for an interactive conversation at the United Nations to celebrate 500 Days of Action for the Millennium Development Goals. It's not too late to join the conversation on the MDGs using #MDGmomentum. The 500 Days event was webcast live and can be found on UN Web TV. The UN Statistics Division produced a video with the latest figures on the MDGs. Mr. Ban kicked off a Week of Action for MDG Momentum in China on 16 August.

Human Development Report 2014

UNDP report

Photo credit: UNDP

2.2 billion people are poor or near-poor, warns 2014 Human Development Report on vulnerability and resilience. Calls for universal provision of basic social services, and stronger policies for social protection and full employment to advance and secure development progress. Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. #hdr2014


New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage


UN/DPI Photo by Evan Schneider

New data by UNICEF shows the need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe. According to the newly-released data, more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, also known as FGM, in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common. #GirlSummit






Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 requires smart scale-up to close the gap: UNAIDS

Michel Sidibé

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A new report by UNAIDS shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status. “Whether you live or die should not depend on access to an HIV test,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 90 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status are on treatment.






58 Million primary school age children out of school

Girls at school

Credit: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

UNESCO reports that 58 million children aged 6 to 11 are still out of school, showing little overall improvement since 2007. But positive change is possible, 17 countries have reduced their out-of-school populations by almost 90 per cent in a little over a decade. These countries have invested in positive actions such as abolishing school fees, introducing more relevant curricula and providing financial support to struggling families.







More Governments now online but greater effort needed to boost access to e-services, UN finds


UN delegates lounge computers

UN Photo/Mark Garten

E-government—digital interactions between governments and people—varies greatly among and within regions, but most countries are making progress on providing greater access, according to the 2014 UN E-Government Survey. The report shows that many countries are expanding electronic participation, utilizing more mobile and social media tools, expanding usage and making more government data available online. However, challenges remain.


Celebrate World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June


UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The 2014 Theme is Land Belongs to the Future - Let’s Climate Proof It. Approximately 1.5 billion people globally depend on degrading areas for their livelihoods, and nearly half of the world’s very poor (42%) live in degraded areas, making them some of the most insecure places in the world, and in some cases their instability can destabilize entire political regions. #climateproofmyland


SE4All Forum seeks to mobilize investment, action for sustainable energy for all

Sun and sky

UN Photo/R Kollar

Over 1,000 participants from government, business, international organizations and civil society groups gathered at UN Headquarters for a three-day forum designed to mobilize investment and action to realize the goal of ensuring Sustainable Energy for All.


The Forum will launch the UN Decade on Sustainable Energy for All with a two-year focus on energy for women and children’s health. A UN-backed report said renewable energy capacity grew 8.3 per cent in 2013.

Action needed to safeguard genetic diversity of the world's forests-FAO


UN Photo/Kibae Park

According to The State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources report, half of the forest species reported as regularly utilized by countries are threatened by the conversion of forests to pastures and farmland, overexploitation, and the impacts of climate change.


The contribution of forests and trees to boosting food security, reducing poverty, and promoting sustainable development depends on the availability of a rich diversity of tree species.




State of World’s Midwifery Report 2014

Small islands

UN Photo/Muldoon/ARA

Midwives are the unsung heroes of maternal and newborn health. They can prevent about two thirds of deaths among women and newborns. UNFPA and partners produced 2014 edition of The State of the World's Midwifery report to shed light on the important role of these healthcare professionals. The report shines a light on the vast shortage of midwives across low- and middle-income countries, and on the progress made since our inaugural report in 2011.



International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on Islands

Small islands

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Islands and their surrounding near-shore marine areas constitute unique ecosystems often comprising many plant and animal species that are endemic—found nowhere else on Earth.


The legacy of a unique evolutionary history these ecosystems are irreplaceable treasures. They are also key to the livelihood, economy, well-being and cultural identity of 600 million islanders—one-tenth of the world’s population. #islands2014


New UN report on water and sanitation

Access to water and sanitation

UN Photo/Kibae Park

Since 1990, almost 2 billion people globally have gained access to improved sanitation, and 2.3 billion have gained access to drinking-water from improved sources.


Some 1.6 billion of these people have piped water connections in their homes or compounds, according to a new WHO/UNICEF report, which also highlights a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas.





Steady progress on saving mothers’ lives: WHO

Mother with a baby

UN Photo/Mark Garten

New UN data show a 45 per cent reduction in maternal deaths since 1990. An estimated 289,000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523,000 in 1990. Eleven countries that had high levels of maternal mortality in 1990 have already reached the MDG5 target of a 75 per cent reduction in maternal mortality. Check out and share these infographics.





Two-thirds of world’s nearly 3 billion internet users from developing countries: ITU

Girl looking at the computer

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

New figures released by ITU today indicate that, by end 2014, there will be almost 3 billion Internet users, two-thirds of them coming from the developing world, and that the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally. Fifty-five per cent of these subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world. Increasing access to technologies is part of MDG8.








A historic moment to defeat malaria

World Malaria Day poster

This year’s World Malaria Day—observed annually on 25 April— is marked as the international community is accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. According to the UN Special Envoy for Malaria, investments to fight malaria saved over 3 million lives since 2000 but more action is needed to make historic strides for breaking this leading global killer of children.


Roll Back Malaria Campaign| Key facts about malaria| #DefeatMalaria


Sanitation and Water for All

Improving access to water and sanitation can help mitigate poverty and disease, and accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. At the High Level Meeting for the Sanitation and Water for All initiative (SWA), governments, banks, UN agencies and civil society evaluated progress on over 400 commitments made for improving water and sanitation access for the world.                                               
| Progress chart on SWA commitments| UN Secretary-General’s remarks|





Global Education Action

Global Education Action


The UN is joining forces with global leaders, civil society and celebrities to get all children into school by 2015. The Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action will aim to accelerate progress on the education targets of the Millennium Development Goals, and calls for: zero child marriage; zero child labour; zero discrimination against girls; and zero exclusion from education.





Commission on Population and Development

Roll Back Malaria event

UN Photo/Kibae Park

As a precursor to the Millennium Development Goals, the Cairo Conference in 1994 reflected a consensus among 179 UN Member States and others that individual human beings should be the focus of efforts promoting social and economic development. This year’s Commission will identify the major progress and challenges in addressing global population issues over the last 20 years. (Follow on Twitter using #CPD47 | UN Deputy Secretary-General’s message).


Investing in health speeds economic progress

Roll Back Malaria event

UN Photo/Martine Perret

Large-scale malaria interventions have saved millions of lives. “Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, we have seen proof that fighting malaria is a good investment that saves lives and speeds up economic progress,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a recent African Union-sponsored Roll Back Malaria event in Brussels. The Secretary-General encouraged African decision- makers to amplify investments in malaria control programmes. 


World Water Day: Water & Energy

World Water Day

Since 1990, more than 2 billion people gained access to clean drinking water. Continued progress is possible for millions of people still without access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and energy services. This year’s World Water Day—observed annually on 22 March—promotes sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy.
Join #WorldWaterDay | Share Water Day graphics| Learn about MDG 7




Positive results in the fight against hunger

Child eating
UN Photo/Albert González Farran

At the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) conference for Asia and the Pacific, a number of countries adopted a roadmap to push for zero hunger and greater food security in the region. In another positive trend, the UN World Food Programme and FAO are empowering sustainable results by providing training and technical support to small-scale farmers in Somalia.  See how in this photo essay.






Commission on the Status of Women

The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. This year, over 6,000 representatives of the 193 Member States, UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will discuss challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Join the conversation using #CSW58.



Equality for women is progress for all

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March, is an opportunity to review the challenges and achievements in the implementation of Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. “The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message for the Day. Join the conversation using #IWD2014 and follow all the UN’s  IWD events.



World Day of Social Justice


“The World Day of Social Justice is observed to highlight the power of global solidarity to advance opportunity for all,” the UN Secretary-General said. UN leadership urged the international community to amplify efforts for accelerating MDG progress. The UN annually observes the World Day of Social Justice on 20 February. #SocialJustice







Rights at the heart of development


Evidence from the latest International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Global Review Report shows that 70 percent of governments have said equality and rights are priorities for development. The landmark report, which gathers data form 176 Member States and inputs from civil society, also highlights achievements in the fight against poverty and addresses gaps in tackling inequalities endured by women and children.






Achieving quality education for all

Education for All Global Monitoring Report

The 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows why education is pivotal for development in a rapidly changing world. The report highlights the need to promote quality education by investing wisely in teachers. According to the report, some 125 million school children around the world are unable to read a single sentence, even after four years of attendance.







Investing in girls’ empowerment

Ban Ki-moon with President Kagame and Prime Minister Solberg

Leaders of the MDG Advocacy Group participated in a special event at Davos called, Scaling up Success: Investing in Girl Empowerment for MDG Acceleration. “We have to take stock and make a final push for success. And this demands that we invest in the more than half a billion adolescent girls in developing countries who can help drive progress across the MDG agenda,” the Secretary-General said.






Sustainable food systems crucial to fighting hunger

Water buffalos

At the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlighted the positive role sustainable food systems can play in the fight against hunger. Every day, 840 million people go hungry. "We need to produce nutritious food for all people today while also protecting the capacity of future generations to feed themselves,” said Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General.






Seizing momentum for 2014

Ban Ki Moon

In a briefing on UN challenges for 2014, the Secretary-General spoke on the MDGs and post-2015, saying, “Political leaders are deeply engaged in the global discussion on development, key constituencies are mobilized and we increasingly know what works. We must seize this momentum.”






UN officials stress MDG acceleration at 'Group of 77' meeting

Group 77 meeting

UN officials stressed the importance of fulfilling development commitments and accelerating achievement of the MDGs at the annual handover ceremony of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. "As never before, we have the tools to eradicate poverty, improve social and economic well-being and lay the foundations for a sustainable future," the Secretary-General said to Member States.



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