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Millennium Development Goals

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ImageThe eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty 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.

The MDGs are about people, about making sure that: 

  • Everyone has enough food to eat 
  • All children can attend and finish primary school 
  • Women enjoy the same opportunities and respect that men do 
  • More children under the age of five grow up healthy and strong 
  • Fewer and fewer mothers die during child birth 
  • The number of people contracting devastating diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria is continually reduced 
  • We leave a strong and healthy environment for our children and reverse the damage done 
  • The global community unites and works together to make the world more equitable, fair and just

The MDG story: A Roadmap to development

At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration and pledged to reach the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. This represented an unprecedented consensus by world leaders on the major global challenges of the 21st century as well as a common commitment to meet these challenges.

The Declaration and MDGs thus provide a road map and vision of a world free from poverty and hunger, with universal education, better health, environmental sustainability, freedom, justice and equality for all.

MDG1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

  • Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

  • Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling

MDG3: Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015

MDG4: Reduce child mortality

  • Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate among children under five

MDG5: Improve maternal health

  • Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio

MDG6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

  • Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015 
  • Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases by 2015

MDG7: Ensure environmental sustainability 

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse the loss of environment resources
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020

MDG8: Develop a global partnership for development

  • Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. This includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction -nationally and internationally 
  • Address the least developed countries' special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction 
  • Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States
  • Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term



Joint Message on the Occasion of World Teachers’ Day - Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies

Every year on World Teachers' Day, we celebrate educators and the central role they play in providing children everywhere with a quality education. Today, as the global community comes together around the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, the role teachers play has never have been more important.

The new global education goal, SDG 4 which is at the heart of the Education 2030 Agenda, calls for "inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". Realising this goal is critical to achieving all our global development targets – for strong societies depend on well-educated citizens and a well-trained workforce. But we can only realize this agenda if we invest in recruiting, supporting, and empowering teachers.


The Secretary-General's message on World Habitat Day


5 October 2015 - Each year on World Habitat Day, we reflect on the state of human settlements and on what we want the cities of the future to look like.

This year’s observance follows the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – an inspiring new framework that will guide our efforts to end poverty and ensure prosperity for all on a healthy planet.  

The new Sustainable Development Goals – which include SDG-11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – represent a broad international consensus that recognizes sustainable urban development as a transformational approach. As part of an integrated agenda, cities and human settlements have an important role to play across the entire spectrum of the 2030 Agenda.


The Secretary-General's message on The International Day of Older Persons


1 October 2015 - On the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons, we recognize that older persons are an enormous asset to society and make a significant contribution to global development.

On September 25 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Heads of State and governments committed themselves to building a sustainable world where no one, regardless of their age or gender, is left behind. In implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must account for the demographic changes of the next 15 years. These will have a direct bearing on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Remarks by the Secretary-General at summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda


New York, 25 September 2015

Esteemed co-Chairs of this post-2015 Summit,
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have reached a defining moment in human history.

The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity.

Member States have responded with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere.

It is a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.

It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms.

An agenda for the planet, our common home.

An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership.

It conveys the urgency of climate action.

It is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all.

Above all, it pledges to leave no one behind.  


The Secretary-General's message on The International Day of Peace 2015


21 September 2015 - This year's International Day of Peace comes at a time of deadly violence and destabilizing conflicts around the world. Rather than succumbing to despair, we have a collective responsibility to demand an end to the brutality and impunity that prevail.

I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.

Although it may seem hopelessly distant, the dream of peace pulses in the lives of people everywhere.