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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



The Secretary-General’s message on the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women


25 November 2015 - The atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress.

I am deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls living in conditions of armed conflict, who suffer various forms of violence, sexual assault, sexual slavery and trafficking. Violent extremists are perverting religious teachings to justify the mass subjugation and abuse of women. These are not random acts of violence, or the incidental fallout of war, but rather systematic efforts to deny women's freedoms and control their bodies. As the world strives to counter and prevent violence extremism, the protection and empowerment of women and girls must be a key consideration.


The Secretary-General's message on World Diabetes Day 2015


14 November 2015 - Close to 350 million people in the world have diabetes, and the prevalence is rising rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. There is much all of us can do to minimize our risk of getting the disease and, even if we do get it, to live long and healthy lives with it.

People who have diabetes lose their ability to properly regulate their blood sugar. Out-of-control blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation.


The Secretary-General’s message on World Food Day 2015

16 October 2015 - This year's observance of World Food Day follows the landmark adoption by world leaders of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a set of 17 goals to guide our work towards a future of dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.

How we choose to grow, process, distribute and consume the food we eat has a profound effect on people, planet, prosperity and peace. Delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda will not be possible without rapid progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition. In the same way, delivering on the commitment to end hunger forever, for all people, will not be possible without major gains across the new Agenda.


The Secretary-General’s message for The International Day For Disaster Reduction

13 October 2015 - This year's observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is dedicated to the power of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.

In March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, I met with the President of Vanuatu,

His Excellency Baldwin Lonsdale, at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. On that very day, his island nation was devastated by Cyclone Pam, one of the strongest storms ever to strike the Pacific.

The force of the storm led to expectations that there would be great loss of life. Thankfully, this was not the case. One reason was that cyclone shelters built in the traditional style from local materials, saved many lives.


The Secretary-General's message on the International Day of the girl child


New York, 11 October 2015 - The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals rightly include key targets for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They offer an opportunity for a global commitment to breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and realizing our vision of a life of dignity for all.

Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030. That means enabling them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential. It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society.