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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

Spotlight

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The Secretary-General's Message on World Day Against Trafficking In Persons

 

30 July 2015 - Around the world, criminals are selling people for profit.  Vulnerable women and girls form the majority of human trafficking victims, including those driven into degrading sexual exploitation.

Trafficked persons are often tricked into servitude with the false promise of a well-paid job. Migrants crossing deadly seas and burning deserts to escape conflict, poverty and persecution are also at risk of being trafficked.  Individuals can find themselves alone in a foreign land where they have been stripped of their passports, forced into debt and exploited for labour.  Children and young people can find their lives stolen, their education blocked and their dreams dashed. It is an assault on their most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.


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The Secretary-General's Message on World Youth Skills Day

 

15 July 2015 - I welcome this first-ever commemoration of World Youth Skills Day.  On July 15th each year, the international community will underscore the value of helping young people to upgrade their own abilities to contribute to our common future.

While overall more young people have greater educational opportunities than in the past, there are still some 75 million adolescents who are out of school, denied the quality education they deserve and unable to acquire the skills they need.

We may see an understandably frustrated youth population – but that picture is incomplete.  With the right skills, these young people are exactly the force we need to drive progress across the global agenda and build more inclusive and vibrant societies.


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The Secretary-General's Message on World Population Day


11 July 2015
- Not since the end of the Second World War have so many people been forced from their homes across the planet. With nearly 60 million individuals having fled conflict or disaster, women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable.  Violent extremists and armed groups are committing terrible abuses that result in trauma, unintended pregnancy and infection with HIV and other diseases.  Shame and accountability rest squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators who wage cowardly battles across the bodies of innocents.


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The Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking

 

26 June 2015 - In September, leaders from around the world will meet at the United Nations to adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda to eradicate extreme poverty and provide a life of dignity for all.  This ambition, while achievable, must address various obstacles, including the deadly harm to communities and individuals caused by drug trafficking and drug abuse.

Our shared response to this challenge is founded on the international drug control conventions.  In full compliance with human rights standards and norms, the United Nations advocates a careful re-balancing of the international policy on controlled drugs.  We must consider alternatives to criminalization and incarceration of people who use drugs and focus criminal justice efforts on those involved in supply.  We should increase the focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care, as well as on economic, social and cultural strategies.  


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The Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Yoga

 

21 June 2015 - During a visit to India this year, I had the opportunity to practice yoga with one of my senior advisors.  Although he happened to be a son of the country, I might equally have done the same with many other colleagues from different parts of the world.  Yoga is an ancient discipline from a traditional setting that has grown in popularity to be enjoyed by practitioners in every region.  By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations.

Yoga offers a simple, accessible and inclusive means to promote physical and spiritual health and well-being.  It promotes respect for one’s fellow human beings and for the planet we share.  And yoga does not discriminate; to varying degrees, all people can practice, regardless of their relative strength, age or ability.



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