UN Millennium Development Goals
“We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want” - The United Nations Millennium Declaration, 2000.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration marked a commitment by world leaders to place development at the centre of the global agenda in the new millennium. As a measure of this commitment, developed and developing nations alike agreed to a series of Millennium Development Goals, which if achieved, will seriously reduce poverty and promote development. The target completion date for these goals was set as 2015.
This section examines the issues that the Millennium Development Goals aim to tackle. The eight goals require the international community to join forces in the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination.
The eight goals and their targets are as follows:
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger
Target: Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day
Target: Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
Target: Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education no later than 2015.
4. Reduce child mortality
Target: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate among children under five.
5. Improve maternal health
Target: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
Target: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into countries policies and programmes; reverse the loss of environmental resources.
Target: Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water
Target: Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Target: Develop further an open, rule based, predictable, nondiscriminatory trading and financial system (includes a commitment to good governance, development, and poverty reduction—both nationally and internationally).
Target: Address the special needs of the least developed countries (includes tariff- and quota free access for exports, enhanced program of debt relief for and cancellation of official bilateral debt, and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction).
Target: Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states.
Target: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term
Target: In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth.
Target: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
Target: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies.