Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015. The goals are:

  1. eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,
  2. achieving universal primary education,
  3. promoting gender equality and empowering women
  4. reducing child mortality rates,
  5. improving maternal health,
  6. combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
  7. ensuring environmental sustainability, and
  8. developing a global partnership for development.

Each of the goals has specific stated targets and dates for achieving those targets. To accelerate progress, the G8 Finance Ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide enough funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the African Development Bank (ADB) to cancel an additional $40–55 billion debt owed by members of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to allow impoverished countries to re-channel the resources saved from the forgiven debt to social programs for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty.

Debate has surrounded adoption of the MDGs, focusing on lack of analysis and justification behind the chosen objectives, the difficulty or lack of measurements for some of the goals, and uneven progress towards reaching the goals, among other criticisms. Although developed countries' aid for achieving the MDGs has been rising over recent years, more than half the aid is towards debt relief owed by poor countries, with remaining aid money going towards natural disaster relief and military aid which does not further development.

Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven. Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not on track to realize any. A UN conference in September 2010 reviewed progress to date and concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date. There were also new commitments on women's and children's health, and new initiatives in the worldwide battle against poverty, hunger and disease.

Government organizations assist in achieving those goals, among them are the United Nations Millennium Campaign, the Millennium Promise Alliance, Inc., the Global Poverty Project, the Micah Challenge, The Youth in Action EU Programme "Cartoons in Action" video project and the 8 Visions of Hope global art project.

Read more about Millennium Development Goals:  Background, Goals, Debate Surrounding The MDGs, Progress, Review Summit 2010, Challenges, Improvements, Post 2015 Development Agenda, Related Organizations

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