On 6th September 2000, 189 heads of states and governments met at the United Nations in New York to reaffirm their faith in the Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. The 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were adopted at the meeting. These 8 goals are seen as key to to freeing some of the world's poorest people from the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.
Millennium Development Goals:
1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than one U.S. dollar a day.
- Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
2 - Achieve universal primary education
- Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling. Increased enrollment must be accompanied by efforts to ensure that all children remain in school and receive a high-quality education
3 - Promote gender equality and empower women
- Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
4 - Reduce child mortality
- Reduce the mortality rate among children under five by two thirds.
5 - Improve maternal health
- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio.
6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
7 - Ensure environmental sustainability
- Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
- Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
- Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.
8 - Develop a global partnership for development
- Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. 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.
- Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term.
- In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.
- In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
- In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies - especially information and communications technologies.
The MDG's were introduced as part of a wider attempt to encourage the international community to stop talking about making a difference in the developing world and join forces to start doing something about it. The Millennium Development Goals have a crucial part to play in reducing poverty and encouraging progress in the developing world. As a result, NEPAD, COMESA, IFPMA, UNECA, and the African Development Bank have all come together in analysing the progress and discussing a way forward.
See MDG Review for further details.