Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals by 2015:

  1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. To achieve universal primary education
  3. To promote gender equality and empower women
  4. To reduce child mortality
  5. To improve maternal health
  6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. To ensure environmental sustainability[1]
  8. To develop a global partnership for development[2]
Flag of the United Nations
The Millennium Development Goals are a UN initiative.

Each goal had specific targets, and dates for achieving those targets. The 8 goals were measured by 18 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 (AfDB) to cancel $40 to $55 billion in debt owed by members of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) to allow them to redirect resources to programs for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty.

Interventions evaluated include (1) improvements required to meet the millennium development goals (MDG) for water supply (by halving by 2015 the proportion of those without access to safe drinking water), (2) meet the water MDG plus halving by 2015 the proportion of those without access to adequate sanitation, (3) increasing access to improved water and sanitation for everyone, (4) providing disinfection at point-of-use over and above increasing access to improved water supply and sanitation (5) providing regulated piped water supply in house and sewage connection with partial sewerage for everyone (Hutton, G. Evaluation of the Cost and Benefits of Water and Sanitation Improvements at the Global Level, 2004 WHO-Geneva)

Critics of the MDGs complained of a lack of analysis and justification behind the chosen objectives, and the difficulty or lack of measurements for some goals and uneven progress, among others. Although developed countries' aid for achieving the MDGs rose during the challenge period, more than half went for debt relief and much of the remainder going towards natural disaster relief and military aid, rather than further development.

As of 2013, progress towards the goals was uneven. Some countries achieved many goals, while others were not on track to realize any. A UN conference in September 2010 reviewed progress to date and adopted a global plan to achieve the eight goals by their target date. New commitments targeted women's and children's health, and new initiatives in the worldwide battle against poverty, hunger and disease.

Among the non-governmental organizations assisting were 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.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the MDGs in 2016.

Official logos for each of the Millennium Development Goals.


Millennium Summit

Preparations for the 2000 Millennium Summit launched with the report of the Secretary-General entitled, "We the people: The Role of the United Nations in the Twenty-First Century". Additional input was prepared by the Millennium Forum, which brought together representatives of over 1,000 non-governmental and civil society organizations from more than 100 countries. The Forum met in May to conclude a two-year consultation process covering issues such as poverty eradication, environmental protection, human rights and protection of the vulnerable.

MDGs derive from earlier development targets, where world leaders adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The approval of the Millennium Declaration was the main outcome of the Millennium Summit.

The MDGs originated from the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The Declaration asserted that every individual has dignity; and hence, the right to freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence and encourages tolerance and solidarity. The MDGs set concrete targets and indicators for poverty reduction in order to achieve the rights set forth in the Declaration.[3]


The Brahimi Report provided the basis of the goals in the area of peace and security.

The Millennium Summit Declaration was, however, only part of the origins of the MDGs. More ideas came from Adam Figueroa, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A series of UN‑led conferences in the 1990s focused on issues such as children, nutrition, human rights and women. The OECD criticized major donors for reducing their levels of Official Development Assistance (ODA). UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan signed a report titled, We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century. The OECD had formed its International Development Goals (IDGs). The two efforts were combined for the World Bank's 2001 meeting to form the MDGs.[4]

Human capital, infrastructure and human rights

The MDGs emphasized three areas: human capital, infrastructure and human rights (social, economic and political), with the intent of increasing living standards.[5] Human capital objectives include nutrition, healthcare (including child mortality, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and reproductive health) and education. Infrastructure objectives include access to safe drinking water, energy and modern information/communication technology; increased farm outputs using sustainable practices; transportation; and environment. Human rights objectives include empowering women, reducing violence, increasing political voice, ensuring equal access to public services and increasing security of property rights. The goals were intended to increase an individual’s human capabilities and "advance the means to a productive life". The MDGs emphasize that each nation's policies should be tailored to that country's needs; therefore most policy suggestions are general.


MDGs emphasize the role of developed countries in aiding developing countries, as outlined in Goal Eight, which sets objectives and targets for developed countries to achieve a "global partnership for development" by supporting fair trade, debt relief, increasing aid, access to affordable essential medicines and encouraging technology transfer. Thus developing nations ostensibly became partners with developed nations in the struggle to reduce world poverty.


Millennium Development Goals, UN Headquarters, New York City, New York - 20080501
A poster at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, New York, United States, showing the Millennium Development Goals.

The MDGs were developed out of several commitments set forth in the Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000. There are eight goals with 21 targets,[6] and a series of measurable health indicators and economic indicators for each target.[7][8]

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

  • Target 1A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day[9]
    • Poverty gap ratio [incidence x depth of poverty]
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  • Target 1B: Achieve Decent Employment for Women, Men, and Young People
    • GDP Growth per Employed Person
    • Employment Rate
    • Proportion of employed population below $1.25 per day (PPP values)
    • Proportion of family-based workers in employed population
  • Target 1C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption[10]

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

  • Target 2A: By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys
    • Enrollment in primary education
    • Completion of primary education[11]

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Target 3A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
    • Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
    • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
    • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament[12]

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

The Maternal Mortality Ratio is the KPI used by the UN to measure Maternal health
  • Target 5A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1999 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
    • Maternal mortality ratio
    • Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
  • Target 5B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
    • Contraceptive prevalence rate
    • Adolescent birth rate
    • Antenatal care coverage
    • Unmet need for family planning[14]

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

  • Target 6A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    • HIV prevalence among population aged 15–24 years
    • Condom use at last high-risk sex
    • Proportion of population aged 15–24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS
  • Target 6B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
    • Proportion of population with advanced HIV infection with access to anti-retroviral drugs
  • Target 6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
    • Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria
    • Proportion of children under 5 sleeping under insecticide-treated bednets
    • Proportion of children under 5 with fever who are treated with appropriate anti-malarial drugs
    • Incidence, prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
    • Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course)[15]

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

  • Target 7A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
  • Target 7B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
    • Proportion of species threatened with extinction
  • Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
  • Target 7D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums[16]

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

  • Target 8A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
  • Target 8B: Address the Special Needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
    • Includes: tariff and quota-free access for LDC exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for HIPC and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA (Official Development Assistance) for countries committed to poverty reduction
  • Target 8C: Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
    • Through the Programme of Action for the sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly
  • Target 8D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term
    • Some of the indicators listed below are monitored separately for the least developed countries (LDCs), Africa, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States.
    • Official development assistance (ODA):
      • Net ODA, total and to LDCs, as percentage of OECD/DAC donors’ GNI
      • Proportion of total sector-allocable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation)
      • Proportion of bilateral ODA of OECD/DAC donors that is untied
      • ODA received in landlocked countries as proportion of their GNIs
      • ODA received in small island developing States as proportion of their GNIs
    • Market access:
      • Proportion of total developed country imports (by value and excluding arms) from developing countries and from LDCs, admitted free of duty
      • Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on agricultural products and textiles and clothing from developing countries
      • Agricultural support estimate for OECD countries as percentage of their GDP
      • Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity
    • Debt sustainability:
      • Total number of countries that have reached their HIPC decision points and number that have reached their HIPC completion points (cumulative)
      • Debt relief committed under HIPC initiative, US$
      • Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services
  • Target 8E: In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries
    • Proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis
  • Target 8F: In co-operation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
    • Telephone lines and cellular subscribers per 100 population
    • Personal computers in use per 100 population
    • Internet users per 100 Population[17]



General criticisms include a perceived lack of analytical power and justification behind the chosen objectives.[18]

The MDGs lack strong objectives and indicators for within-country equality, despite significant disparities in many developing nations.[18][19]

Iterations of proven local successes should be scaled up to address the larger need through human energy and existing resources using methodologies such as participatory rural appraisal, asset-based community development, or SEED-SCALE.[20]

MDG 8 uniquely focuses on donor achievements, rather than development successes. The Commitment to Development Index, published annually by the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., is considered the best numerical indicator for MDG 8.[21] It is a more comprehensive measure of donor progress than official development assistance, as it takes into account policies on a number of indicators that affect developing countries such as trade, migration and investment.

The MDGs were attacked for insufficient emphasis on environmental sustainability.[18] Thus, they do not capture all elements needed to achieve the ideals set out in the Millennium Declaration.[19]

Agriculture was not specifically mentioned in the MDGs even though most of the world's poor are farmers.

Alleged lack of legitimacy

The entire MDG process has been accused of lacking legitimacy as a result of failure to include, often, the voices of the very participants that the MDGs seek to assist. The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, in its post 2015 thematic consultation document on MDG 69 states "The major limitation of the MDGs by 2015 was the lack of political will to implement due to the lack of ownership of the MDGs by the most affected constituencies".[22]

Human rights

The MDGs may under-emphasize local participation and empowerment (other than women’s empowerment).[18] FIAN International, a human rights organization focusing on the right to adequate food, contributed to the Post 2015 process by pointing out a lack of: "primacy of human rights; qualifying policy coherence; and of human rights based monitoring and accountability. Without such accountability, no substantial change in national and international policies can be expected."[23]

Human capital

MDG 2 focuses on primary education and emphasizes enrollment and completion. In some countries, primary enrollment increased at the expense of achievement levels. In some cases, the emphasis on primary education has negatively affected secondary and post-secondary education.[24]

A publication from 2005 argued that goals related to maternal mortality, malaria and tuberculosis are impossible to measure and that current UN estimates lack scientific validity or are missing.[25] Household surveys are the primary measure for the health MDGs but may be poor and duplicative measurements that consume limited resources. Furthermore, countries with the highest levels of these conditions typically have the least reliable data collection. The study also argued that without accurate measures, it is impossible to determine the amount of progress, leaving MDGs as little more than a rhetorical call to arms.[25]

MDG proponents such as McArthur and Sachs countered that setting goals is still valid despite measurement difficulties, as they provide a political and operational framework to efforts. With an increase in the quantity and quality of healthcare systems in developing countries, more data could be collected.[26] They asserted that non-health related MDGs were often well measured, and that not all MDGs were made moot by lack of data.

The attention to well being other than income helps bring funding to achieving MDGs.[18] Further MDGs prioritize interventions, establish obtainable objectives with useful measurements of progress despite measurement issues and increased the developed world’s involvement in worldwide poverty reduction.[27] MDGs include gender and reproductive rights, environmental sustainability, and spread of technology. Prioritizing interventions helps developing countries with limited resources make decisions about allocating their resources. MDGs also strengthen the commitment of developed countries and encourage aid and information sharing.[18] The global commitment to the goals likely increases the likelihood of their success. They note that MDGs are the most broadly supported poverty reduction targets in world history.[28]

Achieving the MDGs does not depend on economic growth alone. In the case of MDG 4, developing countries such as Bangladesh have shown that it is possible to reduce child mortality with only modest growth with inexpensive yet effective interventions, such as measles immunization.[29] Still, government expenditure in many countries is not enough to meet the agreed spending targets.[30] Research on health systems suggests that a "one size fits all" model will not sufficiently respond to the individual healthcare profiles of developing countries; however, the study found a common set of constraints in scaling up international health, including the lack of absorptive capacity, weak health systems, human resource limitations, and high costs. The study argued that the emphasis on coverage obscures the measures required for expanding health care. These measures include political, organizational, and functional dimensions of scaling up, and the need to nurture local organizations.[31]

Fundamental issues such as gender, the divide between the humanitarian and development agendas and economic growth will determine whether or not the MDGs are achieved, according to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).[32][33][34]

The International Health Partnership (IHP+) aimed to accelerate MDG progress by applying international principles for effective aid and development in the health sector. In developing countries, significant funding for health came from external sources requiring governments to coordinate with international development partners. As partner numbers increased variations in funding streams and bureaucratic demands followed. By encouraging support for a single national health strategy, a single monitoring and evaluation framework, and mutual accountability, IHP+ attempted to build confidence between government, civil society, development partners and other health stakeholders.[35]


Further developments in rethinking strategies and approaches to achieving the MDGs include research by the Overseas Development Institute into the role of equity.[36] Researchers at the ODI argued that progress could be accelerated due to recent breakthroughs in the role equity plays in creating a virtuous circle where rising equity ensures the poor participate in their country's development and creates reductions in poverty and financial stability.[36] Yet equity should not be understood purely as economic, but also as political. Examples abound, including Brazil's cash transfers, Uganda's eliminations of user fees and the subsequent huge increase in visits from the very poorest or else Mauritius's dual-track approach to liberalization (inclusive growth and inclusive development) aiding it on its road into the World Trade Organization.[36] Researchers at the ODI thus propose equity be measured in league tables in order to provide a clearer insight into how MDGs can be achieved more quickly; the ODI is working with partners to put forward league tables at the 2010 MDG review meeting.[36]

The effects of increasing drug use were noted by the International Journal of Drug Policy as a deterrent to the goal of the MDGs.[37]

Women's issues

Geena Davis at the podium (9922450166)
The Hollywood actress Geena Davis in a speech at the MDG Countdown event at the Ford Foundation in New York, addressing gender roles and issues in film such as her organisation's work in combating inequality in Hollywood (24 September 2013)

Increased focus on gender issues could accelerate MDG progress, e.g. empowering women through access to paid work could help reduce child mortality.[38] In South Asian countries babies often suffered from low birth weight and high mortality due to limited access to healthcare and maternal malnutrition. Paid work could increase women's access to health care and better nutrition, reducing child mortality. Increasing female education and workforce participation increased these effects. Improved economic opportunities for women also decreased participation in the sex market, which decreased the spread of AIDS, MDG 6A.[38] Another way in which women can be empowered is through access to paid work. Kabeer states that this access increases women’s agency in their households, it does so in the economic and political spheres as well. A study of women in rural Mexico found that those of them engaged in industrial work were able to negotiate and obtain a greater degree of respect in their households. Additionally, another study from Tanzania found that increased access to paid work led to a long-term reduction in domestic violence. Lastly, Women’s employment and access to financial resources increased their political participation. Data from Bangladesh indicates that longer membership in microfinance organizations have many positive effects including higher levels of political participation and improved access to government programs.[39]

Although the resources, technology and knowledge exist to decrease poverty through improving gender equality, the political will is often missing.[40] If donor and developing countries focused on seven "priority areas", great progress could be made towards the MDG. These seven priority areas include: increasing girls’ completion of secondary school, guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health rights, improving infrastructure to ease women’s and girl’s time burdens, guaranteeing women’s property rights, reducing gender inequalities in employment, increasing seats held by women in government, and combating violence against women.[40]

It is thought that the current MDGs targets do not place enough emphasis on tracking gender inequalities in poverty reduction and employment as there are only gender goals relating to health, education, and political representation.[38][41] To encourage women’s empowerment and progress towards the MDGs, increased emphasis should be placed on gender mainstreaming development policies and collecting data based on gender.


Extreme poverty 1981-2008
Graph of global population living on under 1, 1.25 and 2 equivalent of 2005 US dollars a day (red) and as a proportion of world population (blue) from 1981 to 2008 based on data from The World Bank

Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven across countries. Brazil achieved many of the goals,[42] while others, such as Benin, are not on track to realize any.[43] The major successful countries include China (whose poverty population declined from 452 million to 278 million) and India.[44] The World Bank estimated that MDG 1A (halving the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day) was achieved in 2008 mainly due to the results from these two countries and East Asia.[45]

In the early 1990s Nepal was one of the world's poorest countries and remains South Asia's poorest country. Doubling health spending and concentrating on its poorest areas halved maternal mortality between 1998 and 2006. Its Multidimensional Poverty Index has seen the largest decreases of any tracked country. Bangladesh has made some of the greatest improvements in infant and maternal mortality ever seen, despite modest income growth.[46]

Between 1990 and 2010 the population living on less than $1.25 a day in developing countries halved to 21%, or 1.2 billion people, achieving MDG1A before the target date, although the biggest decline was in China, which took no notice of the goal. However, the child mortality and maternal mortality are down by less than half. Sanitation and education targets will also be missed.[46]

Multilateral debt reduction

G‑8 Finance Ministers met in London in June 2005 in preparation for the Gleneagles Summit in July and agreed to provide enough funds to the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to cancel the remaining HIPC multilateral debt ($40 to $55 billion). Recipients would theoretically re-channel debt payments to health and education.[47]

The Gleaneagles plan became the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Countries became eligible once their lending agency confirmed that the countries had continued to maintain the reforms they had implemented.[47]

While the World Bank and AfDB limited MDRI to countries that complete the HIPC program, the IMF's eligibility criteria were slightly less restrictive so as to comply with the IMF's unique "uniform treatment" requirement. Instead of limiting eligibility to HIPC countries, any country with per capita income of $380 or less qualified for debt cancellation. The IMF adopted the $380 threshold because it closely approximated the HIPC threshold.[47]

Sub-Saharan Africa

One success was to strengthen rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa. By the mid‑1990s, rice imports reached nearly $1 billion annually. Farmers had not found suitable rice varieties that produce high yields. New Rice for Africa (NERICA), a high-yielding and well adapted strain, was developed and introduced in areas including Congo Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda. Some 18 varieties of this strain became available, enabling African farmers to produce enough rice to feed their families and have extra to sell.[48]

The region also showed progress towards MDG 2. School fees that included Parent-Teacher Association and community contributions, textbook fees, compulsory uniforms and other charges took up nearly a quarter of a poor family’s income and led countries including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda to eliminate such fees, increasing enrollment. For instance, in Ghana, public school enrollment in the most deprived districts rose from 4.2 million to 5.4 million between 2004 and 2005. In Kenya, primary school enrollment added 1.2 million in 2003 and by 2004, the number had climbed to 7.2 million.[49]

Following the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in 2000, Jeffrey Sachs of The Earth Institute at Columbia University was among the leading academic scholars and practitioners on the MDGs. He chaired the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (2000–01), which played a pivotal role in scaling up the financing of health care and disease control in the low-income countries to support MDGs 4, 5, and 6. He worked with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000–2001 to design and launch The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.[50] He also worked with senior officials of the George W. Bush administration to develop the PEPFAR program to fight HIV/AIDS, and the PMI to fight malaria. On behalf of Annan, from 2002 to 2006 he chaired the UN Millennium Project, which was tasked with developing a concrete action plan to achieve the MDGs. The UN General Assembly adopted the key recommendations of the UN Millennium Project at a special session in September 2005. The recommendations for rural Africa are currently being implemented and documented in the Millennium Villages, and in several national scale-up efforts such as in Nigeria.

The Millennium Villages Project, which Sachs directs, operates in more than a dozen African countries and covers more than 500,000 people. The MVP has engendered considerable controversy associated as critics have questioned both the design of the project and claims made for its success. In 2012 The Economist reviewed the project and concluded "the evidence does not yet support the claim that the millennium villages project is making a decisive impact."[51] Critics have pointed to the failure to include suitable controls that would allow an accurate determination of whether the Projects methods were responsible for any observed gains in economic development. A 2012 Lancet paper claiming a 3-fold increase in the rate of decline in childhood mortality was criticized for flawed methodology, and the authors later admitted that the claim was "unwarranted and misleading".[52]

Malaria deaths declined by more than one-third, saving millions of lives.[53]

Although developed countries' financial aid rose during the Millennium Challenge, more than half went towards debt relief. Much of the remainder aid money went towards disaster relief and military aid. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2006), the 50 least developed countries received about one third of all aid that flows from developed countries.[37]

Funding commitment

Over the past 35 years, UN members have repeatedly "commit[ted] 0.7% of rich-countries' gross national income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance".[54] The commitment was first made in 1970 by the UN General Assembly.

The text of the commitment was:

Each economically advanced country will progressively increase its official development assistance to the developing countries and will exert its best efforts to reach a minimum net amount of 0.7 percent of its gross national product at market prices by the middle of the decade.[55]

European Union

In 2005 the European Union reaffirmed its commitment to the 0.7% aid targets, noting that "four out of the five countries, which exceed the UN target for ODA of 0.7%, of GNI are member states of the European Union".[56] Further, the UN "believe[s] that donors should commit to reaching the long-standing target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015".[55]

United States

However, the United States as well as other nations disputed the Monterrey Consensus that urged "developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries".[57][58]

The US consistently opposed setting specific foreign-aid targets since the UN General Assembly first endorsed the 0.7% goal in 1970.[59]


Many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, did not donate 0.7% of their GNI. Some nations' contributions fell far short of 0.7%.[60]

The Australian government committed to providing 0.5% of GNI in International Development Assistance by 2015-2016.[61]

Review Summit 2010

A major conference was held at UN headquarters in New York on 20–22 September 2010 to review progress. The conference concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to accelerate progress towards the eight anti-poverty goals. Major new commitments on women's and children's health, poverty, hunger and disease ensued.


According to MDG Monitor, the target under MDG 3 "To eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and in all levels of education by 2015" was met.[62]

However MDG monitor points out that while parity has been achieved across the developing world, there are regional and national differences favouring girls in some cases and boys in others. In secondary education in "Western Asia, Oceania, and sub-Saharan Africa, girls are still at a disadvantage, while the opposite is true in Latin America and the Caribbean – boys are at a disadvantage." Similarly in tertiary education there are disparities "at the expense of men in Northern Africa, Eastern Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean" while conversely they are "at the expense of women in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa."[62]


Improving living conditions in developing countries may encourage healthy workers not to move to other places that offer a better lifestyle.[63]

Cuba, itself a developing country, played a significant role in providing medical personnel to other developing nations; it has trained more than 14,500 medical students from 30 different countries at its Latin American School of Medicine in Havana since 1999. Moreover, some 36,000 Cuban physicians worked in 72 countries, from Europe to Southeast Asia, including 31 African countries, and 29 countries in the Americas. Countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua benefit from Cuban assistance.[64]

Post 2015 development agenda

Although there have been major advancements and improvements achieving some of the MDGs even before the deadline of 2015, the progress has been uneven between the countries. In 2012 the UN Secretary-General established the "UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda", bringing together more than 60 UN agencies and international organizations to focus and work on sustainable development.[65]

At the MDG Summit, UN Member States discussed the Post-2015 Development Agenda and initiated a process of consultations. Civil society organizations also engaged in the post-2015 process, along with academia and other research institutions, including think tanks.[66]

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been proposed as targets relating to future international development once they expire at the end of 2015.

On 31 July 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed 26 public and private leaders to advise him on the post-MDG agenda.[67]

In 2014, the UN's Commission on the Status of Women agreed on a document that called for the acceleration of progress towards achieving the millennium development goals, and confirmed the need for a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women's empowerment in post-2015 goals, and for gender equality to underpin all of the post-2015 goals.[68]

Related activities/organisations

The United Nations Millennium Campaign is a UNDP campaign to increase support for the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Campaign targets intergovernmental, government, civil society organizations and media at global and regional levels.

The Millennium Promise Alliance, Inc. (or simply the "Millennium Promise") is a U.S.-based non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Jeffrey Sachs and Ray Chambers.[69] Millennium Promise coordinates the Millennium Villages Project in partnership with Columbia's Earth Institute and UNDP; it aims to demonstrate MDG feasibility through an integrated, community-led approach. As of 2012 the Millennium Villages Project operated in 14 sites across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.[70]

The Global Poverty Project[71] is an international education and advocacy organisation that encourages MC support in English-speaking countries.

The Micah Challenge is an international campaign that encourages Christians to support the Millennium Development Goals. Their aim is to "encourage our leaders to halve global poverty by 2015".[72]

The Youth in Action EU Programme "Cartoons in Action" project[73] created animated videos about MDGs,[74] and videos about MDG targets using Arcade C64 videogames.[74][75]

The World We Want 2015 is a platform and joint venture between the United Nations and Civil Society Organizations that supports citizen participation in defining a new global development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals.


The Teach MDGs, and Accessing Development Education European projects, coordinated by Future Worlds Center aim to increase MDG awareness and public support by engaging teacher training institutes, teachers and pupils in developing local teaching resources that promote the MDGs with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.[76]

Global Education Magazine[77] is an initiative launched by the teaching team that formulated the proposal most voted in the group "Sustainable Development for the Eradication of Poverty in Rio+20".[78] It is supported by UNESCO and UNHCR and aims to create a common place to disseminate transcultural, transpolitical, transnational and transhumanist knowledge.

UN Goals

UN Goals is a global project dedicated to spreading knowledge of MDG through various internet and offline awareness campaigns.This has had tremendous progress.

Libraries and the Millennium Development Goals

Librarians and others in the information professions are in a unique position to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It is often the dissemination of key information, e.g., about health, that changes daily life and can affect an entire community.

Millennium Development Goals are not only for the developing world. Maret (2011) specifically addresses how U.S. public libraries can help the United States meet the goals.[79] The work of U.S. librarians has evolved in a manner that incorporates human rights values and precepts without having generally used the language that characterizes the philosophical and ethical goals of human rights and human development.[80] Librarians are able to further the Millennium Development Goals and contribute by providing information and services to all people in varying formats and languages.

Albright and Kwooya (2007) report that cultural and financial barriers in Sub-Saharan Africa impede LIS education programs. As a result, MDG goals for poverty, healthcare, and education fall short. High rates of HIV/AIDS, and escalating child and maternal mortality are the direct result of poverty and substandard medical care. Limited instruction in information access and exchange contributes to this ongoing dilemma.[81]

See also


  1. ^ [1], United Nations Millennium Development Goals website, retrieved 21 September 2013
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External links

8 (2008 film)

8 is an anthology film consisting of eight short films centered on the eight Millennium Development Goals.

Gapminder Foundation

Gapminder Foundation is a non-profit venture registered in Stockholm, Sweden, that promotes sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

Health in Iraq

Iraq is belonging to WHO health region Eastern Mediterranean and classified as upper middle according to World Bank income classification 2013. The state of health in Iraq has fluctuated during its turbulent recent history and specially during the last 4 decade. The country had one of the highest medical standards in the region during the period of 1980s and up until 1991, the annual total health budget was about $450 million in average. The 1991 Gulf war incurred Iraq’s major infrastructures a huge damage. This includes health care system, sanitation, transport, water and electricity supplies. UN economic sanctions aggravated the process of deterioration. The annual total health budget for the country, a decade after the sanctions had fallen to $ 22 million which is barely 5% of what it was in 1980s.. During its last decade, the regime of Saddam Hussein cut public health funding by 90 percent, contributing to a substantial deterioration in health care. During that period, maternal mortality increased nearly threefold, and the salaries of medical personnel decreased drastically. Medical facilities, which in 1980 were among the best in the Middle East, deteriorated. Conditions were especially serious in the south, where malnutrition and water-borne diseases became common in the 1990s. Health indicators deteriorated during the 1990s. In the late 1990s, Iraq’s infant mortality rates more than doubled. Because treatment and diagnosis of cancer and diabetes decreased in the 1990s, complications and deaths resulting from those diseases increased drastically in the late 1990s and early 2000s.The conflict of 2003 destroyed an estimated 12 percent of hospitals and Iraq’s two main public health laboratories. The collapse of sanitation infrastructure in 2003 led to an increased incidence of cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever. Malnutrition and childhood diseases, which had increased significantly in the late 1990s, continued to spread. In 2005 the incidence of typhoid, cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis was higher in Iraq than in comparable countries.In 2006 some 73 percent of cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Iraq originated with blood transfusions and 16 percent from sexual transmission. The AIDS Research Centre in Baghdad, where most cases have been diagnosed, provides free treatment, and testing is mandatory for foreigners entering Iraq. Between October 2005 and January 2006, some 26 new cases were identified, bringing the official total to 261 since 1986. The 2003 invasion and its aftermath of considerable insecurity and instability combined with battered infrastructure make that the progress in health indicator had not been that good as they should be compared with many countries in the region. In 2010 was the life expectancy 58 years, down from 65 years 30 years prior. By 2011 tuberculosis had reached levels 6 times higher than in Syria and 30 times higher than in Jordan. Between 2000 and 201l, the child immunization rates dropped by 20%. Iraq have not achieved its Millennium development goals number 4 and 5 by 2015.

Health in Seychelles

Seychelles has reached the epidemiological shift from communicable to noncommunicable diseases. Most communicable and infectious diseases have been controlled or eradicated. In 2014 the World Health Organization reported that the country was on target to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and had addressed some of the social determinants of health.

Health in the Philippines

In response to the Millennium Development Goals' focus on maternal and child health, the Philippines began the National Demographic and Health Survey in 1968 to assess the effectiveness of public health programs in the country.

Improved sanitation

Improved sanitation is a term used to categorize types or levels of sanitation for monitoring purposes. The term was coined by the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation of UNICEF and WHO in 2002 to help monitor the progress towards Goal Number 7 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The opposite of "improved sanitation" has been termed "unimproved sanitation" in the JMP definitions.

The Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation has been publishing updates on the global sanitation situation on an annual basis. For example, in 2015 it was reported that 68% percent of the world's population had access to improved sanitation.In 2017, JMP defined a new term: "basic sanitation service". This is defined as the use of improved sanitation facilities that are not shared with other households. A lower level of service is now called "limited sanitation service" which refers to use of improved sanitation facilities that are shared between two or more households. A higher level of service is called "safely managed sanitation". This is basic sanitation service where excreta are safely disposed of in situ or transported and treated offsite.

Improved water source

An improved water source (or improved drinking-water source or improved water supply) is a term used to categorize certain types or levels of water supply for monitoring purposes. It is defined as a type of water source that, by nature of its construction or through active intervention, is likely to be protected from outside contamination, in particular from contamination with fecal matter.The term was coined by the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation of UNICEF and WHO in 2002 to help monitor the progress towards Goal Number 7 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The opposite of "improved water source" has been termed "unimproved water source" in the JMP definitions.

In 2017, JMP defined a new term: "basic water service". This is defined as the drinking water coming from an improved source, and provided the collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a round trip. A lower level of service is now called "limited water service" which is the same as basic service but the collection time is longer than 30 minutes.

International Day of the Girl Child

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of Girls and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl Child. The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage. The celebration of the day also "reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women as a distinct cohort in development policy, programming, campaigning and research."

International Year of Sanitation

The year 2008 was declared the International Year of Sanitation by the United Nations in conjunction with the Water for Life Decade.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. Worldwide there are roughly 2.6 billion people who do not have access to basic sanitation today. The goal of 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation was to help raise awareness of this crisis and to accelerate progress towards reaching the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) and cutting the number of people without access to basic sanitation in half by the year 2015.

International development

For other forms of development, see Development (disambiguation).

International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of 'development' on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as developed country, developing country and least developed country, and for a field of practice and research that in various ways engages with international development processes. There are, however, many schools of thought and conventions regarding which are the exact features constituting the 'development' of a country.

Historically, development has often been largely synonymous with economic development. More recently, writers and practitioners have begun to discuss development in the more holistic and multi-disciplinary sense of human development. Other related concepts are, for instance, competitiveness, quality of life or subjective well-being.'International development' is different from the simple concept of 'development'. Whereas the latter, at its most basic, denotes simply the idea of change through time, international development has come to refer to a distinct field of practice, industry, and research; the subject of university courses and professional categorisations. It remains closely related to the set of institutions - especially the Bretton Woods Institutions - that arose after the Second World War with a focus on economic growth, alleviating poverty, and improving living conditions in previously colonised countries. The international community has codified development aims in, for instance, the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation

The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation by WHO and UNICEF is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG6) since 2016.

Until 2015, JMP was tasked with monitoring the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to drinking water and sanitation (MDG 7, Target 7c), which was to: "Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation".The JMP is housed within the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and supported by a Strategic Advisory Group of independent technical and policy experts as well as various Technical Task Forces convened around important specific topics.


The concept of leapfrogging is used in many different domains of economics and business, and was originally developed in the field of industrial organization and economic growth. The main idea beyond the concept of leapfrogging is that small and incremental innovations lead the dominant firm to stay ahead. However, sometimes, radical innovations will permit to new firms to leapfrog the ancient and dominant firm. The phenomenon can occur to firms but also to leadership of countries, or cities.

Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP or MSB), formerly known as the Millennium Seed Bank Project, is an international conservation project coordinated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. After being awarded a Millennium Commission grant in 1995, the project commenced in 1996, and is now housed in the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building situated in the grounds of Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Its purpose is to provide an "insurance policy" against the extinction of plants in the wild by storing seeds for future use. The storage facilities consist of large underground frozen vaults preserving the world's largest wild-plant seedbank or collection of seeds from wild species. The project had been started by Dr Peter Thompson and run by Paul Smith after the departure of Roger Smith. Roger Smith was awarded the OBE in 2000 in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to the Project.In collaboration with other biodiversity projects around the world, expeditions are sent to collect seeds from dryland plants. Where possible, collections are kept in the country of origin with duplicates being sent to the Millennium Seed Bank Project for storage. Major partnerships exist on all the continents, enabling the countries involved to meet international objectives such as the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The seed bank at Kew has gone through many iterations. The Kew Seed Bank facility, set up by Peter Thompson in 1980, preceded the MSBP and was headed by Roger Smith from 1980 to 2005. From 2005, Paul Smith took over as head of the MSBP. The Wellcome Trust Millennium Seed Bank building was designed by the firm Stanton WIlliams and opened by Prince Charles in 2000. The laboratories and offices are in two wings flanking a wide space open to visitors housing an exhibition, and also allowing them to watch the work of cleaning and preparing seeds for storage through the large windows of the work areas. There is also a view down to the entrance to the underground vaults where the seeds are stored at −20 °C (−4 °F). In 2001, the international programme of the MSBP was launched.

In April 2007, it banked its billionth seed, the Oxytenanthera abyssinica, a type of African bamboo.

In October 2009, it reached its 10% goal of banking all the world's wild plant species by adding Musa itinerans, a wild banana, to its seed vault. As estimates for the number of seed bearing plant species have increased, 34,088 wild plant species and 1,980,405,036 seeds in storage as of June 2015 represent over 13% of the world's wild plant species.

Millennium Summit

The Millennium Summit was a meeting among many world leaders lasting three days from 6 September to 8 September 2000 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Its purpose was to discuss the role of the United Nations at the turn of the 21st century. At this meeting, world leaders ratified the United Nations Millennium Declaration. This meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders in history as of the year 2000. It was followed by the World Summit five years later, which took place from 14 to 16 September 2005.

Muskoka Initiative

The Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is a funding initiative announced at the 36th G8 summit which commits member nations to collectively spend an additional $5 billion between 2010 and 2015 to accelerate progress toward the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, the reduction of maternal, infant and child mortality in developing countries. A second summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health was held in Toronto from May 28-30, 2014 in follow-up to the original 36th G8 summit.

Summit (meeting)

A summit meeting (or just summit) is an international meeting of heads of state or government, usually with considerable media exposure, tight security, and a prearranged agenda. Notable summit meetings include those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin during World War II. However, the term summit was not commonly used for such meetings until the Geneva Summit (1955). During the Cold War, when American presidents joined with Soviet or Chinese counterparts for one-on-one meetings, the media labelled the event as a "summit". The post–Cold War era has produced an increase in the number of "summit" events. Nowadays, international summits are the most common expression for global governance.

United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP)

The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) was established in 1998 to serve as the interface between the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations System. The work of UNFIP is overseen by the UNFIP Advisory Board, which is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General.

UNFIP facilitates innovative partnerships with companies, foundations and civil society organizations to create sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. UNFIP mobilizes expertise, technology, delivery systems, funding and other resources in support of the Millennium Development Goals.UNFIP is one component of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, which also includes the UN Democracy Fund.

United Nations Millennium Project

The Millennium Project was an initiative that focused on detailing the organizational means, operational priorities, and financing structures necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals or (MDGs). The goals are aimed at the reduction of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 world leaders had initiated the development of the MDGs and had set a completion date for the project of June 2005.

In order to support the MDGs, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Mark Malloch Brown launched the Millennium Project to determine the best strategies for achieving the MDGs. The Project was headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. The Millennium Project worked from 2002 to 2005 to devise a recommended plan of implementation that would allow all developing countries to meet the MDGs and thereby substantially improve the human condition by 2015. The Millennium Project presented its final recommendations in its report to the Secretary-General Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals, completed in January 2005.Ten theme-oriented task forces have been created in order to perform the majority of the research. The task forces are an amalgamation of representatives from the academic community, public and private sectors of society, civil society organizations, and UN agencies that also include participants from outside the UN. Each Task Force is composed of 15-20 members who are all international leaders in their specific area, and are selected on the basis of their practical experience and technical expertise.

Yaho Department

Yaho is a department in the Balé Province in southern Burkina Faso. Its capital lies at the town of Yaho. According to the 1996 census the department had a total population of 14,257. As of August 2009 the department's population has increased to 16,424.

Yaho is a rural commune consisting of 10 villages and the area is approximately 400 km2. The mayor of Yaho Commune since 2006 is Zounkata Tuina, an architect educated in Chalmers University of Technology at Gothenburg, Sweden. Currently, the Yaho population is working to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs). One project the people hope to initiate in the near future is a dam on a river along the western border, which could provide the region with irrigation to large farming areas and a big lake with fish.

United Nations System
Members and observers

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