The Millennium Development Goals: Eight Keys to a Better World

June 23, 2009 by cgsstlouischapter

                    By Sandra Lee, junior at Washington University

The Millennium Development Goals were adopted when 189 Heads of State and Government met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in September, 2000.  They agreed to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declarations committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of eight measurable time bound targets for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people.    World leaders have agreed to achieve the goals by the year 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals and their measurable targets are:

 

Goal 1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger
     
Target 1 Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day.
      Target 2:  Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all including women and young people.    

     Target 3:  Halve, between 1990and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

 

Goal 2 Achieve Universal Primary Education

        Target 1 Ensure that, by 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

 

Goal 3:  Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

        Target 1:  Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education,   preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.

 

Goal 4 Reduce Child Mortality

         Target 1:  Reduce by two thirds, between 1990and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

 

Goal 5:  Improve Maternal Health

          Target 1:     Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio

          Target 2:     Achieve universal access to reproductive health

 

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

          Target 1:  Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

          Target 2:  Achieve by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all who need it.

           Target 3:  Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

 

Goal 7:  Ensure Environmental Sustainability

        Target 1:  Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country  policies  and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources.

        Target 2:  Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss.

        Target 3 Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable   access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

        Target 4:  By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

 

Goal 8:  Develop a Global Partnership for Development
      
Target 1:  Address the special needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states.
       Target 2 Develop further an open, rule-based predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.

       Target 3 Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt
       Target 4:   In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.

     Target 5:  In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.

   It is important to understand why the Millennium Goals are unique in many powerful ways:
     They represent a compact between all the world’s major economic players.  Poorer countries pledged to improve policies and governance and increase accountability to their own citizens; wealthy countries pledged to provide the resources.  Since the commitment to achieve goals comes from the highest political levels, for the first time, entire governments are committed to their achievement-including the trade and finance ministers who hold the world’s purse strings. Major international financial institutions, the World Bank, the IMF, the regional development banks and increasingly, the membership of the World Trade Organization have made explicit that they will be accountable for achieving the Goals too.

       The world has never before seen so much prosperity.  The hundreds of billions that are being spent in Iraq have put things in perspective.  We might not need more than about $50 billion of additional aid per year to meet the Goals.  About $900 billion was invested in arms by governments in 2003 alone; and rich countries grant large support to their domestic agricultural producers, totaling $300 billion each year.  Financially, in the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about relatively small change.
     

     Performance against the goals is being monitored.  These are not just lofty statements of intent; precise monitoring mechanisms have been put in place, in the form of national Millennium Goals reports and the Secretary General’s reports to the General Assembly.  Civil society organizations around the world are creating their own set of reports as well, to ensure that governments are held to the highest possible standards of performance.  Over 60 country reports have already produced at the national level.

     The goals are clearly achievable.  Some have even argued that they are not in fact millennium, but “minimum” development goals.  Summit leaders believe that to set the bar any lower than this would be morally unacceptable.  Individual Goals have already been achieved by many countries in the space of only 10-15 years.

    The United Nations Millennium Campaign supports and inspires people from around the world to take action in support of the Millennium Development Goals.
  

     In the next issue of this newsletter I will discuss ways you can join the growing global movement of people who are taking action to find ways to help make the Millennium Development Goals a success.

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