The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The MDGs are derived from this Declaration, and all have specific targets and indicators.
The Eight Millenium Development Goals laid down were:
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; and
8. to develop a global partnership for development.
The MDGs are inter-dependent; all the MDG influence health, and health influences all the MDGs. For example, better health enables children to learn and adults to earn. Gender equality is essential to the achievement of better health. Reducing poverty, hunger and environmental degradation positively influences, but also depends on, better health.
The aim of the MDGs is to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries. They derive from earlier international development targets, and were officially established following the Millennium Summit in 2000, where all world leaders present adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
The MDGs also emphasize the role of developed countries in aiding developing countries, as outlined in Goal Eight. Goal Eight sets objectives and targets for developed countries to achieve a "global partnership for development" by supporting fair trade, debt relief for developing nations, increasing aid and access to affordable essential medicines, and encouraging technology transfer. Thus developing nations are not seen as left to achieve the MDGs on their own, but as a partner in the developing-developed compact to reduce world poverty. GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY & HUNGER
* Target 1A: Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day * Target 1B: Achieve decent employment for women, men, and young people * Target 1C: Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2: ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
* Target 2A: By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys
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
Goal 4: REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY RATES
* Target 4A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Goal 5: IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH
* Target 5A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio * Target 5B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Goal 6: COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA, AND OTHER DISEASES
* Target 6A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS * Target 6B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it * Target 6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
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 * 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