In September 2000, leaders from around the world signed the Millennium Declaration, which promised to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.
They set out eight measurable targets for action – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ten years on, world leaders met to review the MDGs at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit in New York on September 20-22, 2010.
While leaders celebrated a big package of money for global health, they failed to acknowledge their collective failure to meet their aid targets. With five years to go, the world is far from achieving the MDGs. We need answers on how the money that’s been promised will be raised.
In 2005, $151 billion
- UN MDG Summit ends: How did they get on?
- Oxfam media briefing: Rescuing the Millennium Development Goals (PDF 100KB)
- MDGs and poverty in the Pacific
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are clear and direct challenges to countries and international organisations to focus on basic human rights and needs.
According to the UN, the world has never before seen so much prosperity: "We only need about $50 billion of additional aid per year to meet the MDGs. About $900 billion was invested in arms by governments in 2003 alone; and, in total, rich countries grant
$300 billion each year in support of agricultural producers."
If leaders today invest enough to achieve the MDGs, the world in 2015 will be a very different place. Children everywhere will have access to clean water, adequate food and an education. More women will survive childbirth. Vulnerable communities will be able to cope with climate-related disasters and economic shocks. More people will have decent jobs and earn enough to feed their families.
There are eight Millennium Development Goals, each focusing on a vital area of human rights and poverty for 2015:
- Halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day
- Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
- Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
- Ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
- Eliminate gender disparity in all levels of education
- Reduce by two thirds the under-five mortality rate
- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
- Achieve universal access to reproductive health
- Have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
- Achieve universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
- Have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
- Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
- Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss
- Halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
- By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
- Address the special needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states
- Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
- Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt
- In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
- In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
MDGs and the Pacific
With five years to go, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific are the two regions of the world falling most dangerously behind in progress toward achieving the MDGs.
In the Pacific, four million people live in poverty – that's almost half the total population. Nearly 18,000 children die every year, many from preventable causes.
- Read more about poverty and the MDGs in the Pacific
- Opinion piece: New Zealand must play a role in eradicating poverty in the Pacific
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