Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals

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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development
International development
International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development — the development of greater quality of life for humans...

 goals that all 193 United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 member states
United Nations member states
There are 193 United Nations member states, and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly.The criteria for admission of new members are set out in the United Nations Charter, Chapter II, Article 4, as follows:...

 and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty
Extreme poverty
Extreme poverty, as defined in 1996 by Joseph Wresinski, the founder of ATD Fourth World, is:"The lack of basic security connotes the absence of one or more factors enabling individuals and families to assume basic responsibilities and to enjoy fundamental rights. The situation may become...

, reducing child mortality
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

 rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

, and developing a global partnership for development.

Background



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
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...

 in 2000, where all world leaders present adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration
United Nations Millennium Declaration
On 8 September 2000, following a three day Millennium Summit of world leaders at the headquarters of the United Nations, the General Assemblyadopted the Millennium Declaration....

.

The Millennium Summit was presented with the report of the Secretary-General entitled ‘We the Peoples: 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 organisations from more than 100 countries. The Forum met in May 2000 to conclude a two-year consultation process covering issues such as poverty eradication, environmental protection, human rights and protection of the vulnerable. The approval of the MDGs was possibly the main outcome of the Millennium Summit. In the area of peace and security, the adoption of the Brahimi Report
Report of the Panel on United Nations Peacekeeping
The Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations is commonly called the Brahimi Report, named for the chairman of the commission that produced it, Lakhdar Brahimi...

 was seen as properly equipping the organization to carry out the mandates given by the Security Council.

Ideas behind the MDG


The MDGs originated from the Millennium Declaration produced by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. The Declaration asserts that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity. The MDGs were made to operationalize these ideas by setting targets and indicators for poverty reduction in order to achieve the rights set forth in the Declaration on a set fifteen-year timeline.

The Millennium Declaration was, however, only part of the origins of the MDGs. It came about from not just the UN but also the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 and the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

. The setting came about through a series of UN-led conferences in the 1990s focusing on issues such as children, nutrition, human rights, women and others. On the side of the OECD, there was a criticism of the fall of global Official Development Assistance
Official development assistance
Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

 (ODA) by major donors. With the onset of the UN's 50th anniversary, then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 saw the need to address the range of development issues. This led to his report titled, We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century which led to the Millennium Declaration. By this time, the OECD had already formed its International Development Goals (IDGs) and it was combined with the UN's efforts in the World Bank's 2001 meeting to form the MDGs.

The MDGs focus on three major areas of Human development (humanity)
Human development (humanity)
Human development in the scope of humanity, specifically international development, is an international and economic development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. People are the real wealth of nations...

: bolstering human capital
Human capital
Human capitalis the stock of competencies, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience...

, improving infrastructure, and increasing social, economic and political rights, with the majority of the focus going towards increasing basic standards of living. The objectives chosen within the human capital focus include improving nutrition, healthcare (including reducing levels of child mortality
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 and malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, and increasing reproductive health
Reproductive health
Within the framework of the World Health Organization's definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health, or sexual health/hygiene, addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system...

), and education. For the infrastructure focus, the objectives include improving infrastructure through increasing access to safe drinking water, energy and modern information/communication technology; amplifying farm outputs through sustainable practices; improving transportation infrastructure; and preserving the environment. Lastly, for the social, economic and political rights focus, the objectives include empowering women, reducing violence, increasing political voice, ensuring equal access to public services, and increasing security of property rights. The goals chosen were intended to increase an individual’s human capabilities and “advance the means to a productive life”. The MDGs emphasize that individual policies needed to achieve these goals should be tailored to individual country’s needs; therefore most policy suggestions are general.

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
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

, 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.

Goals


The MDGs were developed out of the eight chapters of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, signed in September 2000. There are eight goals with 21 targets, and a series of measurable indicators for each target.

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

  • Target 1A: Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 per day (PPP values)
    • 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 per day (PPP values)
    • Proportion of family-based workers in employed population
  • Target 1C: Halve 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

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

  • Target 2A: By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling
    Primary education
    A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

    , girls and boys
    • Enrollment in primary education
    • Completion of primary education
    • Literacy of 15-24 year olds, female and male

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

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates

  • Target 4A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
    • Under-five mortality rate
    • Infant (under 1) mortality
      Infant mortality
      Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

       rate
    • Proportion of 1-year-old children immunized against measles

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

  • Target 5A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality
    Maternal death
    Maternal death, or maternal mortality, also "obstetrical death" is the death of a woman during or shortly after a pregnancy. In 2010, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, estimated global maternal mortality in 2008 at 342,900 , of...

     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
      Family planning
      Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and...


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

  • Target 6A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV
    HIV
    Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

    /AIDS
    AIDS
    Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

    • 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 antiretroviral drugs
  • Target 6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria
    Malaria
    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

     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
    • Prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
    • Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course)

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

  • Target 7A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development
    Sustainable development
    Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

     into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
  • Target 7B: Reduce biodiversity
    Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

     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
      Threatened species
      Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

       with extinction
  • Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    Sanitation
    Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

     (for more information see the entry on water supply
    Water supply
    Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

    )
    • Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source
      Improved water source
      According to the Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation by the World Health Organization and UNICEF the following are considered as "improved" water sources:* household connections* public standpipes* boreholes* protected dug wells...

      , urban and rural
    • Proportion of urban population with access to improved sanitation
      Improved sanitation
      According to the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation by the World Health Organization and UNICEF the following are considered as "improved" sanitation:* connection to a public sewer* connection to a septic system* pour-flush latrine...

  • 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 slum
      Slum
      A slum, as defined by United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the...

      s

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

  • Target 8A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
    • Includes a commitment to good governance
      Good governance
      Good governance is an indeterminate term used in development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee the realization of human rights. Governance describes "the process of decision-making and the process by which...

      , development, and poverty reduction
      Poverty reduction
      Poverty is the state of human beings who are poor. That is, they have little or no material means of surviving—little or no food, shelter, clothes, healthcare, education, and other physical means of living and improving one's life....

       – both nationally and internationally
  • Target 8B: Address the Special Needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC)
    • Includes: tariff and quota free access for LDC exports; enhanced programme of debt relief
      Debt relief
      Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves...

       for HIPC and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA (Overseas 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
      Small Island Developing States
      Small Island Developing States are low-lying coastal countries that tend to share similar sustainable development challenges, including small but growing populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, excessive dependence on...

       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
      Economic indicator
      An economic indicator is a statistic about the economy. Economic indicators allow analysis of economic performance and predictions of future performance. One application of economic indicators is the study of business cycles....

       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

Debate surrounding the MDGs


Drawbacks of the MDGs include the lack of analytical power and justification behind the chosen objectives. The MDGs leave out important ideals, such as the lack of strong objectives and indicators for equality, which is considered by many scholars to be a major flaw of the MDGs due to the disparities of progress towards poverty reduction between groups within nations. The MDGs also lack a focus on local participation and empowerment (excluding women’s empowerment) [Deneulin & Shahani 2009]. The MDGs also lack an emphasis on sustainability, making their future after 2015 questionable. Thus, while the MDGs are a tool for tracking progress toward basic poverty reduction and provide a very basic policy road map to achieving these goals, they do not capture all elements needed to achieve the ideals set out in the Millennium Declaration.

Another criticism of the MDGs is the difficulty or lack of measurements for some of the goals. Amir Attaran, an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health, and Global Development Policy at University of Ottawa, argues that goals related to maternal mortality, malaria, and tuberculosis are in practice impossible to measure and that current UN estimates do not have scientifically validity or are missing. Household surveys are often used by the UN organisations to estimate data for the health MDGs. These surveys have been argued to be poor measurements of the data they are trying to collect, and many different organisations have redundant surveys, which waste limited resources. Furthermore, countries with the highest levels of maternal mortality, malaria, and tuberculosis often have the least amount of reliable data collection. Attaran argues that without accurate measures of past and current data for the health related MDGs, it is impossible to determine if progress has been made toward the goals, leaving the MDGs as little more than a rhetorical call to arms.

Proponents for the MDGs argue that while some goals are difficult to measure, that there is still validity in setting goals as they provide a political and operational framework to achieving the goals. They also assert that non-health related MDGs are often well measured, and it is wrong to assume that all MDGs are doomed to fail due to lack of data. It is further argued that for difficult to measure goals, best practices have be identified and their implication is measurable as well as their positive effects on progress. With an increase in the quantity and quality of healthcare systems in developing countries, more data will be collected, as well as more progress made. Lastly the MDGs bring attention to measurements of wellbeing beyond income, and this attention alone helps bring funding to achieving these goals.

The MDGs are also argued to help the human development by providing a measurement of human development that is not based solely on income, prioritizing interventions, establishing obtainable objectives with operationalized measurements of progress (though the data needed to measure progress is difficult to obtain), and increasing the developed world’s involvement in worldwide poverty reduction. The measurement of human development in the MDGs goes beyond income, and even just basic health and education, to include gender and reproductive rights, environmental sustainability and spread of technology. Prioritizing interventions helps developing countries with limited resources make decisions about where to allocate their resources through which public policies. The MDGs also strengthen the commitment of developed countries to helping developing countries, and encourage the flow of aid and information sharing. The joint responsibility of developing and developed nations for achieving the MDGs increases the likelihood of their success, which is reinforced by their 189-country support (the MDGs are the most broadly supported poverty reduction targets ever set by the world).

Progress


Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven. Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not on track to realize any. The major countries that have been achieving their goals include China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (whose poverty population
Poverty in China
Poverty in People's Republic of China refers to the state of relative or absolute material deprivation that affects hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens, particularly those living in rural areas....

 has reduced from 452 million to 278 million) and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 due to clear internal and external factors of population and economic development. However, areas needing the most reduction, such as the Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 regions have yet to make any drastic changes in improving their quality of life. In the same time as China, the Sub-Saharan Africa reduced their poverty about one percent, and are at a major risk of not meeting the MDGs by 2015. Fundamental issues will determine whether or not the MDGs are achieved, namely gender, the divide between the humanitarian and development agendas and economic growth, according to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute is one of the leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement...

.

Achieving the MDGs does not depend on economic growth alone and expensive solutions. In the case of MDG 4, some developing countries like Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 have shown that it is possible to reduce child mortality with only modest growth with inexpensive but effective interventions, such as measles immunisation.

Goal 8 of the MDGs is unique in the sense that it focuses on donor government commitments and achievements, rather than successes in the developing world. The Commitment to Development Index
Commitment to Development Index
The Commitment to Development Index , published annually by the Center for Global Development, ranks the world’s richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Rich and poor countries are linked in many ways; thus the Index looks...

, published annually by the Center for Global Development
Center for Global Development
The Center for Global Development is a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on international development. It was founded in November 2001 by former senior U.S. official Edward W. Scott, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, C. Fred Bergsten, and...

 is often considered to be the numerical targeting indicator for the 8th MDG. It is a more comprehensive measure of donor progress than simply Official Development Assistance as it takes into account policies on a number of indicators that affect developing countries such as trade, migration, and investment.

To accelerate progress towards the MDGs, the G-8 Finance Ministers met in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in June 2005 (in preparation for the G-8 Gleneagles Summit
31st G8 summit
The 31st G8 summit was held from July 6 to July 8, 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom and hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair...

 in July) and reached an agreement to provide enough funds to the World Bank
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

, the IMF, and the African Development Bank
African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa...

 (ADB) to cancel an additional $40–55 billion debt owed by members of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries is a group of 40 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang which are eligible for special assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.- History and structure :...

 (HIPC). This would allow impoverished countries to re-channel the resources saved from the forgiven debt to social programs for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty.

Backed by G-8 funding, the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, and the ADB each endorsed the Gleaneagles plan and implemented the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) to effectuate the debt cancellations. The MDRI supplements HIPC by providing each country that reaches the HIPC completion point 100% forgiveness of its multilateral debt. Countries that previously reached the decision point became eligible for full debt forgiveness once their lending agency confirmed that the countries had continued to maintain the reforms implemented during HIPC status. Other countries that subsequently reach the completion point automatically receive full forgiveness of their multilateral debt under MDRI.

While the World Bank and ADB limit MDRI to countries that complete the HIPC program, the IMF's MDRI eligibility criteria are 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 annual per capita income of $380 or less qualifies for MDRI debt cancellation. The IMF adopted the $380 threshold because it closely approximates the countries eligible for HIPC.

Yet, as 2015 approaches, increasing global uncertainties such as the economic crisis and climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 have led to an opportunity to rethink the MDG approach to development policy. According to the 'In Focus' Policy Brief from the Institute of Development Studies
Institute of Development Studies
The Institute of Development Studies based at the University of Sussex is a global organisation for research, teaching and communications on international development....

, the 'After 2015' debate is about questioning the value of an MDG-type, target-based approach to international development, about progress so far on poverty reduction, about looking to an uncertain future and exploring what kind of system is needed after the MDG deadline has passed.

Further developments in rethinking strategies and approaches to achieving the MDGs include research by the Overseas Development Institute
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute is one of the leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement...

 into the role of equity. Researchers at the ODI argue progress can 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 develop and creates reductions in poverty and financial stability. Yet equity should not be understood purely as economic, but also as political. Examples abound and include Brazil's cash transfers
Cash transfers
Cash transfers are direct transfer payments of money to eligible people. Cash transfers are usually provided by the state and federal government.-Targeting:...

, Uganda's eliminations of user fees and the subsequent huge increase in in visits from the very poorest or else Mauritius's dual-track approach to liberalisation (inclusive growth and inclusive development) aiding it on its road into the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

. Researchers at the ODI
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute is one of the leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement...

 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.

The effects of increasing drug use have been noted by the International Journal of Drug Policy as a deterrent to the goal of the MDGs.

Other development scholars, such as Naila Kabeer, Caren Grown, and Noeleen Heyzer argue that an increased focus on women’s empowerment
Empowerment
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, racial, educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities...

 and gender mainstreaming
Gender mainstreaming
Gender mainstreaming is the public policy concept of assessing the different implications for women and men of any planned policy action, including legislation and programmes, in all areas and levels...

 of MDGs-related policies will accelerate the progress of the MDGs. Kabeer argues that increasing women’s empowerment and access to paid work will help reduce child mortality. She supports her point with evidence that South Asian countries with the high levels in of gender discrimination that limit women’s access to food and healthcare cause these same countries to have the highest rates of low birth weight
Low birth weight
Low birth weight is defined as a birth weight of a liveborn infant of less than 2,500 g. regardless of gestational age-Causes:LBW is either the result of preterm birth or of the infant being small for gestational age , or a combination of...

 babies in the world. This is because women experiencing malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

 have low birth weight babies. Since low-birth weight babies have limited chances of survival, improving women’s health by increasing their bargaining power
Bargaining power
Bargaining power is a concept related to the relative abilities of parties in a situation to exert influence over each other. If both parties are on an equal footing in a debate, then they will have equal bargaining power, such as in a perfectly competitive market, or between an evenly matched...

 in the family through paid work, will reduce child mortality. Another way empowering women will help accelerate the MDGs is the inverse relationship between mother’s schooling and child-morality, as well as the positive correlation between increasing a mother’s agency over unearned income and health outcomes of her children, especially girls. Increasing a mother’s education and workforce participation increases these effects. Lastly empowering women by creating economic opportunities for women decreases women’s participation in the sex market which decreases the spread of AIDS, a MDG in itself (MDG 6A).

Grown asserts that the resources, technology and knowledge exist to decrease poverty through improving gender equality, it is just the political will that is missing. She argues that if donor countries and developing countries together focused on seven “priority areas”: increasing girl’s completion of secondary school, guarantying 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, great progress could be made towards the MDGs.

Both Kabeer and Heyzer believe 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. In order 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.

Review Summit 2010


A major conference was held at UN headquarters in New York on 20–22 September 2010 to review progress to date, with five years left to the 2015 deadline.

The conference concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date. There were also major new commitments on women's and children's health, and major new initiatives in the worldwide battle against poverty, hunger and disease.

Challenges


Although developed countries' aid for the achievement of the MDGs have been rising over the recent year, it has shown that more than half is towards debt relief owed by poor countries. As well, remaining aid money goes towards natural disaster relief and military aid which does not further the country into development. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2006), the 50 least developed countries only receive about one third of all aid that flows from developed countries, raising the issue of aid not moving from rich to poor depending on their development needs but rather from rich to their closest allies.

Many development experts question the MDGs model of transferring billions of dollars directly from the wealthy nation governments to the often bureaucratic or corrupt governments in developing countries. This form of aid has led to extensive cynicism by the general public in the wealthy nations, and hurts support for expanding badly needed aid.

Controversy over funding of 0.7% of GNI


Over the past 35 years, the members of the UN have repeatedly made a "commit[ment] 0.7% of rich-countries' gross national income
Measures of national income and output
A variety of measures of national income and output are used in economics to estimate total economic activity in a country or region, including gross domestic product , gross national product , and net national income . All are specially concerned with counting the total amount of goods and...

 (GNI) to Official Development Assistance
Official development assistance
Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

." The commitment was first made in 1970 by the UN General Assembly.

The text of the commitment was:
However, there has been disagreement from the US, and other nations, over the Monterrey Consensus
Monterrey Consensus
The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development. in Monterrey, Mexico. It was adopted by Heads of State and Government on 22 March 2002. Over fifty Heads of State and two hundred Ministers of Finance,...

 that urged "developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNI) as
ODA to developing countries."

Support for the 0.7% Target

The UN "believe[s] that donors should commit to reaching the long-standing target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015".

The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 has recently reaffirmed its commitment to the 0.7% aid targets. The EU External Relations council says that, as of May 2005, "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."

Many organizations are working to bring U.S. political attention to the Millennium Development Goals. In 2007, The Borgen Project worked with Sen. Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 on the Global Poverty Act
Global Poverty Act
The Global Poverty Act was a bill in the U.S. Congress co-sponsored by 84 Representatives and 30 Senators.The Global Poverty Act would require the U.S...

, a bill requiring the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 to develop a strategy for achieving the goals. As of 2009, the bill has not passed, but Barack Obama has since been elected President.

Challenges to the 0.7% Target

However, many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 (OECD) nations, including key members such as the United States, are not progressing towards their promise of giving 0.7% of their GNP towards poverty reduction by the target year of 2015. Some nations' contributions have been criticized as falling far short of 0.7%.

John Bolton
John R. Bolton
John Robert Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican presidential administrations. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment...

 argues that the U.S. never agreed in Monterrey to spending 0.7% of GDP on development assistance. Indeed, Washington has consistently opposed setting specific foreign-aid targets since the U.N. General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 first endorsed the 0.7% goal in 1970.

The Australian Government has committed to providing 0.5% of GNI in International Development Assistance by 2015-2016, without noting the long-standing 0.7% goal.

Related organizations


The United Nations Millennium Campaign
United Nations Millennium Campaign
The United Nations Millennium Campaign is a UN campaign unit that was set up in response to the Millennium Declaration signed by 189 member states. Established in October, 2002, the UNMC aims to increase support to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and seek a coalition of partners for action...

 is a UNDP campaign unit to increase support to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and seek a coalition of partners for action. The Millennium Campaign targets intergovernmental, government, civil society organizations and media at both global and regional levels.

The Millennium Promise Alliance, Inc., or Millennium Promise, is a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and founded in 2005 by renown international economist and Special Advisor on the MDGs to the UN Secretary General, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and Wall Street leader and philanthropist, Ray Chambers. Millennium Promise coordinates a project, the Millennium Villages Project, in partnership with Columbia University's Earth Institute and the UNDP that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving the Goals through an integrated and community-led approach to holistic development. The Millennium Villages Project currently operates in 14 sites across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Poverty Project is an international education and advocacy organisation using its multimedia presentation 1.4 Billion Reasons to educate people about the Millennium Development Goals and our capacity to end extreme poverty within a generation. They travel to workplaces, schools, universities, community groups and churches around Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to equip people with the knowledge and resources they need to encourage the achievement of the MDGs.

The Micah Challenge
Micah Challenge
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."...

 is an international campaign that encourages Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s to support the Millennium Development Goals. Their aim is to "encourage our leaders to halve global poverty by 2015."

8 Visions of Hope is a global art project that explores and shows how art, culture, artists & musicians as positive change agents can help in the realization of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals.

The Development Education Unit of Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center is a non-profit, non-Governmental independent organization active in programs with future orientation in areas related to positive social change, social entrepreneurship and transformation.-Founding history:...

 envisions, designs and implements development education awareness campaigns, trainings, conferences and resources since 2005. Leads a number of European-wide projects such as the Accessing Development Education and TeachMDGs.

Accessing Development Education


Accessing Development Education is a web portal developed by Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center is a non-profit, non-Governmental independent organization active in programs with future orientation in areas related to positive social change, social entrepreneurship and transformation.-Founding history:...

 within an EU funded project (ONG-ED/2007/136-419). It provides relevant information about Development and Global Education and helps educators share resources and materials that are most suitable for their work.

TeachMDGs


The Teach MDGs European project led by Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center
Future Worlds Center is a non-profit, non-Governmental independent organization active in programs with future orientation in areas related to positive social change, social entrepreneurship and transformation.-Founding history:...

 aims to increase awareness and public support for the Millennium Development Goals by actively engaging teacher training institutes, teachers and pupils in developing local oriented teaching resources promoting the MDGs with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and integrate these into the educational systems.

UN Goals


UN Goals is a global project dedicated to spreading knowledge of these millennium goals through many different means through various internet and offline awareness campaigns.

See also


  • "8"
    8 (2008 film)
    8 is a series of eight short films centered on the eight Millennium Development Goals.-Topics:Eight directors had "carte blanche" to treat one of the eight topics:*Segment by Abderrahmane Sissako: Tiya's dream...

     a series of eight short films centered around the eight Millennium Development Goals
  • Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities
    Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities
    The Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities was written for reinforcing the implementation of human rights under the auspices of the UNESCO and the interest of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and was proclaimed in 1998 "to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal...

  • Seoul Development Consensus
    Seoul Development Consensus
    The Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth is a set of principles and guidelines set up to assist the G20 nations and other global actors in working collaboratively with less developed countries in order to boost their economic growth and to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals...

  • Precaria (country)
    Precaria (country)
    Precaria is a concept suggested in the framework of the international campaign of the non governmental organisation Un techo para mi país, in English “A roof for my country “, that designates allegorically an imaginary country, which would be inhabited by all the poor people from Latin America, for...

  • Unintended pregnancy
    Unintended pregnancy
    Unintended pregnancies are those in which conception was not intended by the female sexual partner. Worldwide, 38% of pregnancies were unintended in 1999 . Unintended pregnancies are the primary cause of induced abortion, resulting in about 42 million induced abortions per year...


United Nations


Others