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Millennium Development Goals

  • About the MDGs: Basics

    What are the Millennium Development Goals?

    The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

    The eight MDGs break down into 21 quantifiable targets that are measured by 60 indicators.

    The MDGs:

    • synthesise, in a single package, many of the most important commitments made separately at the international conferences and summits of the 1990s;
    • recognise explicitly the interdependence between growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development;
    • acknowledge that development rests on the foundations of democratic governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights and peace and security;
    • are based on time-bound and measurable targets accompanied by indicators for monitoring progress; and
    • bring together, in the eighth Goal, the responsibilities of developing countries with those of developed countries, founded on a global partnership endorsed at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, and again at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002.

    Implementation of the MDGs

    In 2001, in response to the world leaders' request, UN Secretary General presented the Road Map Towards the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, an integrated and comprehensive overview of the situation, outlining potential strategies for action designed to meet the goals and commitments of the Millennium Declaration.

    The road map has been followed up since then with annual reports. In 2002, the annual report focused on progress made in the prevention of armed conflict and the treatment and prevention of diseases, including HIV/AIDS and Malaria. In 2003, emphasis was placed on strategies for development and strategies for sustainable development. In 2004, it was on bridging the digital divide and curbing transnational crime.

    In 2005, the Secretary-General prepared the first comprehensive five-yearly report on progress toward achieving the MDGs The report reviews the implementation of decisions taken at the international conferences and special sessions on the least developed countries, progress on HIV/AIDS and financing for development and sustainable development.Click here for additional information on the 2005 Summit.