For those individuals who follow news regarding the United Nations, they should have heard and been well aware of the UN Millennium Development Goals or (MDGs). Many might even wonder today what has happened since these goals were put into motion. Whether this is your first time hearing about the MDGs or if you have been curious about recent developments, this content is intended to remind and/or educate on the entire matter. The basic yet foundational questions and facts will be laid out here for a clearer understanding on the subject.
Why Were The Millennium Development Goals Created?
To understand the origins of the MDGs we must first go back to the 1990s where the United Nations continued to hold meetings that pertained to the concerns of children, food nutrition, women and other human rights. Various organizations who had stated that they were going to help with these issues were simply falling short of the mark. The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had therefore signed a report that was strictly entitled, We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century. From this was spawned the (IDGs) or the International Development Goals.
On the obstacles of peace and security, the Panel of the UN Peace Operations chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi, had reported to the United Nations Secretary-General on August 17, 2000. Several suggested guidelines and referrals were given that were connected to opposition deterrence, peace-generating and peace-keeping as well as changes to the framework and operations of the UN. The report given by Brahimi was sure to emphasize the requirements for methods and assistance, powerful doctrine and logical peace-keeping rules. As well, focus was shifted to the desire for a new head office with a capability for having facts and insight administration which included carefully planned analysis, enhanced mission assistance, accelerated deployment specifications and numerous other recommendations.
The Brahimi Report was then welcomed in by States and when it was also combined with the already existing IDGs as well as input from Adam Figueror of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the arrival of the Millennium Development Goals in September of 2000 was eminent.
What Countries Signed On To Support The MDGs?
Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola
Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria
Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados
Belarus Belgium Belize Costa Rica Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark
Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt
El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia
Finland Iraq Ireland Israel Italy
France Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany
Ghana Greece Grenada Guatemala Guinea
Guinea Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras
Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran
Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya
Kiribati Democratic People's Republic of Korea Republic of Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan
Lao People's Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia
Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali
Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico
Micronesia, Federated States of Republic of Moldova Monaco Mongolia Morocco
Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal
Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria
Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian National Authority
Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines
Poland Portugal Qatar Romania Russian Federation
Rwanda Saint Lucia Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa
San Marino São Tomé and Príncipe Saudi Arabia Senegal Seychelles
Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands
Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan
Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic
United Republic of Tanzania Tajikistan Thailand Togo Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu
Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States
Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam
Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
What Exactly Are The Millennium Development Goals?
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are a distinct set of 8 targeted areas for aiding in poverty and the hopes to improve the welfare of the world’s poorest countries. As well, children’s health, the empowerment of women and girls as well as coming against disease and increasing development are also their intentions. The goals were originally intended to be fulfilled by the year 2015. The MDGs specifically are to:
1. Eliminate severe impoverishment and hunger.
- Reduce half the number of individuals that are living on less than $1 U.S. per day.
- Decrease half of the people who are suffering starvation.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
- Guarantee that all girls and boys will complete a full duration of primary school.
3. Promote gender equality and enable power for women.
- Remove gender discrepancy in the primary and secondary education ideally by 2005 and completely at all levels by 2015.
4. Minimize child death-rate.
- Reduce the mortality rate among children under five by 2/3.
5. Enhance maternal health.
- Cut down the maternal mortality ratio by 3/4.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other sicknesses.
- Stop and begin to reverse the dispersion of HIV/AIDS.
- Halt and initiate a reversal of malaria and other leading diseases.
7. Assure environment sustainability.
- Combine the principles of supportable development into nation standards and programs as well as reversing the loss of environmental resources.
- Eliminate half the amount of individuals who lack long lasting availability to safe drinking water.
- Accomplish considerable improvements by 2020 in the lives of a minimum of 100 million people who live in slum locations.
8. Develop a global relationship for development.
- Establish a further open trading and funding program that is rule-based, foreseeable and non-prejudiced. Make it include a devotion to effective administration, development and poverty decrease both nationally and internationally.
- Deal with the least developed nations’ important needs. This will include tariff and quota-free accessibility for their exports and enhanced debt easing for intensely indebted countries. In addition, there was to be a termination of official reciprocal debt and more ample official support for countries who are dedicated to poverty lowering.
- Address the unique needs of inland and small island developing states.
- Manage adequately with developing nations’ debt issues through national and international actions to make debt sustainable in the long term.
- Be in cohesiveness with medical drug companies and provide availability to afford crucial medicines in developing countries.
- Be in cooperation with the confidential sector and make obtainable the advantages of new technologies – particularly information and communication systems.
Are We Making Progress Toward Achieving The Goals?
There is a very wide variation between the countries and the actual goals. An extensive review was released in 2010 which was aimed at evaluating where concentration should be applied in the final remaining five years of the goal plans. The report has stated that upon the analysis of 30 countries involved with the MDGs – regardless of the immense advances – if current trends are followed then a majority of the developing countries will not meet many of the desired targets. Some of the advancements and changes however are:
- East and Southeastern Asia are on track with reducing poverty by half.
- Southern Asia is on track with educational attendance goals. Eastern Asia has regressed in this area.
- With the exception of Saharan Africa, all regions are on track with girls’ equal school enrollment. Only Latin America and the Caribbean are on track for female equal pay shares for employment. As well, child mortality rate in Latin America and the Caribbean are the only ones on track.
- Only Eastern Asia has progress with maternity health improvements.