Millennium Development Goals

The United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 established the United Nations Millennium Declaration[1] and the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)[2]. The Declaration was agreed by 147 Heads of State and 189 nations which formed a 'global partnership' to reduce poverty and halve the number of people living on a dollar a day by 2015.

There are 8 Millennium Development Goals in total covering education, maternal health, child mortality, poverty and hunger, HIV/Aids, environment and development with specific targets within each goal. The MDGs are set to be achieved by 2015, requiring action at all levels with cooperation between governments in developed and developing nations. Developing nations are encouraged to implement good governance practices and invest in improved health and education facilities; developed nations are encouraged to provide more and better aid, relieve debt and improve trade relations.

In 2005 The World Development Summit built on the Millennium Summit in 2000, providing an opportunity for Heads of State, Heads of Government and the UN to recommit to the Millennium Declaration Goals, documented in the World Summit Outcome.

 At the mid way point for tracking MDG achievements, a UN brief titled 'Africa and the Millennium Development Goals 2007' argued that Sub Sahara Africa was not on track to meet any of the Goals and targets by 2015[3]. However, the Report also highlighted progress that had been made, including increased growth, strengthened institutions, increased primary school enrolment and improved governance. The Report identified particular challenges faced by Africa, such as weak infrastructure, lack of sound government policies and major health issues, as well as poor funding and aid from richer nations. The cultural, physical and economic diversity of the continent was also noted, generating different levels of success between countries[4].

To address these challenges, recommendations were made for an MDG Africa Steering Group at the 2008 African Union Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh[5]. The Steering Group was endorsed by leaders of the UN, AU, African Development Bank, EC, IMF and World Bank and provided strategies and policies on how to achieve the MGD targets for Africa.[6]

In September 2010 the UN MDG summit assessed progress made on meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The 65th session of the General Assembly, 'Keeping the Promise', reaffirmed the commitments made in 2000. Key outcomes of the summit included investing in health and education; creating jobs; encouraging greater agricultural production and  targeting growth. In addition, development should be nationally driven with international support. 


Goal 1 - Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Goal 2 - Achieve Universal Primary Education

Goal 3 - Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Goal 4 - Reduce Child Mortality

Goal 5 - Improve Maternal Health

Goal 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

Goal 7 - Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Goal 8 - Develop a Global Partnership for Development