Millennium Development Goals_________________________________________
Emanating from the Millennium Declaration, the eight Millennium Development Goals bind countries to do more and join forces in the fight against poverty, illiteracy, hunger, lack of education, gender inequality, child and maternal mortality, disease, and environmental degradation. The eighth goal, reaffirmed in Monterrey and Johannesburg, calls upon more developed countries to relieve debt, increase aid, and give developing countries fair access to their markets and their technology. The Millennium Development Goals are clearly a test of political will to build stronger partnerships on a global scale.
Developing countries have the responsibility to undertake policy reforms and strengthen governance to liberate the creative energies of their people. However, they cannot reach the MDGs on their own without new aid commitments, equitable trading rules, and debt relief - issues the MDGs seek to address directly.
The MDGs are noteworthy in that they offer the world a universal means to accelerate the pace of development and measure the results. The United Nations Secretary-General reports annually on progress in meeting the global objectives set out in the Millennium Declaration for attaining peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. The Declaration was agreed on by all UN Member States at the Millennium Summit, held in September of 2000. In his 2003 report, Secretary-General Kofi Annan makes the following points in relation to the Declaration’s eight Millennium Development Goals:
- Rapid advances in some areas indicate that the Goals, while ambitious, are definitely achievable for nearly every country in the world.
- Growing political and financial support for priority development areas — such as the fight against HIV/AIDS — demonstrate the potential for rapid mobilization of resources to meet global challenges.
- But some current trends indicate that significant parts of the world risk falling far short of meeting many of the Goals.
- There is an urgent need for renewed commitment by political leaders to open trade and increase aid and debt relief, to give developing countries a fair chance to reduce extreme poverty within their borders.
For the full report, visit the official UN Millennium Development Goals website.
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- Jennifer Morfín