To inspire further momentum towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations and its partners around the world launched a global campaign in recognition of the fact that there are now less than 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the target date for achieving the MDGs. The MDGs are eight international development goals which aim to address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.
“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.”
Since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped make progress to improve people’s lives. The world’s extreme poverty rate has been cut in half since 1990. A record number of children are in primary school — with an equal number of girls and boys for the first time. Maternal and child mortality have dropped. Since 1990, two billion more people have gained access to safe drinking water.
“The more the world can achieve on the MDGs, the more it will be possible to build confidence and support for a bold and ambitious post-2015 development agenda,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.
To build on this success and accelerate action to achieve the MDGs, the campaign calls on the international community to: increase targeted investments in health, education, energy and sanitation; empower women and girls; focus on the most vulnerable people; keep up aid commitments; and re-energize efforts from governments to grassroots groups to make a difference.
While MDG 7 on environmental sustainability has seen progress in respect to the provision of water and the extension of National Parks and other protected areas on land and, to an extent, at sea, “the broader challenges of putting the environment and its natural or nature-based assets at the heart of sustainable development and the lives and livelihoods of over seven billion people remain a real work in progress” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director. “The Rio+20 Summit of 2012 has laid out some new and inspiring pathways for achieving this, including the opportunities from a transition towards a Green Economy,” said Mr Steiner.