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 Millennium Development Goals 


 "We will have time to reach the Millennium Development Goals – worldwide and in most, or even all, individual countries – but only if we break with business as usual.

We cannot win overnight. Success will require sustained action across the entire decade between now and the deadline. It takes time to train the teachers, nurses and engineers; to build the roads, schools and hospitals; to grow the small and large businesses able to create the jobs and income needed. So we must start now. And we must more than double global development assistance over the next few years. Nothing less will help to achieve the Goals."

United Nations Secretary-General

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of 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 Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The Declaration has become a landmark document for a new century which reflects the concerns of the world leaders. The goals of poverty eradication, promotion of gender equality, improvement of child and maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, and ensuring environmental sustainability are at the heart of people's needs worldwide and require sustained efforts even in countries which are not the world's poorest.

The MDGs need to be adopted to the local conditions and specific need of each country, preferably disaggregated by region, gender, and different social groups. The MDGs:

  • synthesize, in a single package, many of the most important commitments made separately at the international conferences and summits of the 1990s;
  • recognize 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.




The Millennium Development Goals include:


Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Achieve universal primary education

Promote gender equality and empower women

Reduce child mortality

Improve maternal health

Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Ensuring environmental sustainability

Develop a global partnership for development

The 8 MDGs break down into 18 quantifiable targets that are measured by 48 indicators.

The MDGs can be achieved if all actors - governments, private sector, civil society, the general public and the media - work together and do their part. Poor countries have pledged to govern better, and invest in their people through health care and education. Rich countries have pledged to support them, through aid, debt relief, and fairer trade.

How is UNDP helping?

UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach these Goals. UNDP, as the UN's global development network, links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, in his capacity as chair of the UN Development Group, to be the coordinator of the MDGs in the UN system – to make them an integral part of the UN's work worldwide.

UNDP is working with a wide range of partners to create coalitions for change to support the goals at global, regional and national levels, to benchmark progress towards them, and to help countries to build the institutional capacity and policies needed to achieve the MDGs. UNDP's work on coordinating efforts that:

  • campaign and mobilize for the MDGs through advocacy;
  • share the best strategies for meeting the MDGs;
  • monitor and report progress towards the MDGs; and
  • support governments in tailoring the MDGs to local circumstances and challenges.

More on UNDP and MDGs...
Millennium Project...

UNDP activities to assist Belarus in achieving MDGs

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United Nations Development Programme is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.



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