In September 2000, the leaders of 189 nations made a commitment to achieve specific results by 2015 in eight major areas, results that have come to be known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
1. Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Achieve gender equality.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.
Each year, the United Nations releases a report tracking the effectiveness of global progress towards achieving the MDGs. This year, the report notes that while “significant strides have been made towards the Millennium Development Goals…reaching all the goals by the 2015 deadline remains challenging.” It acknowledges a continual decrease in global poverty and disease but finds the most vulnerable, namely women and girls, still lack equal access to resources.
photo credit: Millennium Development Goals Report 2011