The Global Challenge

In September 2000, 189 heads of state and governments gathered at the United Nations in New York at the Millennium Summit and adopted what became known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Targets. A set of time-bound goals, the MDGs are an embodiment of wider human concerns and issues – they are “people-centred” and measure human progress.

The MDGs are intended to engender national initiatives and strategies geared towards alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the poorest of the poor across the globe. Although the global challenge to alleviate poverty is overwhelming, these leaders decided to concentrate on eight crucial goals that touch upon available income and food, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships.

The eight goals are set to encourage all countries, rich or poor, to focus on human development problems. They have been carefully selected with the help of the UN Agencies and other international organizations. They include 18 feasible straightforward targets to be met thr class=”news_pic”ough country policies and programs, international aid, and civil society engagement. These targets are set to be achieved in a 25-year period from 1990 to 2015. International Development Targets, which preceded the MDGs, were derived from a series of UN global conferences held during the 1990s.

Malawi’s Millennium Development Goals

MDG #1: To eradicate extreme poverty

Target 1:

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than less than one dollar a day

Target 2:

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

MDG #2: To achieve universal primary education

Target 3:

Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling

MDG #3: To promote gender equality and to empower women

Target 4:

Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015

MDG #4: To reduce child mortality

Target 5:

Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

MDG #5: To improve maternal health

Target 6:

Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio

MDG #6: To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Target 7:

Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Target 8:

Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

MDG #7: To ensure environmental sustainability

Target 9:

Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources

Target 10:

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

Target 11:

By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

MDG #8: To develop a global partnership for development

Target 12:

Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, nondiscriminatory trading and financial system; includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – both nationally and internationally

Target 13:

Address the special needs of the least developed countries; includes: tariff and quota free access for the least developed countries’ exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction

Target 14:

Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing States (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly)

Target 15:

Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term

Target 16:

In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth

Target 17:

In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries

Target 18:

In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications