I believe if we we’re to look history in the eyes, we would realise that the Millennium Development Goals are the proof that the civilisation is taking a step ahead in creating a better world for us all. In 2000 all 189 United Nations member states (there are 193 currently) and at least 23 international organizations committed to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Millennium Project was commissioned by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2002 to develop a concrete action plan for the world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empowering women, reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, develop a global partnership for development. Each goal has specific targets and dates for achieving those targets. A UN conference in September 2010 reviewed progress and concluded with the adoption of a global plan to achieve the eight goals by their target date. New commitments targeted women's and children's health and new initiatives in the worldwide battle against poverty, hunger and disease. In a major push to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health, a number of Heads of State and Government from developed and developing countries, along with the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations, pledged over $40 billion in resources over five years.
The year 2013 brought a forum in Geneva and a hopeful report, with less than 1,000 days to the 2015 target date, so far it has been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history, said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Great success has been achieved: halving poverty rates and the proportion of people without access to drinking water, big gains have been made in health (an estimated 1.1 million deaths were averted), the mortality rate for children under five dropped (by 41 per cent), the proportion of undernourished people worldwide decreased (from 23 per cent 15 per cent), maternal mortality ratio declined (by 47 per cent), number of children out of school declined (from 102 million to 57 million).
But still, the progress towards the eight MDGs has been uneven not only among regions and countries, but between population groups within countries.
Three important targets on poverty, slums and water have been met three years ahead of 2015, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ban stated that further success depends on fulfilling MDG-8 – the global partnership for development. “The current economic crises besetting much of the developed world must not be allowed to decelerate or reverse the progress that has been made. Let us build on the successes we have achieved so far, and let us not relent until all the MDGs have been attained”. A tremendous reduction in human suffering has been made and it is a clear validation of the approach embodied in the MDGs. But, they are not a reason to relax.
There is a long way to go before we can say that we have met the Millennium set goals. Projections indicate that in 2015 more than 600 million people worldwide will still lack access to safe drinking water, almost one billion will be living on an income of less than $1.25 per day, mothers will continue to die needlessly in childbirth, and children will suffer and die from preventable diseases. Hunger remains a global challenge, and ensuring that all children are able to complete primary education remains a fundamental, but unfulfilled, target that has an impact on all the other goals. Lack of safe sanitation is hampering progress in health and nutrition and greenhouse gas emissions continue to pose a major threat to people and ecosystems. We will continue to carefully monitor the MDG progress and try to foresee the possible problems in the future as we will also impatiently await for the post-2015 Development Agenda with hope that it will fulfill the highly-set goals of MDGs.