UN Millennium Development Goals

In 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders ever assembled met in New York City and agreed to a time-frame for ending global poverty and addressing the top issues facing the world. They agreed to eight goals aimed at improving the human condition for those born into abject poverty.

The Goals World Leaders Agreed to…

Goal 1: Cut extreme poverty and hunger in half
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

U.N. Millennium Development Goals

Year agreed to: 2000
Number of countries signing: 191
Location of summit: New York City
Biggest obstacle to achieving: Leadership from the world’s agenda-setter (Congress and the White House).

How you can help:
Make weekly congressional calls to your leaders telling them that you want the U.S. working to achieve the Millennium Goals.

Estimated Cost of Achieving

$120-$190 billion: Annual shortfall to achieve the Millennium Goals before 2015.
(United Nations)
$663 billion: U.S. Military Spending

191 Countries Agreed to the Plan to End World Hunger

Key Points

  • It’s now possible to end global poverty (those living on less than $1 day).
  • In 2000, nearly every nation on earth, including the U.S. agreed to the Millennium Goals, a measurable timeframe for ending global poverty by 2015.
  • Leadership from the world’s agenda-setter, the United States, has been lackluster in efforts to achieve the Millennium Goals. Far too many U.S. citizens and congressional leaders alike have never heard of the Millennium Goals, let alone been part of the international effort.
  • An international agreement, signed by nearly every nation on earth would have been impossible during the Cold War. For strategic as well as humanitarian purposes, the United States should leverage and lead this international co-operation.

$190 billion: Annual shortfall to achieve the Millennium Goals.
$663 billion: U.S. Military Spending

Clip from the movie The Girl in the Cafe 

The Millennium Development Goals

GOAL 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger


  1. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
  3. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

GOAL 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education


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

GOAL 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women


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

GOAL 4: Reduce Child Mortality


1. Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate of children under five

GOAL 5: Improve Maternal Health


  1. Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
  2. Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases


  1. Halt and begin to reverse, by 2015, the spread of HIV/AIDS
  2. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
  3. Halt and begin to reverse, by 2015, the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

GOAL 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability


  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
  3. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
  4. Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

GOAL 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development


  1. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
  2. Address the special needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states
  3. Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt
  4. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries
  5. In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially ICTs

“The MDGs have been a fundamental framework for global development. A clear agenda, with measurable goals and targets, and a common vision have been crucial for this success. There is now an expectation around the world that sooner, rather than later, all these goals can and must be achieved.” – Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

More Information (outside links)
End Poverty 2015
U.N. Millennium Project
World Bank
Millennium Challege Account
2012 Millennium Goals Report
MDG Monitor

More Videos
UN MDG’s Progress Report
UN Water Goal Achieved
BBC Debate