The Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals defined by the United Nations form the global framework for development policy commitment. They express the most pressing tasks to overcome poverty, which should be achieved by 2015.

Little time now remains until this target date ...

The MDGs were developed from the eight chapters of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000. All 191 UN member states have agreed to try to reach by the year 2015. The signing of the United Nations Millennium Declaration world leaders are committed to fight against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The eight goals and 21 targets include:

UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Achieving the MDGs by 2015 is challenging but possible. Much depends on the fulfilment of 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.“

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, 201

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

  • Between 1990 and 2015, halve the proportion of people living on less than one dollar a day.
  • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.
  • Between 1990 and 2015, halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger. 

MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education

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

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015. 

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

  • Between 1990 and 2015, reduce the mortality rate amongst children under five by two thirds. 

MDG 5: Improve maternal health

  • Between 1990 and 2015, reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters.
  • Achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015. 

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

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

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

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

MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development

  • Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – nationally and internationally.
  • Address the special needs of the least developed countries. This includes tariff and quota-free access for their exports; an enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC); and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance (ODA) for countries committed to poverty reduction.
  • Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States.
  • Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term.
  • In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
  • In co-operation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications. 

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014

This report is based on a master set of data that has been compiled by an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, in response to the wishes of the General Assembly for periodic assessment of progress towards the MDGs. The Group comprises representatives of the international organizations whose activities include the preparation of one or more of the series of statistical indicators that were identified as appropriate for monitoring progress towards the MDGs, as reflected in the list below. A number of national statisticians and outside expert advisers also contributed. 

"This report examines the latest progress towards achieving the MDGs. It reaffirms that the MDGs have made a profound difference in people’s lives.
Global poverty has been halved five years ahead of the 2015 timeframe. Ninety per cent of children in developing regions now enjoy primary education, and disparities between boys and girls in enrolment have narrowed. Remarkable gains have also been made in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis, along with improvements in all health indicators. The likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half over the last two decades. That means that about 17,000 children are saved every day. We also met the target of halving the proportion of people who lack access to improved sources of water.", wrote Ban Ki-Moon in his foreword.

Here you can read the whole report.



Given that it is expected that the Millennium Development Goals can only partially be achieved by 2015, the UN member states, international development organisations and civil society have initiated a discussion on a possible post-2015 development agenda. The development of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed at the Rio+20 conference held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 could form part of such a post-2015 agenda.


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