The Millennium Development Goals
In September 2000, world leaders and representatives came together to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration outlining the challenges in the new century. This declaration formed the basis for a series of targets to achieve by 2015, which are better known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Their achievement is the most important international target relating to poverty reduction.
While the national governments are primarily responsible for implementation of the MDGs, all political levels must work together. Today, more than half of all people live in an urban area. As soon as 2015, six out of every ten individuals will live in a city. Global challenges such as poverty, resource scarcity and climate change must therefore be solved according to local contexts. Cities and municipalities form the link between the national and European levels as well as the local population in achievement of the MDGs.
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WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY LOCAL AUTHORITY?
Many cities and municipalities have been actively involved in different development issues for many years now: they have established partnerships with communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, support local projects, participate in development networks or have added the MDGs to their political agenda. However, despite their willingness to implement development policy measures, there are also municipalities that lack the financial means and personnel resources to do so. These knowledge gaps can be filled by encouraging networking, cooperation and an exchange of experiences and best practices between local authorities.