The Millennium Development Goals

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:  

MDGs and Local Authorities

The MDGs should respond to the world’s enormous development problems. Sadly, only a couple of countries are going to achieve their MDG targets. The rest of the countries are far behind. A serious problem for the success of the MDGs is the lack of co-operation between local, national and regional actors. Many citizens, civil society organisations and local authorities find it difficult to be part of the realisation of the MDGs.

States often fail to answer to the problems and needs of the poorest. Local authorities often lack the capabilities to enforce their rights and duties. The MDGs have to solve local realities, consequently national and local MDG implementation and monitoring have to be interlinked.

Therefore all actors and parties on local, national and global level have to work on a participatory approach including the affected people to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs.


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.