Target 2015: The Millennium Development Goals1
. . . a global partnership for a “peaceful, prosperous and just world”. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific poverty-reduction targets the world has ever established. The eight MDGs, to be achieved by 2015, are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration, adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 Heads of state and Governments. The driving force of the partnership lies in combating the causes and effects of poverty. They promote education, maternal health, gender equality and combating child mortality, AIDS and other diseases. The year 2005 is critical in that there are only ten years left to achieve these goals. The MDGs: synthesize, in a single package, many of the most important commitments made separately at the international conferences and summits of the 1990s; recognise explicitly the interdependence between growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development; acknowledge that development rests on the foundations of democratic governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights and peace and security; are based on time-bound and measurable targets accompanied by indicators for monitoring progress; bring together, in the eight Goal, the responsibilities of developing countries with those of developed countries, founded on a global partnership endorsed at the 2002 International Conference on Financing and Development in Monterrey, Mexico, and again at the 2003 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Agriculture and the MDGs: Three quarters of the world’s more than one billion extremely poor people live in rural areas of developing countries. Fighting poverty today means first and foremost transforming rural lives and livelihoods. The majority of the rural poor depend on agriculture and agriculture-related small industries and services for their livelihoods. It is in the areas where the incidence of poverty is highest that agricultural development can have the greatest impact on inclusive growth and overall poverty reduction and food security – MDG 1.
While the production of food and food products is the genesis of the sector in ensuring food security, new job opportunities are being created through the “New Agriculture”. This will increase employment opportunities and provide new livelihood opportunities for poor men and women. Most of the poor are smallholder farmers, landless wage labourers, pastoralists and artisanal fishermen: across these categories women face additional constraints. Indeed, women are responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of food production in developing countries. Agriculture provides an excellent platform to promote gender equality and empower women - MDG 3. Poverty is also behind the devastating effects of natural calamities in developing countries. Poor people are most vulnerable to natural disasters and have the least ability to cope given their limited access to safe drinking water, health care services and communication systems. Investment in agricultural and rural development is an imperative to make people less vulnerable, more resilient to natural and man-made disasters and reverse environmental degradation and enhance biodiversity - MDG 7

Sources:; and –‘Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Rural Investment and Enabling Policy Panel Discussion Paper IFAD Governing Council – 28th Session 16-17 February 2005

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The Millennium Development Goals and Targets
Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Target 1: Halve, between 1990-2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education Target 3: 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 Target 4: 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 Target 5: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate Goal 5 Improve maternal health Target 6: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, other diseases Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS Target 8: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation Target 11: By 2020, to achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development Target 12: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system; includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – both nationally and internationally Target 13: Address the special needs of the least developed countries. Includes: tariff and quota-free access for least developed countries’ exports; enhanced program of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction Target 14: Address the special needs of land-locked developing countries and small-island developing States (through the Program of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the twentysecond special session of the General Assembly) Target 15: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term Target 16: In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth Target 17: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries Target 18: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

The MDGs – Reporting Requirements
UN agencies, the OECD Development Assistance Committee and, in many cases, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, are working to support MDG reports for every developing country. These reports, which are in a growing number of cases the product of collaboration between a country’s government, the private sector and civil society, highlight where countries are on track to meet the Goals, where urgent efforts are needed, and how money is being spent.

The MDGs – the Role of Information
The need to ensure the availability of adequate and suitably disaggregated statistics and information and to integrate the MDGs into national and regional planning frameworks is among the essential preconditions for successful implementation. Therefore emphasis must be placed on strengthening data collection capabilities in countries of the region and, in the context of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), coordination of such information at the regional level.