MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.
The aim of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries. They derive from earlier international development targets, and were officially established following the Millennium Summit in 2000, where all world leaders present adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, from which the eight goals were derived by a group headed by Jeffrey Sachs.
Ideas behind the MDG
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) originated from the Millennium Declaration produced by the United Nations. The Declaration asserts that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity. The MDGs were made to operationalize these ideas by setting targets and indicators for poverty reduction in order to achieve the rights set forth in the Declaration on a set fifteen-year timeline. The MDGs focus on three major areas of Human development (humanity): bolstering human capital, improving infrastructure, and increasing social, economic and political rights, with the majority of the focus going towards increasing basic standards of living. The objectives chosen within the human capital focus include improving nutrition, healthcare (including reducing levels of child mortality, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and increasing reproductive health), and education. For the infrastructure focus, the objectives include improving infrastructure through increasing access to safe drinking water, energy and modern information/communication technology; amplifying farm outputs through sustainable practices; improving transportation infrastructure; and preserving the environment. Lastly, for the social, economic and political rights focus, the objectives include empowering women, reducing violence, increasing political voice, ensuring equal access to public services, and
by 2010. therefore most policy suggestions are general. Men.increasing security of property rights. The goals chosen were intended to increase an individual’s human capabilities and “advance the means to a productive life”.
and at all levels by 2015 Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rate
TARGET 4A: Reduce by two-thirds. and Young People TARGET 1C: Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
TARGET 2A: By 2015. and other diseases
TARGET 6A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS TARGET 6B: Achieve. universal access to reproductive health
6: Combat HIV/AIDS. Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• • •
TARGET 1A: Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day TARGET 1B: Achieve Decent Employment for Women. malaria. the maternal mortality ratio TARGET 5B: Achieve. between 1990 and 2015. the under-five mortality rate
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
TARGET 5A: Reduce by three quarters. girls and boys
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
TARGET 3A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005. The MDGs emphasize that individual policies needed to achieve these goals should be tailored to individual country’s needs. by 2015.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The MDG were developed out of the eight chapters of the United Nations. signed in September 2000. and a series of measurable indicators for each target. all children can complete a full course of primary schooling. There are eight goals with 21 targets. between 1990 and 2015. universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need
TARGET 6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major
diseases Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
TARGET 7A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and TARGET 7B: Reduce biodiversity loss. the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe TARGET 7D: By 2020. The MDGs also lack a focus on local participation and empowerment. The MDGs leave out important ideals. The MDGs also lack an emphasis on sustainability. TARGET 8F: In co-operation with the private sector. to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100
programs. by 2015. which is considered by many scholars to be a major flaw of the MDGs due to the disparities of progress towards poverty reduction between groups within nations. especially information and communications
Debate Surrounding the MDGs
Drawbacks of the MDGs include the lack of analytical power and justification behind the chosen objectives. by 2010. rule-based. while the MDGs are a tool for tracking progress toward basic poverty reduction and provide a very basic policy road map to
. reverse loss of environmental resources
drinking water and basic sanitation (for more information see the entry on water supply)
million slum-dwellers Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
TARGET 8A: Develop further an open. Thus. non-discriminatory trading and TARGET 8B: Address the Special Needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) TARGET 8C: Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island TARGET 8D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through TARGET 8E: In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies. such as the lack of strong objectives and indicators for equality. predictable. provide access to affordable. making their future after 2015 questionable. achieving. make available the benefits of new
national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term
essential drugs in developing countries
technologies. a significant reduction in the rate of loss TARGET 7C: Halve.
and hurts support for expanding badly needed aid. Proponents for the MDGs argue that while some goals are difficult to measure. an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Law. remaining aid money goes towards natural disaster relief and military aid which does not further the country into development. countries with the highest levels of maternal mortality. and Global Development Policy at University of Ottawa. This form of aid has led to extensive cynicism by the general public in the wealthy nations. and it is wrong to assume that all MDGs are doomed to fail due to lack of data. Population Health. Furthermore.achieving these goals. it has shown that more than half is towards debt relief owed by poor countries. and tuberculosis are in practice impossible to measure and that current UN estimates do not have scientifically validity or are missing. Another criticism of the MDGs is the difficulty or lack of measurements for some of the goals. Attaran argues that without accurate measures of past and current data for the health related MDGs. the 50 least developed countries only receive about one third of all aid that flows from developed countries. which waste limited resources. leaving the MDGs as little more than a rhetorical call to arms. Household surveys are often used by the UN organizations to estimate data for the health MDGs. argues that goals related to maternal mortality. These surveys have been argued to be poor measurements of the data they are trying to collect. Amir Attaran. malaria. they do not capture all elements needed to achieve the ideals set out in the Millennium Declaration. and many different organizations have redundant surveys. and tuberculosis often have the least amount of reliable data collection. It is further argued that for difficult to measure goals. raising the issue of aid not moving from rich to poor depending on their development needs but rather from rich to their closest allies. it is impossible to determine if progress has been made toward the goals. and this attention alone helps bring funding to achieving these goals.
. They also assert that non-health related MDGs are often well measured. Many development experts question the MDGs model of transferring billions of dollars directly from the wealthy nation governments to the often bureaucratic or corrupt governments in developing countries. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2006). best practices have be identified and their implication is measurable as well as their positive effects on progress. Lastly the MDGs bring attention to measurements of wellbeing beyond income. As well. as well as more progress made. more data will be collected. that there is still validity in setting goals as they provide a political and operational framework to achieving the goals. With an increase in the quantity and quality of healthcare systems in developing countries. malaria.
Challenges of the Millennium Development Goals
Although developed countries' aid for the achievement of the MDGs has been rising over the recent year.
Summits such as the Earth Summit in Rio. are now Parties to that convention.
Poverty and the Environment
The causes of poverty and of environmental degradation are inter-related suggesting that approaching sustainable development requires understanding the issues from many angles. the record on moving towards sustainability so far appears to have been quite poor. or cannot function.
Addressing Biodiversity Loss
At the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit). the Parties to the Convention committed to significantly reduce the loss of biodiversity loss by 2010. were major international meetings to bring sustainable development to the mainstream. and a large part of humanity around the world still live without access to basic necessities. not just say an environmentalist or economics perspective alone. plus the EU.SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable Development Introduction
The idea of sustainable development grew from numerous environmental movements in earlier decades. that did not happen. Despite numerous successful conservations measures supporting biodiversity. the 2010 biodiversity target has not been met at the global level. 192 countries. 1992. In the past however. Perhaps predictably. This page provides an overview on how the attempts to prevent biodiversity loss are progressing. Brazil. some NGOs from the wealthy nations have received a bad reputation in some developing nations because of things like arrogance.
. The concept of sustainability means many different things to different people.
Non-Governmental Organizations on Development Issues
What does an ever-increasing number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mean? NGOs are non-profit organizations filling the gap where governments will not. the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was born. In April 2002. However.
but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target. the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms. and so on. billions have certainly been given each year. annually. Since that time.7% target. This article looks into these issues and the impacts it has on people around the world. For example.imposition of their views. economics. Yet. recently some new and old NGOs alike have started to become more participatory and grassroots-oriented to help empower the people they are trying to help. This is in general a positive turn. for many years. have included the following:
Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable. to help themselves. the fact that there are so many NGOs popping up everywhere perhaps points to failures of international systems of politics. Common criticisms. being a foreign policy arm or tool of the original country and so on. the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0. and basic rights. of foreign aid. However. Even in recent years some of these criticisms still hold. Furthermore. profits over people. money can often be
products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
embezzled away. markets.
Water and Development
Issues such as water privatization are important in the developing world especially as it goes right to the heart of water rights.
Foreign Aid for Development Assistance
In 1970.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid. aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is a bit of a buzz word and some feel that it has been diluted from its original aims. up to one third of doctors may be from abroad. in many rich countries. while others are trying to find innovative ways to engage with businesses to be more responsible in their practices. This has led to concerns that the outcome document will be weakened. ranging from poor conditions domestically to attractive opportunities and active enticement from abroad.
Energy security is a growing concern for rich and emerging nations alike. Developing countries are also worried about stronger text on human rights and about giving the UN Security Council more powers. As the global financial crisis takes hold and awareness of climate change increases. the US has proposed enormous changes to an outcome document that is to be signed by all members. But will the geopolitics remain the same?
Brain Drain of Workers from Poor to Rich Countries
Brain drain is a problem for many poor countries losing skilled workers to richer countries. There are changes on almost all accounts. However. while many African countries have as little as 500 doctors serving their entire population. adopted by all Member States in 2000. including striking any mention of the Millennium Development Goals that aim for example. the effects can often be seen vividly. The past drive for fossil fuel energy has led to wars. In healthcare. or little in comparison to fossil fuel investments.
United Nations World Summit 2005
The UN World Summit for September 2005 is supposed to review progress since the Millennium Declaration. and puppet governments and dictatorships. Leading nations admit we are addicted to oil. many from Sub-Sahara Africa. For example.
. but investment into alternatives has been lacking. Reasons for this brain drain vary. to halve poverty and world hunger by 2015. more nations and companies are trying to invest in alternatives. overthrow of democratically elected leaders.
Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy. despite this. through its many satellite organizations and entities. animal and nature conservation. population. genetically modified food. it is also performing some much needed tasks around the world. This section introduces other issues including biodiversity. privatization of energy. sustainable development. Humans depend on a sustainable and healthy environment. In addition there was also concern about motives and influences of large corporations on the outcomes of the Summit. Unfortunately though.
Causes of Poverty
Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. water. it is not perfect and is negatively affected by politics of powerful nations that wish to further their own interests. health. made poor decisions. providing a means to realize the Declaration of Human Rights. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.
United Nations on Development Issues
The United Nations is the largest international body involved in development issues around the world.
Environmental issues are also a major global issue.World Summit on Sustainable Development
This section introduces some of the issues on the international summit (August 26 .September 4. etc. and yet we have damaged the environment in numerous ways. there was a lot of controversy including differences between the global North and South on all sorts of issues such as corporate-led globalization. But.
. and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. 2002) where thousands of delegates met to discuss various issues comprising sustainable development. it has many political issues and problems to contend with. However. climate change. Of course. and more.
There are numerous forms of aid. from humanitarian emergency assistance. to longer term development aid. or of political agendas or more. either around inefficiency of delivery. or military assistance. & Related Issues Consumption and Consumerism
. This section attempts to look at some of these issues. but all these forms of aid seem to be accompanied with criticism. Some provide food aid. Economy. Some of the other main issues are: G8: Too Much Power Trade.