What are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

The MDGs are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states have agreed to achieve by 2015. Based on earlier international development targets, the MDGs were officially established at the Millennium Summit in 2000, where all world leaders present adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

The MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality rates, and fighting disease epidemics such as HIV and AIDS. They aim to promote development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries.

What is happening in September and why is it important?

Progress on the MDGs has stalled. While there have been early results in some areas, some countries are not on track to meet any of the targets. So a special review summit on the MDGs will convene at the UN in New York in September.

With five years left to achieve the MDGs, the summit is a key opportunity to re-energise the global MDG effort and agree on a concrete action plan to accelerate progress towards meeting the MDGs by the target date of 2015.

Why hasn’t more progress been made over the last decade?

Although the MDGs have raised the level of ambition to tackle poverty, poverty is multi-faceted and often entrenched. Cross-cutting themes in development such as human rights, gender equality or the environment are not directly tackled by the MDGs, and some experts feel that this has made progress more difficult.

Progressio feels that it is vital to address interdependences between all eight MDGs by focusing on the cross-cutting issues that are vital to their achievement.  Just as progress on one Goal supports progress on others, failures in one area will inevitably undermine achievements made elsewhere.

Is the environment important in meeting the MDGs?

The environment, recognised individually under MDG 7, is vital to human sustenance and development, and underpins all eight MDGs.  Failure to account for this properly has had major implications for all the other MDGs that rely on the natural environment, from hunger, education and gender equality to child mortality, health and disease.

The key, integral role of the environment in development across the Goals must be recognised and made intrinsic to the forthcoming review.  The Goals need to be addressed coherently and with sufficient resources and support from the international community.

What are you asking Progressio campaigners to do?

Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister) and Andrew Mitchell (Secretary of State for International Development) will be attending the Review Summit in September. We are asking Progressio campaigners to add their names to a petition demanding they take positive action at the Summit to lead the international community and ensure that it:

  • puts in place clear political and financial commitments, including national plans, timetables and monitoring mechanisms to get progress back on track for 2015;
  • recognises the key, integral role that the environment plays in development and progress across all the goals; and
  • addresses the goals coherently, with sufficient resources and support from the international community and a reinvigoration of the Global Partnership for Development.

We are also asking Progressio supporters to spread the word to friends and colleagues to join the campaign and really make this message heard.

What is Progressio doing to meet the challenge of the MDGs?
All over the world, Progressio is working to improve food security and environmental sustainability.  We know that by addressing climate change, resource scarcity and environmental degradation, poor and marginalised people can improve their quality of life.

Take action on the MDGs here

Read about Andrew and Innocent, two men trying, in different ways but both through Progressio, to meet the challenges of the MDGs.