WHAT ARE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS?
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals the world has ever agreed upon. These eight time-bound goals provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. They include goals and targets on income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development.
Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the MDGs are both global and local, tailored by each country to suit specific development needs. They provide a framework for the entire international community to work together towards a common end – making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. If these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half, tens of millions of lives will be saved, and billions more people will have the opportunity to benefit from the global economy.
Taken from: United Nations Development Programme (http://www.undp.org/mdg/)
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Why do the MDGs need to consider Human Rights?
The Millennium Development Goals are largely silent on human rights, and the targets they set are in some cases less than what states are already obligated to do under international law. For example, the MDGs contain no explicit requirement that states identify and address exclusion and discrimination. The targets and indicators for many of the goals do not acknowledge the variety of human rights factors that drive and deepen poverty. Integrating international human rights standards into MDG efforts could lead to more meaningful progress on the MDGs in the next five years. This would require that governments review all MDG initiatives and efforts to ensure their consistency with human rights; address discrimination experienced by women and other groups; set appropriate national targets, both in terms of levels of progress that should be achieved on particular issues and those prioritized; fulfil the right to participation; and strengthen mechanisms for accountability.
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