Millennium Development Goals

September 4, 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 17
Will the U.N. targets be met by 2015?
By Danielle Kurtzleben


Indian children practice their English alphabets at a school (AFP/Getty Images/Noah Seelam)
Indian children practice their English alphabets at a school near Hyderabad on June 13, 2011. Progress has been made on a key U.N. Millennium Development Goal — achieving universal primary education by 2015 — with primary enrollment in the developing world having reached 90 percent by 2010. (AFP/Getty Images/Noah Seelam)

World leaders from 189 countries gathered at the United Nations in 2000 to approve an ambitious plan to change the world. By 2015, they vowed, countries would meet broad, measurable objectives — which would become the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — designed to, among other things, eliminate extreme poverty and hunger, promote gender equality, achieve universal primary education and fight HIV-AIDS, malaria and other diseases. With the 2015 deadline approaching, some MDG targets appear out of reach. Others — such as halving the percentage of people living in extreme poverty and lacking access to safe drinking water — were met in 2010. But some critics say the MDGs have been inherently unfair because regions such as sub-Saharan Africa were far behind other regions at the outset, so they had much farther to go to meet the targets. As the international community prepares to draft new goals, it seeks lessons from the first round of MDGs on what works, what doesn't and whether goal-setting is the best way to solve global problems.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United Nations
Jun. 24, 2016  Reforming the U.N.
Sep. 04, 2012  Millennium Development Goals
Mar. 20, 2012  Assessing the United Nations
Apr. 2007  World Peacekeeping
Feb. 27, 2004  The United Nations and Global Security
Aug. 18, 1995  United Nations At 50
Jul. 27, 1990  A Revitalized United Nations in the 1990s
Oct. 04, 1985  United Nations at Forty
Aug. 29, 1975  United Nations at Thirty
Oct. 05, 1966  Future of the United Nations
Aug. 19, 1964  United Nations Peacekeeping
Sep. 18, 1963  Afro-Asians in United Nations
Mar. 07, 1962  United Nations Financing
Sep. 12, 1961  United Nations Reorganization
Jun. 20, 1960  United Nations: 1945–1960
Jan. 09, 1957  Policing by United Nations
Mar. 28, 1952  Treaties and Domestic Law
May 28, 1948  Revision of the United Nations
Sep. 18, 1946  Veto Power in United Nations
Jun. 12, 1945  National Sovereignty
Apr. 05, 1945  San Francisco, Yalta, and Dumbarton Oaks
Humanitarian Assistance