The United Nations System
It was at a United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 that world leaders agreed to a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and 18 targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.
The goals were enshrined in the Millennium Declaration, which was the outcome of the Millennium Summit.
The MDGs provide a framework for the entire UN system. The UN has a key role to play in addressing the challenges posed by the MDGs, in ensuring that policies and strategies for achieving the MDGs are developed and implemented and for monitoring progress towards the goals. The UN Development Group (UNDG) has special responsibility in ensuring that the MDGs remain at the centre of the UNs work.
Each year the United Nations General Assembly produces an annual report on the progress towards implementing the Millennium Declaration and assesses how well member states are doing in fulfilling the pledges they made at the Millennium Summit.
The Millennium Indicators Database from the UN Statistics Division provides a comprehensive regional and country analysis of progress on the MDGs.
Implementing the goals
Those parts of the UN system that have an important role to play in implementing the MDGs include:
- The UN Economic and Social Council
- UN Programmes and Funds
- UN Specialised Agencies
- The Millennium Project
What the UN General Assembly says about the MDGs
“The world is making progress toward the MDGs but it is uneven and too slow. A large majority of nations will reach the MDGs only if they get substantial support – advocacy, expertise and resources – from outside. The challenges for the global community, in both the developed and developing world, are to mobilise financial support and political will, re-engage governments, re-orient development priorities and policies, build capacity and reach out to partners in civil society and the private sector”.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The Millennium Declaration
The Millennium Indicators Database – charting progress
UN Development Group (UNDG)
UN Millennium Development Goals site
UN system – an introduction by students
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