United Nations Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are global policy targets for 2015, adopted by acclamation at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit by world leaders from 191 countries in response to urging by the United States, the European Union, and Japan. The overarching goal was to “end extreme poverty worldwide” by 2015, which was defined entirely in economic terms. Despite all good intentions and moderate progress, by the 2005 “Millennium+5” summit it became evident that the targets would not be achieved as planned, and the 2009 report of the MDG Gap Task Force confirmed this. The shortfall is probably caused by inadequate models and indicators, overly vague definitions, and a lack of international commitment—and not, as the United Nations claims, by the current global economic crisis.

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