It's all about children
The Millennium Development Goals set priorities for children
The Millennium Development Goals are our blueprint for building a better world for children in the 21st Century. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. Why:
Because six of the 8 goals relate directly to children.
While the first six goals are immediately related to children - food, education, gender equality, child survival, maternal mortality and HIV, meeting the last two on environment and partnerships will also make critical improvements in their lives.
Because meeting the Goals is most critical for children.
Children are most vulnerable when people lack essentials like food, water, sanitation and health care. They are the first to die when basic needs are not met.
Because children have rights.
Each child is born with the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter, an education, and to participation, equality and protection – rights agreed to, among others, in the 1989 international human rights treaty the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention is almost universally ratified. The Millennium Development Goals must be met for these basic human rights to be realised.
Because reducing poverty starts with children.
Helping children reach their full potential is also investing in the very progress of humanity. For it is in the crucial first years that interventions make the biggest difference in a child’s physical, intellectual and emotional development. And investing in children means achieving development goals faster, as children constitute a large percentage of the world’s poor.
That’s where UNICEF comes in. As a UN organisation, UNICEF is the only inter-governmental agency devoted exclusively to children and is mandated by the world’s governments to promote and protect children’s rights and their well being.
Along with other UN agencies and global partners, UNICEF has taken the Goals as part of its mandate. From working with local policymakers toward health care and education reform to delivering vaccines, each UNICEF action is a step toward a Millennium Development Goal.