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Millennium Development Goals Summit 2010

The Millennium Declaration and Development Goals: A Blueprint for Progress

22 September 2010 - In September of 2000 the largest gathering of world leaders in human history gathered for the Millennium Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York. In that pivotal year, representatives from 189 Member States of the United Nations met to reflect on their common destiny. The nations were interconnected as never before, with increased globalization promising faster growth, higher living standards and new opportunities.

The convened leaders set down the Millennium Declaration, a series of collective priorities for peace and security, poverty reduction, the environment and human rights – essential steps for the advancement of humankind, as well as for the immediate survival for a significant portion of it. Human development, they agreed, is the key to sustaining social and economic progress in all countries, as well as contributing to global security.

But how would the world community achieve these priorities? Following further meetings with many world agencies, the delegation also drew up a blueprint for a better future: the Millennium Development Goals. By 2015, the leaders pledged, the world would achieve measurable improvements in the most critical areas of human development.

The Millennium Development Goals Set Priorities for Children

Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. Why:

Because six of the eight goals relate directly to children. Meeting the last two 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 has been ratified by 192 states, every country in the world except two. The Millennium Development Goals must be met for these basic human rights to be realized.
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.

Now, with only five years left until the 2015 deadline, world leaders are meeting at a summit in New York (20-22 September) to accelerate progress towards the MDGs. The high-level meeting of the General Assembly is being held to take stock of the progress made so far – which include slashing poverty, combating disease, fighting hunger, protecting the environment and boosting education – and to accelerate progress to reach the Goals by their 2015 deadline.

You can find all of child-related MDG Summit materials on the right-hand side, including press releases, reports, and opinion pieces.




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