The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
In 2000, nearly all of the world’s countries came together at the UN’s Millennium Summit in New York. At this meeting, heads of state agreed to a set of development targets that every country must meet by 2015.
These targets, called the Millennium Development Goals, are:
• Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
• Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
• Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
• Goal 5: Improve maternal health
• Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
• Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
• Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Each of the MDGs has a specific target and indictors for monitoring progress (which can be found at http://www.undp.org/mdg/goallist.shtml). For example, gender equality is measured by equalizing male-female literacy rates for young people and balancing the number of men and women in education, non-agricultural paid employment and the national parliament.
All of the MDGs are relevant to children – either directly, as in the case of MDG 4 (to reduce child mortality), or indirectly, as with MDG 1 (since poverty and hunger blight children’s health and education).
In Thailand, some provinces, such as Mae Hong Son and Nakon Phanom, have issued provincial-level reports on progress towards the MDGs, as well as provincial-level targets that reflect the extent of disparities between the national level and certain poorer and more isolated areas.