"We must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfill the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world.”

-- UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a commitment from the international community to an expanded vision of development that vigorously promotes human development. These goals are the key to sustaining social and economic progress in all countries, and recognize the importance of creating a global partnership for development. The goals have been commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress.

In September 2000, 189 member states of the United Nations adopted the Millennium Declaration to focus the efforts of the world community on achieving significant, measurable improvements in people's lives by the year 2015.

The eight MDGs are:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development

With the target date approaching, the Bank is helping countries reach the MDGs with new health, education, and agriculture financing from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s zero-interest fund for the poorest.

The MDG Summit ended with pledges of more than $40 billion over the next five years to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, an initiative that identifies the finance and policy changes needed, along with vital interventions to help improve health and save lives. This pledge from the international community has the potential of saving the lives of more than 16 million women and children, preventing 33 million unwanted pregnancies, protecting 120 millions of children from pneumonia and 88 million children from stunting, advancing the control of deadly diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, and ensuring access for women and children to quality facilities and skilled health workers.

To help ensure that it is successful, several agencies, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank are collaborating to mobilize ongoing political and operational support, including fighting for universal access to care for all women and children.

The World Bank recently launched its new MDG website to present its holistic, multisectoral approach to achieving the MDGs; report on Bank results toward the MDGs; and track global discussion on the goals over the next five years. This new site includes MDG-related feature stories, slideshows and videos; blog posts by Bank experts; and rotating Bank and partner Twitter feeds. For past stories on individual goals, please see our News page. For MDG related data, please see our MDG page.

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