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Millennium Development Goals

In September 2000, leaders of 189 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters and signed the historic Millennium Declaration, in which they committed to achieving a set of eight measurable goals that range from halving extreme poverty and hunger to promoting gender equality and reducing child mortality, by the target date of 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

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

Combating HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other diseases

Goal 7

Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8

Develop a global partnership for development

 The MDGs were revolutionary in providing a common language to reach global agreement. The 8 goals were realistic and easy to communicate, with a clear measurement/monitoring mechanism.  

Substantial progress has been made regarding the MDGs. The world has already realized the first MDG of halving the extreme poverty rate by 2015. However, the achievements have been uneven. The MDGs are set to expire in 2015 and the discussion of a post-2015 agenda continues. The focus is now on building a sustainable world where environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and economic development are equally valued.

The MDG Fund contributed directly and indirectly to the achievement of the MDGs. It adopted an inclusive and comprehensive approach to the MDGs. The approach was guided by the Millennium Declaration and its emphasis on development as a right, with targeted attention directed towards traditionally marginalized groups such as ethnic minorities, indigenous groups, and women.

The Global Consultation of Sustainable Development Goals

The Rio+20 conference (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) in Rio de Janeiro, June 2012, galvanized a process to develop a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will carry on the momentum generated by the MDGs and fit into a global development framework beyond 2015.

In the interest of creating a new, people-centered, development agenda, a global consultation was conducted online and offline. Civil society organizations, citizens, scientists, academics, and the private sector from around the world were all actively engaged in the process. Activities included thematic and national consultations, and the My World survey led by the United Nations Development Group. Specialized panels were also held and provided ground to facilitate intergovernmental discussions. The UN Secretary General presented a synthesis of the results of these consultation processes.

In July 2014, the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) proposed a document containing 17 goals to be put forward for the General Assembly’s approval in September 2015. This document set the ground for the new SDGs and the global development agenda spanning from 2015-2030.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as proposed by the OWG

Goal 1

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all

Goal 5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Goal 8

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all

Goal 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The SDG Fund and the SDGs

The SDG Fund is the first cooperation mechanism specifically designed to achieve the future SDGs. Building upon the experience and lessons learned of the previous MDG Achievement Fund (2007-2013), the SDG Fund intends to act as a bridge in the transition from MDGs to SDGs, providing concrete experiences on how to achieve a sustainable and inclusive world post-2015 through its integrated and multidimensional joint programmes.

History of the Funds: from MDGs to SDGs