These are challenges to poor countries to demonstrate good governance and a commitment to poverty reduction. And these are challenges to wealthy countries to make good on their promise to support economic and social development of the world.
The Millennium Development Goals have captured the world's attention, in part because they can be measured.
In September 2000, leaders from 189 nations agreed on a vision for the future: a world with less poverty, hunger, and disease; greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants; better-educated children; equal opportunities for women; and a healthier environment—a world in which developed and developing countries worked in partnership for the betterment of all.
This vision took the shape of eight Millennium Development Goals, which provide a framework for development planning for countries around the world, and time-bound targets by which progress can be measured.
To help track progress on the commitment made in 2000 in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, international and national statistical experts selected relevant indicators to be used to assess progress over the period from 1990 to 2015, when targets are expected to be met.
Each year the Secretary-General presents a report to the UN General Assembly on progress achieved toward implementing the Declaration, based on data on the 48 selected indicators, aggregated at global and regional levels.
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 and (8) Develop a global partnership for development.