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At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015 that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the worlds poorest.
The MDG provide a framework for the entire international community to work together towards a common end - making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. If these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half, tens of millions of lives will be saved, and billions more people will have the opportunity to benefit from the global economy.
At the midpoint in MDG timeline, great progress has already been made. Reducing absolute poverty by half is within reach for the world as a whole. With the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, primary school enrolment is at least 90 percent. Malaria prevention is expanding, with widespread increases in insecticide-treated bed-net use among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa. In 16 out of 20 countries, use has at least tripled since around 2000. One point six billion people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990.
Alongside the successes are an array of goals and targets that are likely to be missed unless more action is taken urgently: about one quarter of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight and are at risk of long-term effects of undernourishment; more than 500,000 prospective mothers in developing countries die annually in childbirth or of complications from pregnancy; in Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of people living on just over a dollar a day is unlikely to be cut in half. Additionally, in middle income countries like Mexico, Brazil, Romania, Macedonia, and Indonesia, inequality has also led to "pockets of poverty" - socially-excluded groups that will need specific attention if their countries are to reach the MDGs.
The global economic crisis also threatens to destabilize progress, as a better future for the world's most vulnerable people could fall victim to contraction of trade, remittances, capital flows and donor support. At a time when investing in development is more vital than ever to ensure social stability, security and prosperity, donor governments are called upon to renew rather than revoke their commitment to reaching the MDGs.
At Hindustan Young Leaders Conference, we intend to create an awareness of the MDG goals and we shall be fostering an environment that would enable delegates to raise and deliberate upon these issues and draft valuable suggestions and alternative solutions. We look forward to your contributions to the entire MDG Development process. We promise you a life learning experience which will help increase your awareness concerning the most prevalent global issues.