Photo courtesy of United Nations
Three key targets of the UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty, slums and water have been met, says the 2012 MDG Report launched earlier this month, to which UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to form "a true global partnership" to achieve all targets on MDGs by the deadline of 2015.
According to the new Report's findingsboth the number of people living in extreme poverty and poverty rates themselves fell in every developing region—including in sub‐Saharan Africa, where rates are highest in the world. Preliminary estimates indicate that in 2010, the share of people living on less than a $1.25 a day dropped to less than half of its 1990 value, this key information coming to light for the first time since poverty trends began to be monitored.
This achievement is very significant as it means that the MDG #1—cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level has already been achieved at the global level.
The 2012 Report also highlights reaching the target of halving the proportion of people living without access to improved sources of drinking water. The proportion of people using improved water sources has increased from 76 percent in 1990 to 89 percent in 2010. This means that more than two billion people currently have access to improved sources to clean drinking water such as piped supplies or protected wells.
On the urban front, the number of residents living in the slums of developing nations living has declined from 39 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2012, translating to more than 200 million people who have gained access to either improved water sources, improved sanitation facilities, or durable or less crowded housing. The UN says that this achievement exceeds the target of significantly improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, also ahead of a 2020 deadline.
Despite these strong achievements much work remains to done. For example, the international community has yet to achieve Goal 2; universal primary education, goal 3; Promote gender equality and empower women; goal 4 Reduce child mortality goal 5; or goal 7, Ensure environmental sustainability.
In his foreword to the 2012 MDG Report, the UN Chief says that further success on achieving all of the MDGs depends on fulfilling MDG‐8 – the global partnership for development goal. Mr. Ban underscored that, "the current economic crises besetting much of the developed world must not be allowed to decelerate or reverse the progress that has been made. Let us build on the successes we have achieved so far, and let us not relent until all the MDGs have been attained."
According to the UN, the MDGs are based on the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed by world leaders in September 2000, committing world leaders to combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women.