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UN Report Highlights MDG Targets Within Reach

United Nations7 July 2014: Many of the currently unfulfilled Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets are within reach by 2015, according to 'The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.' The report provides updates on progress toward fulfilling the MDGs and their targets at global and regional levels. Launching the report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that “achievements have been uneven between goals, among and within regions and countries and between population groups.”

The report highlights that several targets have already been met: world poverty has been reduced by half since 1990; 2.3 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water; and countries have achieved gender parity in primary school. It also finds “great progress” on political participation by women, access to technologies, reduction of average tariffs and debt relief. If trends continue, the world will surpass MDG targets on hunger and malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV.

The report urges accelerated efforts, using available solutions, on MDG targets that are “slipping away from achievement by 2015.” These targets include increasing access to sanitation, and reducing child and maternal mortality. The report also calls for efforts to end open defecation, noting that 82% of people who practice open defecation live in middle-income, populous countries. Further, the report notes upward trends of global carbon dioxide emissions and continuing deforestation, species extinction and scarce water resources.

Continued progress towards the MDGs in 2014 is critical for establishing a stable foundation for a broader set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the report. It also underscores the importance of reliable, robust statistics for monitoring development and holding governments and the international community accountable, noting that MDG monitoring has driven development policy decision making and helped to improve statistical capacity and data availability.

Discussing world changes since the Millennium Declaration was adopted in 2000, Ban stated that "development, peace, security and the rule of law are more deeply connected than ever before."

The report is based on a master set of data that has been compiled by an Inter-agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Secretariat, in response to the wishes of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for periodic assessment of progress towards the MDGs. [UNDP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Report Launch Webcast] [UN Secretary-General Remarks] [UNRIC Press Release] [Publication: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014] [MDG Website]