Intended for healthcare professionals


What should follow the millennium development goals?

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 28 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1193
  1. Charles Kenny, senior fellow
  1. 1Center for Global Development, 1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036, USA
  1. ckenny{at}CGDEV.ORG
  • Accepted 14 February 2013

Debate on what should replace the millennium development goals when their target date of 2015 is reached is hotting up. Charles Kenny comments on lessons learnt from their success and failure and looks at the suggestions for the post-2015 development agenda

The millennium development goals were an offshoot of the United Nations Millennium Declaration agreed by world leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2000.1 The eight goals that were subsequently adopted in 2001 set targets for progress to reduce poverty and improve outcomes in nutrition, education, health, equality, the environment, and global partnerships by 2015 (box). With that end date fast approaching debate on what should follow them is mounting, and later this year the UN secretary general will set out a draft agenda based on recent consultations. As discussion continues it is important to consider the successes and failures of the goals learnt from the lessons these provide, and look at the desirability and feasibility of new goals that have been suggested.

Millennium development goals

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day

  • Achieve decent employment for women, men, and young people

  • Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
  • Ensure that all girls and boys can complete a full course of primary schooling

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates
  • Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate for children under 5 years

Goal 5: Improve maternal health
  • Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio

  • Achieve universal access to reproductive health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

  • Achieve universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS

  • Have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources

  • Reduce …

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