|Millennium Development Goals|
In September 2000, leaders of over 180 governments convened for the United Nations Millennium Summit, and together they adopted a broad and progressive Millennium Declaration, which identifies priorities for the new millennium. The Declaration provides a new framework for reducing poverty and promoting development, and establishes a series of goals, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to guide action and priority setting at the country level. These goals are intended not only as a way of stimulating progress in the developing world, but also as a means of ensuring that wealthier countries and intergovernmental institutions contribute to accelerating this progress.
The eight MDGs set out specific targets and corresponding indicators for the following areas: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and ensuring global partnerships for development. A full list of the goals and their indicators is available here.
IWHC and other advocates for sexual and reproductive rights are working to develop ways to achieve progress on a range of issues within the framework established by the MDGs. IWHC is committed to ensuring that the central goals of the ICPD—including universal access to reproductive health by 2015—are prioritized within the interpretation and implementation of the MDGs, and we are in a unique position to ensure that momentum toward these goals is maintained. During the 1980s and early 1990s, we played a critical role in efforts to convince policy makers in the population and family planning fields—dominated, at the time, by approaches that sought to regulate women’s fertility without always respecting their human rights—to embrace a more rights-based approach to reproductive health. We then helped mobilize women worldwide to persuade governments to adopt this approach, resulting in the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action by 179 nations. We are now working to ensure that the same perspective is applied to the MDGs, both within the UN system and at the country level, advocating for a rights-based approach to development that prioritizes equity, profound social changes, and sustainability, rather than simply the achievement of narrow quantitative targets.
Links of Interest>>
>> Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals, the 2002 Progress of the World’s Women report released by UNIFEM (the United Nations Development Fund for Women).