21 October 2004
In an address given by Brazilian President Lula da Silva world leaders were urged to intensify their efforts to reduce global poverty in the face of concerns that the UN is falling behind in its stated target of halving world poverty by 2015 and in the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals.
The Millenium Development Goals were a commitment made by the nations of the world that by 2015 they would:-
eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
achieve universal primary education
promote gender equality and empower women
reduce child mortality
improve maternal health
combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases
ensure environmental sustainability
develop a global partnership for development
Each goal is broken down to eighteen specific, achievable targets and forty eight indicators of progress towards achieving the goals.
Whilst some progress has been made particularly in immunization, disease control, reduction in child mortality and the elimination of hunger and poverty in some parts of the world (in other places it has got worse) UN officials say the world body is falling behind in its efforts to achieve the 2015 goals.
For a progress report on the achieving of the millennium development goals visit the Development Gateway website.