If you follow the news — or can remember back to the turn of the century — you’ve probably heard about the Millennium Development Goals. But chances are the children in your life haven’t. And it could only help them better understand their place as global citizens to learn about them.
It was a historic time in September 2000 when 189 world leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The declaration committed the largest number of world powers in the history of humankind to making the world a better place by establishing a new, global partnership to reduce extreme poverty. It set out eight time-bound targets (with a deadline of 2015) that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs.
The goals are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Under the global partnership for development, action has been taken and progress has been made. But with just over three years remaining until the target date of 2015, much remains to be accomplished. To reach the goals, it will take the combined efforts of not only world governments, but the world’s people.
What can you do? Here are some ideas from the United Nations:
• Fill a cup with food for a hungry person
• Support UNICEF’s work for children
• Send a malaria-preventing bed net to Africa
• Donate $5 to help a child gain access to school supplies, clean water or life-saving health services
• Support Millennium Promise, empowering local communities
• Give to projects you feel passionate about — and see the impact of your donation
For more information on the MDGs, visit http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
“It is not in the United Nations that the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved. They have to be achieved in each of its Member States, by the joint efforts of their governments and people.”
- Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations