Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

"We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone". (UN Millennium Declaration, UN A/Res/55/2, 2000.)

In its 2000 Millennium Declaration, the United Nations set eight goals for development, called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals set an ambitious agenda for improving the human condition by 2015.

In support of these goals, the Millennium Project was launched to recommend the best strategies for achieving the MDGs. It has selected a series of indicators to measure progress towards each goal's achievement. 

Investing in water to reach the Millennium Development Goals

The third edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR3) was published in 2009 more than mid-way along the timeline from the Millennium Summit of 2000 and the 2015 target date for attaining the MDGs.

The Millennium Declaration placed safe drinking water and basic sanitation firmly among the development objectives, making it a target of Millennium Development Goal 7.

But while adequate progress is being made towards the provision of safe drinking water, the sanitation target is far from being met .

And despite progress, the scale of the challenge remains massive.

In many places the sanitation targets will be missed by a wide margin. Both the drinking water and sanitation targets are vitally important. The contribution of improved drinking water and sanitation to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals is now well established.


Facts and figures extracted from WWDR3, Water in a Changing World (2009). Click on the links to know more!

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