World Economic and Social Survey 2014/2015

MDG Lessons for Post-2015

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At the United Nations Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000, Member States adopted the Millennium Declaration, a commitment to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and build a safer, more prosperous and equitable world. The aims of the Declaration were translated into a road map that included eight time-bound and measurable goals to be reached by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The United Nations flagship publication, World Economic and Social Survey 2014/2015, will review and analyse the MDG experience in order to determine the lessons that will be helpful for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

Launching the MDGs galvanized the international community into action and directly connected the fundamental values and principles of the United Nations—freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility—with actual development efforts at the grassroots level.

The world reached the global poverty reduction target five years ahead of schedule and also reached the target for improved drinking water. Major, measurable progress has been achieved in regard to primary education and the fight against malaria and tuberculosis. Nevertheless, shortfalls remain in reaching targets related to reduction of hunger, child and maternal mortality, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. Large gaps remain in the delivery of global partnership commitments, particularly ODA. Progress has also been uneven across countries and among different population groups and regions within countries.

With the deadline of the MDGs fast approaching, the United Nations Member States are working with civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and to move forward with an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, which has a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as its primary focus.

At this critical juncture of transition from the MDGs to the post-2015 agenda, it is important for the international community to look back upon the MDG experience, take stock of the successes and shortcomings in achieving the MDGs, and draw necessary lessons as a useful reference for post-2015 development planning.


About the World Economic and Social Survey

In 1947, a mandate by the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit annual reports on current world economic conditions and trends to the Economic and Social Council. The following reports were produced as a result of this mandate: Economic Report: Salient Features of the World Economic Situation from 1945 to 1947World Economic Report (1948-1954); World Economic Survey (1955-1993); and World Economic and Social Survey (1994-1998). In 1999, the report was split into two. The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) serves as the United Nations’ definitive report on the state of the world economy. The World Economic and Social Survey focuses on specific medium- to long-term development challenges. Since 2005, the Survey has devoted itself entirely to specific themes of topical interest related to development. It provides objective analyses of pressing long-term social and economic development issues and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policy prescriptions.