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  » Education

Education For All

The MDGs

It is the turn of the millennium. Around the world over six billion people speak with one voice as the internet connects us and ideas flow from mind to mind. We stand on the verge of an unprecedented time, able to cure killer disease and finally end world hunger. Governments across the globe can sense a change is near and with pen in hand, today we have the Millennium Goals.

At the United Nations HQ in New York City, 189 Governments from across the world signed the Millennium Declaration. Each one committed themselves to freeing over 1 billion people from poverty and "the entire human race from want". Eight Millennium Development Goals were agreed to achieve the objectives of the Declaration by 2015 and begin a new era of peace and equality.

Rich and poor country, old and new, had signed a declaration that aimed to set the world on a new course. Never before in history has the human race had so much collective wealth and so much potential to do good. In 2003 alone, we spent $900 billion on world arms yet achieving the Millennium Goals could take less than $50 billion per year until 2015.

Goal 1 - Eradicate Hunger and Extreme Poverty

When half the world is living on less than two US dollars a day, you know that something has to be done. Material wealth means much less to the rural poor in India than to you or I, but then a good meal is hardly a major want in life.

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Goal 2 - Achieve Universal Primary Education

You canít navigate without a map and if a poor person needed one, then education would be his map out of poverty. Education is crucial for a countryís development and for ensuring that all children achieve their future potential. No child deserves this right denied.

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Goal 3 - Promote Gender equality and empower women

A healthy society is one where every human being is an individual able to think and act for themselves. Educating women and girls allows them to provide for a healthier and more prosperous family. An educated woman is far more likely to question tradition and secure a better life for herself.

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Goal 4 - Reduce Child Mortality

It is a sad truth that in developing countries 1 out of every 10 children dies before the age of five. Itís an even sadder truth that the cost of preventing such deaths does not have to be with human lives.

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Goal 5 - Improve maternal health

We take our health care for granted. In the USA 1 out of every 3500 mothers die at childbirth. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa that number is closer to 1 in 16. The cost to prevent this happening is not high. Only $50 billion per year to achieve all these goals by 2015.

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Goal 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

Begin the funeral procession for the stats from disease pandemics are terrifying. Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB) and the AIDS pandemic are some of the biggest killers on the globe. Major efforts are underway to prevent these diseases taking more lives but the fight is far from over.

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Goal 7 - Ensure Environmental stability

A healthy planet means healthy lives and itís important we remember the world around us in our quest for a better planet.

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Goal 8 - Develop a Global partnership for development

Whereas goals 1 though 7 mark poor countries commitments to restructure and improve, health, education, gender equality and the environment, goal 8 is the rich countriesí commitment to help them do so.

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Declarations can be signed but just as easily forgotten. In the day to day life of international politics priorities change fast and commitments are delayed. As a world, we humans have a commitment to join together at this momentous time to make the most of what history has to offer us. It can be our generation that eliminates poverty. It can be our generation that tells our children "we did it, we created a world for every man." Let the nay sayers jeer, but this is real and we can make it happen.

Governments are accountable to no-one except the people they govern and itís those people, you and me, who have the ability to make sure they keep their commitments. So far the Millennium goals will not be fulfilled by 2015 at current rates of progress. If you want to, you can make a difference by joining with millions of other humans around the world to make your voice count. Your vote counts and so does your voice. So make your difference to the world today and make poverty history.

Learn More
  • Stand Up Against Poverty Campaign
  • Last year 23.5 million people stood up around the world to remind their Governments to Stand Up Against Poverty. This year the event organises plan to break that world record.
  • End Poverty 2015
  • News on progress made and international campaigns currently underway to end poverty by 2015.
  • Millennium Indicators
  • How much progress have we made? Up-to-date reports using 48 benchmarks to measure progress towards eliminating poverty.
  • The Millenium Development Report 2007
  • Progress towards the Millennium Goals is mixed but for the most part at current rates of progress we will not eliminate poverty by 2015. However, it isnít so much the lack of progress made as the number of lives we could have saved if we had.
  • The Millennium Declaration
  • Read the original document signed by 189 nations at the Millennium Summit in New York in September, 2000.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Did you know that it will cost less than 0.5% of the worldís developed countriesí GNP to eradicate poverty? Each country has pledged to spend 0.7%. Everything is explained on the United Nations Population Fund website.
  • Debt Relief and DFID
  • The UKís Department for International Development (DFID) describes the impact of debt relief on the Millennium Goals and the UKís contribution to the effort.

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