The United Nations praised progress made around the world toward achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in an official report released today. Targets for reducing poverty, increasing access to clean water and ensuring environmental sustainability have already been reached in advance of the 2015 deadline, and others are on their way to being achieved, according to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.
But the UN, along with human rights groups, said that the results are uneven and called for continued efforts to fight disease, pollution and inequality. More attention should be given to regions such as South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, where conflict, underdeveloped rural areas, continuous population growth and economic volatility have made for slower growth, they said.
“The concerted efforts of national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector have helped expand hope and opportunity for people around the world,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon wrote in the report’s foreword. “But more needs to be done to accelerate progress. We need bolder and focused action where significant gaps and disparities exist.”
Four of the eight MDGs – those seeking to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, promote universal primary education, preserve environmental sustainability and build a global partnership for development – have already been achieved or are close to being achieved, particularly in east and central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and northern Africa, according to the new report. Health-related goals have been harder to attain, however, as many regions continue to struggle with improving maternal health, fighting disease and reducing child mortality.