At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 world leaders placed development at the heart of the global agenda by adopting the U.N. Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set clear targets for reducing poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women by 2015.
The eight Millennium Development Goals constitute an ambitious agenda to significantly improve the human condition by 2015. The Goals set clear targets for reducing poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. For each Goal a set of Targets and Indicators have been defined and are used to track the progress in meeting the Goals.
Goals alone, even when they are quantified, time-bound, and endorsed repeatedly by the international community, are certainly not enough to ensure success. The world needs an operational framework for achieving the MDGs.
With that in mind, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan commissioned the Millennium Project as an independent advisory body to recommend practical ways to help every country to achieve the MDGs. The Millennium Project brings together experts from around the world – from academia, civil society, government, the private sector and multilateral organizations – to make recommendations for how the international system can best organize itself to ensure the achievement of the MDGs.
Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University directs the Project, which is housed at the United Nations Development Programme's Headquarters in New York. The research of the Millennium Project is performed by 10 Task Forces. Each Task Force comprises independent experts drawn from academia, the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, and UN agencies. As such, the Project seeks to ensure that it builds on the best research already being carried out across the world.
As a core part of its work in 2004 and early 2005, the Millennium Project is working with a selected number of UN Country Teams in assisting governments to develop MDG-based, 3-5 year poverty reduction strategies (including Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) in the context of 2015 planning horizons. The Project is working in countries where the government is committed to broad human development strategies and to the MDGs as specific targets. The list of countries slated for this initiative is: Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tajikistan and Yemen.
From 06 to 09 of December the World Family Organization and the Chinese Government in partnership with the United Nations will hold the World Family Summit in Sanya, Hainan Province, China. The main purpose of the World Family Summit is to promote the Family’s contribution to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals following a multi-stakeholder approach and a better and common understanding of the MDGs and the role of Family in contributing to their implementation through an enhanced learning, dialogue and action process.
In order to prepare WFO members and participants in general, to the discussions and the outcome recomendations, in the next two weeks the background papers positions based on the work of the Millennium Project will be available for consultation and download in the World Family Summit website.
The World Family Summit Organizing Committee wishes a pleasant reading and deep reflection for the benefit of the "Families of the World".