From the official MDG site:

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

More from Wikipedia:

The MDGs originated from the Millennium Declaration produced by the United Nations. The Declaration asserts that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity. The MDGs were made to operationalize these ideas by setting targets and indicators for poverty reduction in order to achieve the rights set forth in the Declaration on a set fifteen-year timeline.

No discussion of contemporary global issues would be complete without reference to the MDGs. Much has been said and done in relation to these goals, but there has been (and continues to be) great debate surrounding the whole MDG project.

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