About the Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals, as set out by the signed Millennium Declaration of 2000, vow to make the elimination of poverty and the existence of self-reliant communities top priorities, culminating in specific measurable results by the year 2015. Targets have been set not only for the countries in need, but also for the donor countries, as both must fully participate in order for the goals to be met.
Serious commitment is required on the parts of both the rich and poor countries alike. And the requirements of the two are intertwined to make the plan doable. It is not enough for countries with the financial wherewithal to send money without the receiving countries establishing policies and teaching their people to fish for themselves. In fact, this declaration was required in order to ensure that the highest levels of all governments were in agreement and would be held accountable for each of their own requirements.
Further, countries will need to set their own goals nationally and locally in order to meet the total picture. In fact, according to the End Poverty 2015 website, “over 60 country reports have already been produced at the national level”, which would suggest that a good number of participants are seriously engaging the goals.
While many view the word poverty as not having money, real poverty is the shortage of food, shelter, clothing, water, education, income, and other basic necessities of life. To add to the problem, these shortages cause disastrous effects for the poor as now they are plagued with other types of poverty. The inability to prevent and cure disease, the inability to sustain themselves and their communities, and the inability to make their lives better because of no access to education. In short, the UN Millennium Project website summarizes the shortages succinctly as, “also basic human rights - the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security”. These shortages of basic necessities would not exist elsewhere as they are tantamount to being the people's rights.
Not only do the goals address the issues of everyday necessities, but also the needs of women, and global partnerships which will aid countries with debt relief and problems specific to their location such as land-locked nations. In terms of women, statistically, they are always poorer even in industrialized countries. Women with children tend not to have the same advantages. And in countries where women are second or third class citizens and girls are not permitted to go to school, the poverty is worse because they have no way out.
Significant strides have been made since 1990 even though the declaration was not signed until 2000. But that is one of the reasons many feel that the plan is completely realistic.