On 1 July 2013, the opening day of the ECOSOC high-level segment, the UN Secretary-General presented the 2013 edition of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report. The report is published by an Inter-agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). It outlines which global goals have been met or are on track to be met by their target deadline of 2015, and identifies areas where further progress will be required up to and beyond 2015.
Directing attention to the significant progress made since 2000 in MDG targets, the report highlights successes in reducing the proportion of people living in poverty, increasing access to safe water, decreasing global rates of death due to malaria and tuberculosis, improving conditions for “slum dwellers,” and achieving equality among primary school attendance of girls and boys.
Areas that require “accelerated progress and bolder action” according to the report include: environmental sustainability, more rapid progress in reducing child mortality and maternal deaths, increased access to HIV prevention and treatment, sufficient sanitation, and universal primary education. The report points out the global decrease in aid to the countries that need it most, which has made MDGs progress – particularly for the least developed countries (LDCs) – more difficult to achieve.
In its overview, the report emphasizes disparities – between rural and urban areas in terms of access to services, between rich and poor children in terms of education, and between men and women in decision-making – that need to be addressed. In the less than 1,000 days until the MDGs target date of 31 December 2015, progress on achieving the MDGs “must remain a global priority,” thereby setting the stage for the post-2015 development agenda.
The report includes a section on each of the eight MDGs, with graphs, explanations, and “quick facts” on progress achieved towards each goal and target in each region of the world.