The Millenium Development Goals- Where do we stand?
It is now exactly 12 years since the nations of the UN came together at a summit in New York in September 2000 to adopt what we now know as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The declaration was a series of 8 goals one decade in the making, and range from Maternal Health and Gender Equality to Combating HIV/AIDs and ending poverty. The MDGs themselves each were specific in what they wanted to accomplish and aimed to commit nations to a new global partnership at the turn of the millennium. As part of the declaration a deadline of achieving the objectives of the MDGs by 2015 was set . The goals are quite inspiring in their nature as they set out to unite people right across the world to accomplishing common problems that affect people both in developing and developed countries alike.
Whilst reading through these goals recently I got more and more intrigued as I saw so many parallels between the MDGs and the projects and activities that make up Medsin’s core. Whether it is StopAIDs tackling HIV/AIDs or Healthy planet tackling climate change, Medsin in its day to day running is quietly utilising the next generation to achieve the MDGs set out over a decade ago. Another great aspect to these goals is the fact they also stay true to one of Medsin's essential mottos; Global Health- Local Issue, i.e.- trying to abolish health inequities seen not only in the developing world, but closer to home as well.
However, the question - as we slowly approach the 2015 deadline- is this: how close are we to achieving the collective objectives of the MDGs? Well, the UN has very helpfully created a website with a whole stream of personal stories, resources and interactive maps that allow you to see how each individual goal is progressing in individual countries so I won’t go into them in too much detail. Also, if you that way inclined, you can watch a countdown showing you how long there is left- although as you can imagine there is still 3 years left so you may be waiting a while!
Nevertheless, it is amazing to see how far we have come in 12 years. In fact, three years ahead of ‘schedule’ (if you can call it that), we have already achieved three of the eight goals. Collectively, the countries of the world have significantly reduced the proportion of people worldwide who live on less $1.25 a day and achieved gender equality in primary education in developing countries.
The problem is, as you may expect, that there is still a long way to go achieving all 8 goals and whilst there is much to celebrate, we still can do better. The global economic crisis threatens the momentum that has been built up in recent years. So, as Medsin starts to whirr into action for the new academic year, I greatly look forward to seeing what we, the younger generation, can achieve and contribute to the MDGs. It is fitting I think to finish by saying that whilst we all may act in our own branches and in our own regions, the policies we can influence and the differences we can make- will always be felt at a global level. To quote the UN secretary general Ban-Ki Moon at the UN summit in 2008- '...We did this together. And now, we must forge ahead, We must make it happen.'