Millennium Development Goals: Helping or Hindering?


Adopted in 2000 by the United Nations the Millienium Development Goals (MDGs) set out to achieve the eradication of many severe issues currently facing the global community issues ranging from extreme poverty and hunger to ensuring environmental sustainability. There are currently 8 MDGs with the many of the goals being assigned the target date of next year. While many will discuss whether or not the MDGs can be achieved by next year I will take a different approach, the following paragraphs will analyse who emerge the victors and losers as a result of the MDGs

While it is praiseworthy that states and international organizations have committed to the improvement of the many issues faced particularly by people in the developing world we must not be so passive to assume that everyone will benefit from the MDGs.

Let’s take MDG 8 for example. MDG 8 states a commitment to develop a global partnership for development. Praiseworthy indeed but let’s look at it a bit more closely target 8F states that to achieve this it will co-operate with the private sector, what they are effectively saying is ‘we will provide more privatization to the developing world’; because clearly to eradicate inequality one must inject more inequality.

MDG 3 too, just like MDG 8, is admirable. MDG 3 states its commitment to ‘Promote gender equality and empower women.’ Firstly anyone can promote gender equality through verbal rhetoric so the MDG is arguably not significantly momentous. Putting that aside for a moment let us look at how it will be achieved. Education is how. The aim is to ‘eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education’. As is evident MDG 3 does not go far enough because gender inequality is not simply confined to the classroom it also exists in the workplace and in life. So MDG 3 is effective enough so it benefits women.

So who emerges as the winners of the MDGs? Well there two ways to look at it; optimistically or pessimistically. The optimist side will conclude that despite the MDGs not being perfect they have benefited many people for example MDG 1a- the target to halve, from 1990 levels, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day by 2015- has been achieved ahead of schedule. So we can say with confidence that those people affected have merged as the winners. On the other hand the pessimist, and I, will say that the private sector has emerged as the winners they are effectively profiting from poverty, the collaboration with the private sector is counter- productive for it is simply pumping more neo- liberalism in the world which aggravates the very same severe issues that the MDGs are trying to solve. Meaning people in poverty continue to emerge as the losers of the global economy, it is important to point out that women too are emerging as the losers of the MDGs as they simply do not go far enough and ignores the many other forms of gender inequality.

Marte Vokshi


One thought on “Millennium Development Goals: Helping or Hindering?

  1. I literally agree with you on your first 2 paragraphs, yes MGDs have done so well in many other countries and some of their goals have been achieved in the developed countries just as you said. The MDGs are really trying their best to see the attainment of all the goals, but for the third world countries the progress in some cases are very slow due to lack of directive. Nevertheless, the MDGs 3 in the third world countries is also in a fitting path; let me give you some example in Nigeria there are a lot of women empowerment activities, which in turn will benefit the country in so many other ways. To sum-up, I think the MDGs are on a good track but to be sincerely I don’t think they will be able to meet all their targets next year.
    zakiyyah tukur

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