The U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) generated unprecedented levels of commitment to dramatically cut poverty and disease, improve access to education and health, and promote gender equity and environmental sustainability.
Over the past decade, the MDGs have become in many ways the most accessible set of global benchmarks — embraced by governments, civil society actors, grassroots and youth-focused groups, and celebrities alike.
However, progress on the MDGs as a whole is a mixed bag, particularly in Africa, where many of the MDG targets will not be met. For most of the past decade, global hunger has steadily increased, particularly in 2008-2009 as a food price crisis emerged in tandem with the global economic downturn. One of the most important requirements for progress on the MDGs is clear leadership at the country level, including the integration of the goals into national planning.
With a focused strategy, based on measurable results, the United States can redouble its efforts to accelerate progress on the MDGs.