UN calls for accelerated action with 1,000 days to go on Millennium Development Goals

People around the world invited to join in boosting momentum for most successful global anti-poverty push in history

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013

New York

The United Nations and its partners around the world will observe the 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – during the next week to inspire further action.

“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.”

The eight time-bound MDGs address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.

Starting 5 April, the actual milestone date, and running through 12 April, the UN will work with governments, civil society and international partners to mark “MDG Momentum: 1,000 Days of Action” in a variety of ways.

In Madrid, Spain, the Secretary-General and young people from the Spanish and European Youth Councils are observing the moment at a special event on 4 April, joined by a number of heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes who are visiting for a senior-level UN meeting.

“In spite of considerable progress, we know that the implementation on the ground of MDG3 on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment is lagging behind, and we have an opportune moment now to accelerate those efforts,” said Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women.

“Women and girls are often at the forefront of the issues that the MDGs address, from facing the brunt of poverty and hunger to the lack of health, education, water and sanitation services and equality. Studies show that gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to the achievement of all development goals and in the last thousand days, we must refocus efforts on the gender equality dimensions of all the MDGs, to ensure impact on the ground, and lead the way into the post-2015 development framework,” she added.

Since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped make tremendous progress to improve people’s lives.

The world’s extreme poverty rate has been cut in half since 1990. A record number of children are in primary school – with an equal number of girls and boys for the first time. Maternal and child mortality have dropped. The world continues to fight killer diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Since 1990, two billion more people have gained access to safe drinking water.

To build on this success and accelerate action, the Secretary-General called on the international community to: increase targeted investments in health, education, energy and sanitation; empower women and girls; focus on the most vulnerable people; keep up aid commitments; and re-energize efforts from governments to grassroots groups to make a difference.

“The MDGs have proven that focused global development objectives can make a profound difference,” Mr. Ban said. “Success in the next 1,000 days will not only improve the lives of millions, it will add momentum as we plan for beyond 2015 and the challenges of sustainable development.”


Social media will play a major role in observing the milestone. A global social media surge on Friday, 5 April – involving 1,000 consecutive minutes of digital engagement – will promote #MDGmomentum and the need to rally the world to step up efforts to achieve the eight Goals as 2015 approaches.

As part of the #MDGmomentum digital rally, UN Women is holding an #AskUNWomen Twitter chat with Deputy Executive Director John Hendra on 5 April at 11:30 a.m. EST on MDG progress for women and girls worldwide. Follow @UN_Women and the hashtag #AskUNWomen on Twitter.

The UN’s MDG gateway will have a dedicated page promoting the various social media materials and initiatives being organized by a number of UN agencies and partners. The website is: www.un.org/millenniumgoals