Millennium Development Goals

Safe drinking water - an unfinished agenda

This picture taken on April 9, 2013 shows a man walking along the riverbed of the Hanjiang River during its dry season in Shiyan, Hubei province. Photo: AFP

Without water there is no life. Clean drinking water and sanitation are basic human rights – essential to life and to all other rights.

Friday, 24 May, 2013, 6:04pm 1 comment

A shame to forget the poorest of the poor

President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Photo: EPA

All eyes will be on Bali this week as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hosts a meeting that will define the next global development agenda. The UN High Level Panel for the post-2015 agenda, co-chaired by Yudhoyono, has put ending extreme poverty on their agenda - but this goal will only be realised if the world tackles rising inequality.

25 Mar 2013 - 2:37am

Put an end to child marriage

Today is our human family's first-ever International Day of the Girl. This day celebrates the fact that it is girls who will change the world. It also recognises the hardships that girls disproportionately endure - and it is especially important that child marriage should be the UN's chosen theme for this inaugural day.

11 Oct 2012 - 12:27am

How long before we can punish eco-criminals?

There was no law against genocide in the early 1940s; it only became an internationally recognised crime after the worst genocide of modern history had actually happened. Similarly, there is no law against 'ecocide' now. That will only come to pass when the damage to the environment has become so extreme that large numbers of people in rich countries are dying.

26 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Poverty is beating a slow but sure retreat

We all know the cliches: Is the glass half full or half empty? Is the light in the tunnel the train coming towards you? But this time, the new World Bank figures on global poverty are absolutely clear. The glass is filling up. The train is not going to crash into us. The doomsayers have been proved wrong.

11 May 2012 - 12:00am

On the whole, people are leading healthier lives

In some important ways, perhaps a majority of the people in the developing world live a better life than did the rich of 400 or even 200 years ago in Europe and North America.

31 May 2011 - 12:00am

The stay-behind generation: casualties of the booming economy in mainland cities

A visit by Premier Wen Jiabao to the children of Shaanxi's Sanqu village last Saturday added a personal touch to a pressing national issue.

2 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

The hand that rocks the cradle needs at least basic schooling

BHAURI MALAVAT was married off at 31/2, but she was one of the lucky ones. In her village in Rajasthan, a desert state in northwest India, there is a tradition that if an old person dies, all the girls are given away in marriage, and she was one of five handed this fate.

20 Jan 2007 - 12:00am

Precious water

Today is World Water Day. March 22 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as World Water Day in 1993.

The event aims to raise awareness of the need to preserve water, which is a valuable resource.

22 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Nine-year deadline to meet grand goals

In September 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit in New York, world leaders agreed to a set of targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

The eight Millennium Development Goals, most of which were given a target deadline of 2015, are listed below.

10 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Sachs appeal

Without doubt, Jeffrey Sachs is headed for a Nobel Prize for economics. There is no argument that his intelligence and insight have improved the lives of millions of people.

15 Apr 2004 - 12:00am

Attacking the root of terror: poverty

As the shadows close in on 2003, this year of nameless terror seems likely to be remembered not for threats that were vanquished but for those that still haunt the future.

30 Dec 2003 - 12:00am

Scheme gives women hope

Helping villagers achieve self-reliance is the goal of Unicef's Social Development Programme in Poor Areas in China (SPPA).

Implemented in selected townships of 24 poor counties in 12 provinces of China, the programme aims to improve the living conditions of poor rural women and their children by providing basic health services, education, water and sanitation.

20 Jan 2000 - 12:00am