At the September 2010 MDG Summit, world leaders put forward an ambitious action plan—a roadmap outlining what is needed to meet the goals by the agreed deadline of 2015.

Already, the MDGs have helped to lift millions of people out of poverty, save lives and ensure that children attend school. They have reduced maternal deaths, expanded opportunities for women, increased access to clean water and freed many people from deadly and debilitating disease.

At the same time, the report shows that we still have a long way to go in empowering women and girls, promoting sustainable development, and protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating effects of multiple crises, be they conflicts, natural disasters or volatility in prices for food and energy.

Progress tends to bypass those who are lowest on the economic ladder or are otherwise disadvantaged because of their sex, age, disability or ethnicity.

Disparities between urban and rural areas are also pronounced and daunting. Achieving the goals will require equitable and inclusive economic growth— growth that reaches everyone and that will enable all people, especially the poor and marginalized, to benefit from economic opportunities.

More determined steps must be taken to protect the ecosystems that support economic growth and sustain life on earth. United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012—Rio + 20— was a great opportunity to generate momentum in this direction, which is vital for achieving the MDGs.

How is UNDP helping?

UNDP is working with a wide range of partners to help create coalitions for change to support the goals at global, regional and national levels, to benchmark progress towards them, and to help countries to build the institutional capacity, policies and programmes needed to achieve the MDGs.

- Guided by the UN Core Strategy, UNDP's work on the MDGs focuses on coordinating global and local efforts that:

- Campaign and mobilise for the MDGs through advocacy,

- Share the best strategies for meeting the MDGs in terms of innovative practices, policy and institutional reforms, means of policy implementation, and evaluation of financing options,

- Monitor and report progress towards the MDGs, and

- Support governments in tailoring the MDGs to local circumstances and challenges.

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