The Millennium Development Goals

The eight MDGs - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDs and providing universal primary education - have been a milestone in global and national development efforts.  The framework helped to galvanize development efforts and guide global and national development priorities.  Although three of the eight goals have been achieved, overall progress on the MDGs has been uneven within and across countries (MDG 2015 Report).

Progress on the MDGs:  a snapshot of what has been achieved by 2015 (as of Aug 2014) Source: UN Statistical Commission

The scale and ambition of the 2030 sustainable development agenda create a tremendous opportunity for the private sector to demonstrate the central role it plays in sustainable development and human prosperity.

Lessons need to be learned from the MDG experience on how to best catalyze private sector activity, particularly because the SDGs will be far more ambitious than the MDGs in that they will go beyond core needs and touch upon virtually every aspect of human existence and will apply universally, to all UN Member States, not just developing countries.