Supporting progress for attainment of the MDGs

At the start of the century, members of the United Nations set the international agenda for the beginning of the new century. The resulting Millennium Declaration is a broad commitment of all UN member states. The declaration applies the principles of the UN Charter to a new world and a new millennium. The declaration defines a new international agenda in seven key areas:
  • peace, security and disarmament
  • development and poverty eradication
  • protecting our common environment
  • human rights, democracy and good governance
  • protecting the vulnerable
  • meeting the special needs of Africa
  • strengthening the United Nations 
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) extract and refine those elements of the Millennium Declaration that are related to development.
The MDGs are:

    GOAL 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    GOAL 2: Achieve universal primary education
    GOAL 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
    GOAL 4: Reduce child mortality
    GOAL 5: Improve maternal health
    GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
    GOAL 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
    GOAL 8: Develop a global partnership for development

The goals are time-bound, starting in 1990, to be achieved by 2015. They comprise only those elements of the Millennium Declaration which are both related to development and quantifiable. Only if they are quantifiable, can one objectively measure progress.
The first seven goals stress the responsibility of developing countries to undertake policy reforms and enhance good governance. Goal eight focuses on the responsibility of developed nations to relieve debt, increase aid and give developing countries better access to its technologies and markets.
To be as precise as possible, the Millennium Development Goals include 18 targets for the eight goals. One goal is normally defined by one or two targets. For each target, a number of indicators make progress measurable. There are 48 indicators in total.
The Millennium Development Goals are not meant to be analytical tools or a strategic path for successful development. Instead they tell us where the world wants to go, but not how to get there thus requiring a strong link with strategies for attaining the goals.
Strategies for attaining the MDGs are laid out in national poverty reduction strategies or the World Bank’s so-called Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs)
The UN is supporting the implementation and monitoring of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Programme through the the UNDAF 2006-2010.
Because the Millennium Development Goals are a limited sub-set of the Millennium Declaration, they are not scientific, but rather a politically negotiated consensus. This explains why important areas like good governance or human rights which are now outlined in the Swaziland PRSAP and are included in the Declaration are not included in the goals. In these cases, it was not possible to find a consensus about how to define and measure the goals.
MDGs in Swaziland
Swaziland has adopted a Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Programme (PRSAP) as a mechanism for attaining the MDGs. The PRSAP is structured into six pillars dealing with broad thematic areas for addressing poverty. The six pillars are:
  •       Facilitating investment and economic growth based on broad participation;
  •       Promoting fair distribution of the benefits of growth
  •       Empowering the poor to generate income
  •       Human Capital Development
  •       Improvement of the quality of life for the poor
  •       Improving governance and strengthening institutions