In September 2000, at the start of the millennium, world leaders gathered at United Nations headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration and its eight key objectives to be reached by 2015:
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) outlines recent progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in its MDG 2013 report (PDF, 6.60 MB, 68 pages).
Since 2000, Canada has committed to the MDGs through a number of major initiatives.
With its additional $1.1-billion commitment to maternal, newborn, and child health through the G-8 Muskoka Initiative, Canada's total commitment to reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and improving maternal health (MDG 5) will be $2.85 billion from 2010 to 2015.
Canada has prioritized basic education for its direct and proven effect on poverty reduction and sustainable development. By 2011, Canada had contributed $150 million to basic education in Africa, which helped to meet these goals. Canada continues to address the needs of exceptionally vulnerable groups, including children in fragile and conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Sudan.
Canada doubled its international assistance, reaching $5 billion by March 31, 2011. Canada has already met its commitment to double aid to Africa, and is moving to untie fully all of its aid by 2012–2013. All of Canada's food aid was untied by 2008, as was 91 percent of its total aid, substantially increasing the effectiveness of each dollar, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Improving the quality of aid is essential to achieving sustainable development results. As such, reinforcing its continued commitment to support developing countries in their efforts to achieve the MDGs, Canada announced five priority themes for the international assistance envelope:
Canada also integrates three crosscutting themes into its international development programs and priorities:
These crosscutting themes also support achievement of the MDGs.
As the 1,000-day countdown to the 2015 MDG deadline began on April 5, 2013, there is more talk about next steps to determine the development agenda after 2015. Canada is an active participant in this global discussion.
Identifying the objectives for the post-2015 development agenda is an ongoing process that involves global consultations that include UN member states, civil society, the private sector, academia, and research institutions from all regions. As a starting point to this process, the United Nations established a 27-member high-level panel to provide recommendations about the global development framework beyond 2015.
On May 30, 2013, the panel submitted its report (PDF, 3.43 MB, 84 pages) to the United Nations, providing information about the post-2015 process in addition to a starting point for the international community, including Canada, to discuss the post 2015-development objectives.
Canada is supporting the UN-led global consultation process by providing a grant of $1 million to the UNDP in support of these efforts. This consultation process has already reached thousands of people in more than eighty countries, Furthermore, Canada co-sponsored, in partnership with Senegal and Germany, the Global Thematic Consultation on Education, which was held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2013 to discuss ongoing global education goals.
As a way to involve the public in the consultation process, the UN has launched a social media campaign, MY World, which invites the public to take a global survey to identify their priorities for the next global development agenda.
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