Editor’s Note:  This article was written in August 2010  but its message continues to be relevant today…..I encourage you to check out the more recent updates on the MDGs…

Today, I simply want to talk about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  I’ve mentioned them before.  If you are real familiar with them, you can skip today’s blog.  If not, then I am strongly encouraging you to please become familiar with them…today’s post is a simple primer on the goals, why they are important and simple things you can do to support them.


Back in September 2000, world leaders gathered at United Nations headquarters for a 3 day summit.  From that meeting, all 189 leaders in attendance unanimously agreed upon a document called the “Millennium Declaration”.  This resolution outlined  some key issues facing the planet at the time of the millennium and some direction towards how to help humanity to move forward on them.  To read a copy of the declaration, CLICK HERE.

Later that year, the UN passed a resolution on how to implement the high level goals set out in the declaration.  Following more meetings and discussion, the result was the MDGs issued in 2001.

As it says on Wikipedia:  “The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nation member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.”

Since that time, UN members and non-government organizations (NGOs) have been focusing time and resources towards meeting the goals.  In some cases such as China and India, there have been great strides by countries on working within their own borders towards alleviating poverty and raising the standard of living.  In some cases, global organizations such as the World Bank have led an effort at “forgiving debt” by developing nations.  And monies provided by wealthier nations such as the United States (both individuals and the government) have funded efforts to raise the standard of living in other countries.  For example, President George W. Bush did much to work on the issue of  reducing AIDS in third world countries as well as supporting the establishment of the Millenium Challenge Corporation to coordinate our financial aid around the world.

Along the way, there have been evaluations of the success of the MDGs and suggestions for improvement.  In 2005, the UN led a summit to review goal status.  Another one is set to be held next month (September 2010) in New York.

The Goals

So here are the 8 basic MDGs:

  • 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

Underneath each goal are specific actions and targets.  For example, goal 1 has a target sub-goal of “Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day” or goal 2 has a sub-goal of “By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys”.

To see a full list of all the subgoals and targets, go to the United Nations Development Program website and click on any of the eight goals listed.

Why You Should Pay Attention

As you read through the goals, I’m sure most of you agree with their intent.  Taking these actions for humanity and the planet is certainly a good thing.  But beyond their being a “good thing to work on”, there is a more spiritual or metaphysical reason for us to focus upon the goals.

If we are all “One”  (as I frequently write about here on the “bridge”), then what we do for others, we do for ourselves.  To the degree we improve the conditions for others, we are supporting the expressing of life by our brothers and sisters.

Many of us talk about creating a “world that works for everyone”.  Again, sounds good….but what are we doing to create that world?  These MDGs are a tangible way in which our support can have us “walking our talk”.

Finally, we all know that where we focus our attention gives direction to what we grow in our lives.  Call it the “secret” or the “law of attraction” or the power of positive thinking….the bottom line (which I frequently bring up here too) is that our thoughts, words and deeds create our external world.  When they are unfocused (such as when you claim one thing one moment and then make the opposite statement in the next), they tend to cancel each other out.  When they are focused in one direction consistently, they have  great power and create what you are focused upon.  If these MDGs are truly a good thing that you agree with, then does it not benefit you to support them with the direction of your thoughts?

What You Might Do

So what can you do?   I’m not asking you to give all your money to charity or to sell all your possession and move to a country in need and donate all your time and energy…..but there are actions you can take that don’t change your life so drastically.  Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

Be aware of the MDGs (reading this article is a start).  Read more about them.  Share what you learn with your friends (start with this article).

Stay informed….Friend the United Nations Millennium Campaign  on Facebook or you can follow them on Twitter.

Support the MDGs in your thoughts, words and actions.  Talk positively about them.  If you do affirmations or prayer work, affirm their success.  Focus your mental energy knowing that they will both be successful but also be the bridge to even higher goals and an even higher expression of life on Earth.

Find one goal whose success excites you and focus upon it.  Find out what actions are being taken around the world to meet that goal.  To the degree that it is possible, support those actions with your time, money…and, of course, your consciousness.

I am sure you can add to this note your own ideas.  So what are you going to do now?  HINT–one easy way to start is by sharing this note with your friends.

Mark Gilbert

PS— encourage your friends to follow the “Conscious Bridge” postings by either “friending us on Facebook” or subscribing for updates (orange buttons on top and bottom of the web page)  Thank you.


Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!