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Achievements of the Time-Bound MDG Targets

Title page of the MDG targets assessment. Global2030 released the first comprehensive assessment of all time-bound targets of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. The report, which comes following the close of the MDG time frame, documents the achievements and the shortcomings of the targets.

A key finding is that 8 of the 15 MDG targets reached between 80 and 320% of their goals, with most achieving about 150%. It also calculates the number of annual deaths prevented since the introduction of the targets to be between 6.85 million and 8.75 million. The child mortality target is found to be the biggest life saver. Furthermore, the pace of progress is shown to have increased in most indicators of the MDG targets. The report will be sent to heads of states, UN organizations and business companies.

P.S.: A summary of the report was released at Deliver2030 - external., which is run by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

... more on "Achievements of the Time-Bound MDG Targets"

Download: Global2030: Achievements and Unfinished Business of the Time-Bound MDG Targets - PDF, 10 pages plus annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 1.4MB (kilobytes)

Internship Placements for Refugees

Global2030 offers internships or volunteering placements for refugees with a scientific background. See www.Global2030.net/refugees.

Global2015 Project Renamed to Global2030

Logos of Global2015 and Global2030 (animated). Global2030 is the new name for the successor project of Global2015. The name change is related to the close of 2015 as the main target year of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As Global2015 did, Global2030 monitors the most important global challenges including, among other topics, all MDGs and many SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The legal name of the registered association (Global2015 e.V.) will also be changed but we intend not to include a year number (in case new global challenges appear after 2030).

SDG Targets: Strengths and Weaknesses

Title page of the presentation on the SDG targets. Global2015 presented its evaluation of the SDG targets at the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT - external.). Using our data collection, a balanced assessment revealed the extent to which the goals are realistically achievable and those goals that will require extensive efforts from stakeholders. The presentation addressed shortcomings of the SDGs where tangible targets were missing and important issues were absent. However, the overall assessment revealed the strengths of the SDG targets and potential to achieve positive results by 2030.

Download: Global2015: Stärken und Schwächen der SDG-Targets - German - PDF (in German, with most diagrams in English), 32 presentation slides, PDF (Portable Document Format), 971KB (kilobytes)

Fact Sheet on Trends of Old and New SDG Topics

Title page of the fact sheet on trends. In line with a series of our latest publications, Global2015 submitted a fact sheet on current trends to the UN negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The fact sheet provides trend diagrams on MDG target topics as well as new and emerging challenges. The fact sheet identifies progress, setbacks and new topics for the SDG targets. It utilizes annual trend data series from the 2015 Global Burden of Disease study and includes a comparison with the most recent WHO and UNAIDS trend data.

Download: Fact Sheet: Trends of Old and New Post-2015 Challenges - PDF, 5 pages plus an 8-page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 404KB (kilobytes)

Fact Sheets on Post-2015 Targets and Indicators

Title page of the fact sheet on tweaking selected targets. Two further fact sheets of our series have been submitted by Global2015 to the UN negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The first fact sheet contributes to the tweaking of the post-2015 targets. It focusses on 8 SDG targets and provides proposals for changes as small as possible to make these targets more clearly quantifiable, to specify x-values in the draft or to preserve the intended aspiration. Our work is evidence-based and all recommendations are fully in line with the proposed post-2015 development agenda.

The second fact sheet proposes indicators for 17 selected SDG targets based on publicly available data. It was also submitted to the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC - external.) (see stakeholder feedback - external.).


Fact Sheet on Infectious Diseases

Title page of the fact sheet on infectious diseases. The second fact sheet of our series was submitted by Global2015 to the UN negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The fact sheet focusses on target 3.3 on infectious diseases, which was proposed by the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG). The fact sheet can contribute to the technical proofing of the SDG targets. The evidence-based recommendations are fully in line with the proposed post-2015 development agenda and do not refer to any controversial topics or risk unravelling the package of the SDGs.

The fact sheet provides a comparison of the contagious diseases with the highest numbers of deaths. For selected diseases – each on individual pages –, it presents the latest trend data and a data-derived recommendation of an ambitious but achievable target level for 2030.

Download: Fact Sheet: UN OWG Target 3.3 on Infectious Diseases - PDF, 6 pages plus a 6-page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 399KB (kilobytes)

Fact Sheet on Safe and Secure Working Environments

Title page of the fact sheet on safe and secure working environments. The first fact sheet of an upcoming series was submitted by Global2015 to the UN negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The fact sheet focusses on target 8.8 on safe and secure working environments, which was proposed by the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG).

The fact sheet provides a comparison with other major global topics in terms of relative importance. Furthermore, it presents latest trend data and a data-derived recommendation of an ambitious but achievable target level for 2030. The fact sheet is based on the latest available data, in particular from the ILO, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2015 and the WHO Global Health Estimates 2014.

Download: Fact Sheet: UN OWG Target 8.8 on Safe and Secure Working Environments - PDF, 2 pages plus a 2-page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 179KB (kilobytes)

Further fact sheets are being prepared, and you can register for receiving them at our fact sheets page.

Data-derived Recommendations for Post-2015 Targets

Title page of the proposal for the UN negotiations. Global2015 submitted a new proposal for the UN negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It addresses several open issues of the ongoing negotiations. The proposal provides an assessment of trend changes achieved by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and derives from that an average level of aspiration for the SDGs. Furthermore, it suggests an approach to define global targets that accommodates the consideration of national trends and country conditions. Additionally, the proposal identifies major topics for the post-2015 agenda, based on the latest data on mortality and economic losses. This includes the update of the Global Burden of Disease study from December 2014 and January 2015.
Finally, the proposal suggests framing or clustering the 17 SDGs into a small number of summary objectives, in order to facilitate effective communication.

Download of the proposal: Data-derived Recommendations for Post-2015 Targets - PDF, 15 pages plus a 17 page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 818KB (kilobytes)

Data-based Recommendations on Targets Proposed

Title page of the proposal to the UN OWG. Global2015 submitted "Data-based Recommendations on Targets Proposed" to the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG- external.. The OWG has developed targets which continue on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have an end date of 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to cover the time frame up to 2030 and will be agreed upon by the UN General Assembly.

The data and diagrams in our paper show both progress and setbacks among major global challenges, including MDG topics, between 1990 and 2010. Currently most major global challenges, though not all, are covered by time-bound and quantifiable targets proposed by the UN OWG. In particular, our paper provides data and suggestions on seven post-2015 targets proposed by the OWG, with regard to epidemics, air pollution and occupational safety etc.

Progress diagram: reduction in numbers of annual deaths 1990-2010. The paper is a pre-release excerpt of an upcoming update of our previous publication "Assessing Priorities for Rio+20" (see below). It utilizes data from many trustworthy sources such as the latest version of the Global Burden of Disease study and the WHO Global Health Estimates of June 2014.

Diagram on the infectious diseases with highest numbers of deaths per year. P.S.: The final UN OWG outcome document - external. includes now: "by 2030 … combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases". A further post-2015 target has now been made time-bound: "by 2030 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education". These changes are concurrent with recommendations made by Global2015.

Download of the proposal: Data-based Recommendations on Targets Proposed by the UN OWG - PDF, 11 pages plus a 22 page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 725KB (kilobytes)

Assessing Priorities for Rio+20

Title page of the Rio+20 proposal. A proposal was written by Global2015 for the preparation of "Rio+20", the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will take place in June 2012. The objective of Rio+20 - external. is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date, and address new and emerging challenges.

The Global2015 proposal focuses on providing neutral information on major global challenges. This includes prioritizing the most urgent challenges that the world faces today, and identifying which issues have made the most progress and which have been neglected. The data on global challenges has been updated and diagrams have been included to show the comparative relevancies of the major global challenges, the progress made on issues, and target accomplishments. The proposal has been sent to the heads of appropriate UN [United Nations] bodies along with other international organizations involved in the preparation of Rio+20.

Download of the proposal: Assessing Priorities for Rio+20 - PDF, 9 pages plus a 38 page annex, PDF (Portable Document Format), 1.3MB (megabytes)

Report for the UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS

Global2015 has created a report on "HIV/AIDS in the Context of Other Global Challenges". The purpose of the report is to assist decision-makers in assessing priorities for appropriate action, taking into consideration global challenges interlinking with HIV/AIDS. Heads of government, ambassadors to the UN [United Nations], and the heads of related UN bodies were provided with the report, in regard to the High-Level Meeting on AIDS of the UN General Assembly (8-10 June 2011). The presidents of Switzerland and the USA (United States of America), governments from countries such as Australia, Brazil and the UK (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), as well as the EU (European Union) Commission and the WHO (World Health Organization), responded with their appreciation of the objective and comprehensive nature of the analysis.

More on the report

Survey Presented at WHO/SIGN Conference

Global2015 was invited to present its Global Challenges Survey at the annual meeting of the Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN), which is hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO). 135 registered participants from 28 countries attended the conference, which lasted from the 9th to the 11th of November, 2010 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
  Feedback on this first international presentation of the Global Challenges Survey was very positive, and several participants agreed to give expert reviews of the draft survey.

More on the presentation

Special Edition for the UN MDG Summit

A Special Edition of the Global Challenges Survey was created for the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (High-Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly, 20-22 September 2010).
  The updated survey by Global2015 covers most of the Millennium targets as well as other important global challenges. Global2015 has provided the survey to world leaders and UN representatives, and will continue to monitor the most urgent global challenges to encourage further action.

To the Global Challenges Survey, September 2010 …

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May 12, 2016 Outdoor Air Pollution
Released today: Global urban air pollution levels increased by 8% between 2008 and 2013. Ambient air pollution is the cause of more than 3 million premature deaths worldwide every year.
Source: WHO - external..

May 11, 2016 Armed Conflict and Disasters
New record on internally displaced people (IDPs): 28 million people displaced by conflict and disasters in 2015.
Source: IDMC - external..

May 10, 2016 Biodiversity
Released today: A study on the state of the world's plants found that 391 000 vascular plant species are known to science. Approximately 21% of global plant species are currently threatened with extinction. It also highlighted that 10% of Earth covered by vegetation is vulnerable to climate change.
According to the report, all but one of the world's land ecosystem types (biomes) has seen between 10 and 26% land-cover change in the past decade. 10 of 14 of the world's biomes deteriorated between 2000 and 2013. This highlights the shortfall of the MDG biodiversity target, which Global2030's MDG report found to be the only target to show a regression since it was set in 2002.
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - external. (Greater London).

May 6, 2016 Diagram: reduction in numbers of child deaths 1990-2015. MDG Targets and Child Mortality
The MDGs had a tremendously positive impact on child lives: approximately 6.8 million child deaths avoided in 2015 compared to 1990.
Source: Global2030.

Climate Change
Released today: Climate change is projected to reduce availability of food, in particular of fruit and vegetables. The resulting change in diets would lead to approximately 529 000 deaths in 2050.
Source: The Lancet magazine - external..

May 5, 2016 Armed Conflict
New data: Global fatalities due to armed conflict totalled 167 000 in 2015; 50% occurred in the Middle East and North Africa.
Source: Armed Conflict Survey 2016 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS- external..

April 30, 2016 MDG Targets
The mortality-related MDG targets on poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis reached around 150% of their goal. The annual number of deaths due to unsafe water decreased by 1.19 million from 1990 to 2013 (MDG 7). The mortality-related MDG targets helped to prevent 6.85-8.75 million annual deaths in 2015.
More than half – 8 out of 15 – of the time-bound MDG targets achieved at least 80% of their goal, or surpassed it, achieving up to 160% of their target (in one case, achievement of 320% was reached). MDG targets met: poverty, gender parity in education, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and slum conditions. The UN also considers the safe water target met but "improved water sources" often fail to provide safe water.
Biggest unfinished business of the MDG targets: biodiversity, primary education and reproductive health.
Source: Global2030.

April 28, 2016 Hepatitis B
This week is World Immunization Week: Hepatitis B, which kills 686 000 people per year, can be prevented by vaccination.
Source: IHME - external..

April 26, 2016 Unsafe Technologies
30 years ago today, Reactor 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, leading to world's worst nuclear accident: a look at the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in numbers.
Source: Associated Press - external..

April 25, 2016 Malaria
World Malaria Day: The mortality-related MDG target with the highest achievement relates to malaria. Malarial deaths, mainly among children, were reduced by 379,000 between 2004 and 2015. However, the fight against malaria has not ended.
Source: Global2030.

April 22, 2016 Climate Change
Today, on Earth Day, 175 governments from around the world signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. Source: UN - external.
A study revealed greater climate impacts of 2 °C temperature rise. Source: The Guardian - external.
Climate change is setting new records. Source: WMO - external.
World Bank to spend 28% of investments on climate change projects: The world's biggest provider of public finance to developing countries will refocus its financing efforts towards tackling climate change.
Source: The Guardian - external..

April 20, 2016 Finance for Health MDGs
New data shows that development assistance for health MDG topics was raised from $3.0 billion in 1990 to $24.4 billion in 2015.
Source: IHME - external..

Drug resistance of HIV to the common antiretroviral drug tenofovir is far more prevalent than expected.
Source: Gupta et al. in The Lancet - external..

April 12, 2016 Time-bound MDG Targets
Deliver2030 released a summary of Global2030's MDG report which details the extent of successes and unfinished business. The first comprehensive analysis of the time-bound MDG targets draws out lessons for the SDGs recently adopted by the UN. Our latest report shows for the first time, the achievements, the pace of progress and absolute outcomes for all time-bound MDG targets, as well as related increases in development assistance. There is a lot to learn from the MDGs while working to resolve global challenges.
The findings show that 8 of the 15 MDG targets reached between 80% and 320% of their goals, with the majority achieving around 150%. It also highlights the number of annual deaths prevented since the introduction of MDG targets specifically related to mortality to be between 6.85 million and 8.75 million.
The pace of progress among MDG indicators accelerated the most in: school enrolment, poverty and gender parity. In 21 of the 25 MDG target indicators, a faster rate of progress was achieved after targets were set. The average annual rate of improvement on the targets almost doubled, increasing from 1.79% to 3.46%. However, GDP per capita growth of 4.53% per year was not utilized to its full capacity for the average MDG. While this is the case, no MDG target was achieved without an increase in the rate of progress. The same is likely to be true for the SDGs.
Our analysis of the time-bound MDG targets highlighted the following:

  • The MDG 1 target to halve extreme poverty was achieved 5 years ahead of schedule. The number of people living in extreme poverty was reduced by 1.26 billion (from 1.93 billion in 1900 to 836 million in 2015).
  • The MDG 1 hunger target was not achieved, however, the amount of undernourished people around the globe decreased by 216 million between 1991 and 2015. Childhood undernutrition claimed 2.59 million fewer lives in 2013 than in 1990.
  • The MDG 2 target advanced universal enrolment in primary education by 4.76% p.a., while the MDG 3 target on gender parity in education was achieved.
  • The MDG 4 on child mortality was the greatest life-saver of the MDGs: there were 5.84–6.80 million fewer deaths today than in 1990.
  • MDG 6: Deaths related to malaria – mainly amongst children – were reduced by 401 000 from 2000 to 2015. The prevention and antiretroviral treatment of HIV/AIDS resulted in between 358 000 and 844 000 fewer related deaths in 2013/14.
  • MDG 7: In 2015, 588 million fewer people lacked access to an improved water source compared to 1990.

The MDG period saw a huge reduction in mortality – thanks to an 8-fold increase in development assistance for MDG health topics between 1990 and 2014.
While there were many successes with the MDGs, there are gaps still to be addressed for the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
Source: Global2030: Achievements of the Time-Bound MDG Targets.

April 4, 2016 Safe Birth Conditions
A report following the fates of three women and their babies on three continents.
Source: The Financial Times - external..

April 1, 2016 Hunger
The global number of underweight adults increased from 330 million in 1975 to 470 million over 2001-09, then fell to 460 million in 2014. In the same time frame, the prevalence of underweight decreased from 14.2% to 9.3%.
Sources: The Lancet magazine - external., NCD-RisC - external..

March 31, 2016 Time-bound MDG Targets
How the time-bound MDGs did – overachievements, unfinished business etc. in our new report.
Source: Global2030: Achievements and Unfinished Business of the Time-Bound MDG Targets - PDF.

March 16, 2016 Internship Placements for Refugees
Global2030 offers internships or volunteering placements for refugees with a scientific background. See www.Global2030.net/refugees.

Nuclear Disasters
Due to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, 10 000 to 66 000 additional cases of cancer are expected, half of them fatal.
Several tens of thousands to 850 000 cases of cancer are expected due to the nuclear disaster in Tchernobyl.
Source: IPPNW - German - external..

February 12, 2016 Climate Change
2015 is hottest year on record: 0.76 °C above the 1961-1990 average, or about 1 °C above the pre-industrial era.
Source: WMO - external..

Neonatal Conditions
2.6 million babies were stillborn in 2015, 19% fewer than in 2000.
Source: The Lancet - external..

Global Risks
The 3 biggest global risks are: large-scale involuntary migration, failure of climate-change mitigation/adaptation, water crises.
Source: Global Risk Report 2016 by the World Economic Forum - PDF - external., fig. 1.

Dezember 18, 2015 Climate Change
Global2015 brings you the most important quotes from the outcome of the climate change conference, including the Paris Agreement:

  • On limiting global warming: "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change" (Art. 2.1a). This confirmed the 2 degree goal and strengthened the 1.5 degree goal.
  • The conference outcome recognizes the current commitments leading to 55 gigatonnes CO2 equivalents in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 instead of 40 Gt required for the 2 degree goal (§ 17 of the Adoption).
  • On "nationally determined contributions" (mitigation plans) to the global response to climate change: "The efforts of all Parties will represent a progression over time" (Art. 3).
  • On peaking and decarbonization: "Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century" (Art. 4.1, 4.3). This way, the outcome did not mention decarbonization, instead full offset of emissions by storage in forests or geological deposits, etc.
  • Responsibilities of more or less developed countries: "Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts" (Art. 4.4).
  • On finance and the goal to provide $100 billion per year by 2020: "developed countries intend to continue their existing collective mobilization goal through 2025 ...; prior to 2025 the Conference of the Parties ... shall set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries" (so to increase it after 2025) (§ 54 of the Adoption).
  • A new global goal on adaptation was established: "enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change" (Art. 7.1).
  • On loss and damage: "Parties recognize the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events ... Parties should enhance understanding, action and support, including through the Warsaw International Mechanism, as appropriate, on a cooperative and facilitative basis with respect to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change." (Art. 8.3)
  • The conference agreed to review activities initially in 2018 and from 2023 onwards every five years: "The Conference of the Parties ... shall undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter" (Art. 14.2). It will also "convene a facilitative dialogue among Parties in 2018 to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties in relation to progress towards the long-term goal" (§ 20 of the Adoption).

Source: UNFCCC, COP 21: Adoption of the Paris Agreement - PDF - external..

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Global Challenges Survey

The Global2015 draft survey summarizes the most urgent issues for human life and needs. The information is exclusively drawn from reports of scientific institutes, UN (United Nations) organizations, national departments, and other trustworthy sources.

Global Challenges Survey, September 2010

The most recent data on global challenges can be found in our social media posts, in our latest publications and, most comprehensively, in the proposal "Assessing Priorities for Rio+20" - PDF of November 2011 (9 pages plus a 38 page annex, 1.3MB [megabytes])



Participating in the Project


Everyone is welcome to contribute ideas and suggestions to the further development of the draft overview on main global challenges. Please use the contact page. Furthermore, Global2030 approaches scientists and experts to review the draft.

After being reviewed, the completed survey report on global challenges will be published here. The purpose of the survey is to inform and motivate decision-makers in particular, but also the public, to increase their efforts to tackle the global challenges addressed.