MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The WTO and the Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 members and a number of international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015 to end poverty. They include reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics, such as HIV/AIDS, and creating a global partnership for development.
The main goal that concerns the WTO is MDG 8, building a global partnership for development. More precisely, the WTO promotes better market access for exports originating from least-developed and developing countries, under the objectives 8.6 and 8.7 dealing duty free and preferential tariffs. However, WTO activities are also relevant to other goals, such as MDG 1, whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. In fact, the MDGs cannot be seen in isolation: they are all interconnected.
WTO, in co-operation with UNCTAD and ITC, monitors the achievement of trade-related Millennium Development Goals. The information on duty free and preferential tariffs granted by developed WTO members to developing economies can be obtained from a dedicated website at http://www.mdg-trade.org/
International trade can lead to economic growth and development, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) is very much at the forefront of efforts to make this happen for developing countries. This, in fact, is what the WTO and the Doha Round of trade negotiations are all about. The economic and developmental benefits brought about by the multilateral trading system can go a long way towards helping countries achieve the goals set out in the UN Millennium Declaration to reduce extreme poverty by the year 2015.
This section outlines the relationship between the WTO and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It discusses how the attainment of these goals is being assisted by: