Millennium Development Goals

Looking Forward to 2015 and Beyond

In 2000, all UN Member States committed to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to significantly reduce extreme poverty and disease, ensure environmental sustainability, and enhance international coordination around development by 2015. The MDGs are the FIRST and ONLY international framework for improving the human condition of the world's poor.

The UN's human rights work is a hallmark of the organization and has a significant impact on Americans' overall perceptions of the United Nations. This is particularly true in the case of Congress, where the UN Human Rights Council has served as a lightning rod for criticism of the United Nations. The United States stood virtually alone in its opposition to the creation of the Human Rights Council in 2006. Fortunately, as a result of a reversal in U.S. Government policy by the Obama administration in May 2009, the US was elected to a three-year term on the Council and a full-time US ambassador was appointed to the Council.




U.S. Engagement in the Human Rights Council has produced real results in a short period of time:

  • U.S. membership has allowed the U.S. to better support Israel and reduced the imbalance in the Council's work
  • By creating strong cross-regional coalitions, U.S. diplomats overcame objections by countries such as China and Cuba
  • The Human Rights Council adopted a historic resolution aimed at spotlight violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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