2.2.5 Progress in Complying with International Agreements and Goals: ICPD/MDGs and other International Summits and Conferences

Facts/messages: Together with other countries in the world, the country has signed the MDGs and action plans at other international summits and conferences (Cairo, Beijing, Madrid and others), as well as the binding international human rights agreements which the country has agreed to implement through policies, programmes, and actions.

These internationally agreed development goals represent human needs and basic rights that every individual should be able to enjoy. Countries are moving forward demonstrating that setting collective goals for development can yield results. However, unmet commitments, insufficient resources, lack of focus and accountability, as well as insufficient dedication to sustainable development have created deficits in some areas. The global food and economic and financial crisis aggravated some of these shortfalls. Though progress has been made, it is uneven. Without a major push forward as well as continued and renewed commitment, several of the development targets may be missed in some regions. Resources to advance the development agenda need to be spent in the most efficient manner.

Highlight a) the extent to which these summits, conferences and agreements lay the foundations for efforts to achieve equality, increased capacities, the protection of rights and social inclusion and b) the extent to which the country is making progress in complying with these goals and the main challenges still ahead.

Methodology: Conduct a textual analysis of the national documents of the Millennium Summit, Cairo, Beijing and Madrid, as well as reports to the international human rights authorities (official and shadow reports). Most countries have prepared at least one progress reports on the implementation of the MDGs, in which they provide information about the progress they have made and the constraints they face in complying with the MDGs. In this chapter, one should attempt to grasp the key elements of these reports, with their respective updates, because they reflect the government’s concerns in these matters and identify the challenges that countries perceive in this area. Highlight the relevance of the components of population change.

If national information is lacking, consult the MDG indicators website, which presents official data, definitions, methodologies and sources for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the MDGs, showing how countries are progressing in their efforts to achieve the MDGs. With the 2015 target date fast approaching, it is more important than ever to understand where the goals are on track, and where additional efforts and support are needed, both globally and at the country level. The UN Statistics Division published metadata on the indicators of the MDGs on its website.

The African Development Bank (ADB) and UNFPA Training Module on Integration of Population Issues into ADB programmes and projects includes a session on population issues in Millennium Development Goals, teaching users how to appreciate population issues in the achievements of MDGs, PRSPs and other development goals.

Primary Sources:

  • National registration systems and censuses;
  • DHS and MICS surveys, employment and welfare surveys, income and expenditure surveys, integrated living conditions surveys, labour force surveys, contraceptive prevalence surveys, maternal health services and Reproductive Age Mortality Surveys (RAMOS), Living Standards Measurement Surveys (LSMS), and other specialized surveys.

Secondary Sources:


  • African Development Bank and UNFPA (2005). Training Module on Integration of Population Issues into African Development Bank programmes and projects. Module 1 Session 2 on Population Issues in Millennium Development Goals.