The eight Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, originated from the United Nations Millennium Declaration emphasising the right of every individual to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living, including freedom from hunger and violence, and encouraging tolerance and solidarity.
When these goals were adopted during the Millennium Summit in 2000, all the United Nations member states agreed to achieve these by the end of 2015. However, with the deadline inching closer as every month passes, there is still much remaining to be done to universally achieve the goals.
An important outcome of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, has been an agreement on a new set of goals to succeed the MDGs post-2015. But there is still some debate on the nature of these goals, which are now being referred to as the Sustainable Development Goals.