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Millennium Development Goals
Contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal
MDGs | end poverty and hunger | universal education | gender equality | child health | maternal health | combat HIV/AIDS | environmental sustainability | global partnerships | MDGs
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent the most significant political commitment to development by the global community as a whole. The adoption of the MDGs as the central part of the global development agenda has ushered in a period of extraordinary collective action and coordination among UN organizations, and the IAEA is proud of the part it plays in this endeavour.

Technological solutions are vital for the full and successful achievement of the MDG targets. Human centred goals may appear upstream and distant to a technological organization, but experience in working towards the strategic goal of the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme – sustainable socioeconomic development – has demonstrated that through partnerships with lead organizations in a particular sector, such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization or the World Health Organization, a science based organization can indeed make a useful contribution to internationally recognized development priorities.


End poverty and hunger: The IAEA’s contribution to ending poverty and hunger includes improving food security through crop improvement by mutation induction, and using nuclear techniques to enhance livestock productivity through improved breeding, nutrition and disease control. Isotopic techniques are used to support better soil and water management. The IAEA partners with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to achieve these goals.
Universal primary education: Hunger and malnutrition affect the learning abilities of children. Through its Joint Division with FAO, the IAEA works to address food insecurity, ultimately contributing to a child’s ability to benefit from education. Projects on nutrition, safe potable water and child health also support the participation of children in education.
Gender equality: The IAEA’s gender equality policy mainstreams gender considerations into its programmes and promotes gender equality in the Secretariat and in Member States. Gender equality in higher level education is supported through the TC programme by human resource development and training for female technicians and scientists. Female participation in all TC training activities is facilitated by innovative approaches such as distance learning.
Child health: The IAEA supports neonatal screening for sickle cell disease, hypothyroidism and cystic fibrosis, as well as oncology projects that address childhood cancers. TC projects also help to combat child malnutrition and support breastfeeding programmes. Water management projects help to address child mortality from preventable water-borne diseases.
Maternal health: Numerous TC projects focus on female health issues, in particular cervical cancer. Advances in technology are making it possible to target cancers more precisely, and associated awareness-raising on the part of national governments is encouraging more screening.
Combat HIV/AIDS: The IAEA has joined forces with WHO, the African AIDS Vaccine Programme and UNAIDS to combat HIV/AIDS by providing equipment and training to local laboratories. Training has focused on developing an effective vaccine against HIV. The use of sensitive nuclear techniques in molecular biology helps in the evaluation of vaccine efficacy and in the early detection of drug resistant strains of HIV.
Environmental sustainability: The IAEA helps Member States to use nuclear technologies to better understand and manage their natural resources. Isotopic techniques are applied to understand the source, extent and behaviour of water resources, as well as their vulnerability to pollution. Nuclear technology is used to evaluate soil degradation, and to assess the effectiveness of soil and water conservation strategies, to characterize indigenous livestock breeds and in managing and protecting marine resources, as well as in efforts to address climate change.
Global partnerships: The IAEA works in close partnership with Member States, other United Nations agencies, research organizations and with civil society in order to maximize the contribution of nuclear science and technology to the achievement of development priorities.


Key UN documents


The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013
2013 | This report looks at the substantial progress that has been made in working toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the challenges that remain. Read more

MDG Report 2013: Assessing progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals
2013 | This report assesses Africa’s progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and urges Member States to work closely with the private sector, civil society groups and development partners to tackle the recurring problem of food insecurity in Africa. Read more


UN Secretary-General report: Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals” for the 2013 Annual Ministerial Review
April 2013 | This report provides an overview of the potential of science, technology innovation (STI) and culture as tools for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development. Read more

UN General Assembly Resolution: “United Nations Millennium Declaration”
2000 | This resolution serves as the foundation upon which the Millennium Development Goals have been built. Read more


Click here for links to examples of IAEA technical cooperation projects that support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in poverty eradication, child and maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and environmental sustainability.
Click here for the factsheet - The IAEA:Contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 30 Jul, 2013

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