MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The following information was taken from the UN Millennium Development Goals – Goal 8 web site.

Goal 8.A: Trading and financial system

8.A - Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system

  • Despite the pledges by G20 members to resist protectionist measures initiated as a result of the global financial crisis, only a small percentage of trade restrictions introduced since the end of 2008 have been eliminated. The protectionist measures taken so far have affected almost 3 per cent of global trade.

Goal 8.B: Address needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

8. B Address the special needs of least developed countries

  • Tariffs imposed by developed countries on products from developing countries have remained largely unchanged since 2004, except for agricultural products.

  • Bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa fell by almost 1 per cent in 2011.

  • There has been some success of debt relief initiatives reducing the external debt of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) but 20 developing countries remain at high risk of debt distress.

Goal 8.C: Address needs of landlocked developing countries

8.C - Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and Small Island developing States

  • Aid to landlocked developing countries fell in 2010 for the first time in a decade, while aid to Small Island developing States increased substantially.

Goal 8.D: Deal with debt problems of developing countries

8.D - Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries

  • At this time, it appears developing countries weathered the 2009 economic downtown and in 2011 the debt to GDP ratio decreased for many developing countries. Vulnerabilities remain. Expected slower growth in 2012 and 2013 may weaken debt ratios.

Goal 8.E: Provide affordable drugs to developing countries

8.E - In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries

  • Resources available for providing essential medicines through some disease-specific global health funds increased in 2011, despite the global economic downturn.

  • There has been little improvement in recent years in improving availability and affordability of essential medicines in developing countries.

Goal 8.F: Benefits of new technologies

8. F In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

  • 77 per cent of inhabitants of developed countries are Internet users, compared with only 31 per cent of inhabitants in developing countries.

  • The number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2011 reached 6 billion.

Fast Facts

  • Official development assistance stood at $126 billion in 2012.

  • A total of 83 per cent of least developed country exports enter developed countries duty-free.

  • In 2012, trade of developing countries and transition economies outpaced the world average.

  • In the developing world, 31 per cent of the population uses the Internet, compared with 77 per cent of the developed world.

Where We Stand

The trade climate continues to improve for developing and least developed countries. The developing country share of world trade rose to 44.4 per cent in 2012. Average tariffs levied by developed countries continued to decline for developing countries in 2011.

Debt service ratios are one-quarter less from their 2000 level, lessening the financial burden on developing countries. Better debt management, the expansion of trade and, for the poorest countries, substantial debt relief have reduced the burden of debt service.

The global financial crisis and Euro-zone turmoil continue to take a toll on official development assistance (ODA). In 2012 ODA of $126 billion was 4 per cent less in real terms than in 2011, which was 2 per cent less than in 2010. This is the first time since 1996-1997 that ODA fell in two consecutive years

Aid is being increasingly concentrated in a small number of countries. The top 20 recipients in 2011 (out of 158 countries and territories) accounted for about 55 per cent of total ODA, up from 38 per cent the year before.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions are moving towards saturation levels. With a projected 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions by the end of 2013, global penetration will reach 96 per cent.

The growth in the number of individuals using the Internet in developing countries continues to outpace that in developed countries, growing at 12 per cent in 2013 compared to 5 per cent in developed countries. The total number of Internet users in developing countries comprises 65 per cent of the total number of users in the world in 2013, up from 40 per cent in 2005.

Broadband Internet is becoming more widely available and affordable, but is still out of reach in many developing countries.


The MDGs have mobilized action from Governments, civil society and other partners around the world, with significant results obtained through partnerships. Going beyond traditional means of delivering aid for achieving the MDGs, the UN Secretary-General and others have brought on board a range of partners, including Governments, civil society, academia, the private sector and international institutions, to accelerate progress and close gaps. Partnership initiatives for the MDGs include: Every Woman Every Child, GAVI Alliance, The Global Fund, Global Education First Initiative, Rollback Malaria, Sanitation and Water for All, Scaling Up Nutrition, Sustainable Energy for All and the UN Zero Hunger Challenge.

The MDG Gap Task Force was created by the UN Secretary-General in May 2007 to improve monitoring of the global commitments contained in MDG 8, the Global Partnership for Development. The main purpose of the Task Force is to systematically track existing international commitments and to identify gaps and obstacles in their fulfilment at the international, regional and country levels in the areas of official development assistance, market access (trade), debt sustainability, access to essential medicines and new technologies. The Task Force integrates more than 30 UN and other international agencies.

The Integrated Implementation Framework records and monitors financial as well as policy commitments made in support of the MDGs by UN Member States and other international stakeholders.

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