Abstract in English:In September 2000 representatives of 189 countries met for the Millennium Summit, which the United Nations convened in New York City, and adopted the declaration that provided the basis for formulating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight goals are part of a long series of initiatives that governments, the United Nations system, and international financial institutions have undertaken to reduce world poverty. Three of the eight goals deal with health, so the health sector will be responsible for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating measures proposed to meet targets that have been formulated: to reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate in children under 5 years of age between 1990 and 2015; to reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality rate between 1990 and 2015; and to halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by the year 2015, as well as to halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria, tuberculosis, and other major diseases. The health sector must also work with other parties to achieve targets connected with two other of the goals: to improve access to affordable essential drugs, and to reduce the proportion of persons who do not have safe drinking water. Adopting a strategy focused on the most vulnerable groups-ones concentrated in locations and populations with the greatest social exclusion-would make possible the largest total reduction in deaths among children, thus reaching the proposed target as well as producing greater equity. In the Region of the Americas the principal challenges in meeting the MDGs are: improving and harmonizing health information systems; designing health programs related to the MDGs that bring together the set of services and interventions that have the greatest impact, according to the special characteristics of the populations who are intended to be the beneficiaries; strengthening the political will to support the MDGs; and guaranteeing funding for the measures undertaken to attain the MDGs.