Indicating that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations (UN) aimed to leave no person behind, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, “we should eliminate extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2030.” Gul participated in the opening of the special event under the theme "Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals" along with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma in the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In his opening speech, Gul noted that the meeting would discuss the necessary topics, and shortcomings, which must be addressed in order to realize the development goals envisioned for 2015. Stressing that the MDGs are a historic effort against poverty, Gul expressed that important progress had been achieved since 2000. Indicating that many people had been rescued from extreme poverty thus far, Gul said, "However, the remaining people must also be lifted up. We cannot leave anyone behind in this historic project." Gul emphasized that the world must unite in order to pursue the goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. Explaining that Turkey was committed to the MDG and had incorporated these goals into its development strategy, Gul stated, "the elimination of injustice and the alleviation of poverty are our top priorities. Turkey is ensuring steady advances in reducing poverty through the resources it sets aside for its social policies."

Gul expressed that regulations in education, health and business for the benefit of low-income groups had reduced income inequality while providing equal opportunities.

The Millennium Development Goals embraced by the UN in 2000 envisions the realization of 8 goals by 2015.

These objectives are eliminating of extreme poverty and hunger, providing universal primary education for all, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improve the health of mothers, battling HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and building a global partnership for development.