In 2000, 147 governments set a 2015 deadline to cut the percentage of people living in "extreme poverty" by half. They met their goal by 2010. The Economist outlines the economic indicators that must line up in order to lift a billion people out of extreme poverty by 2030.
Wishful thinking? Not quite, if developing countries can sustain current levels of economic growth while evening out income distribution (which isn't a guarantee).