UN: Most Countries’ SDG Progress are Off-Track  

Mary Hearty

The world is not on track to achieve the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)-a collection of seventeen goals serving as a shared blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

A new report on the progress towards the SDGs finds that only about 12% of the SDGs are on track to attainment while close to half, though showing progress, are moderately or severely off track.

Some 30% of them have either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline, according to a preliminary assessment data.

This is due to global injustices exacerbated by climate change, COVID-19 and economic injustices which are leaving many developing countries with fewer options and even less resources to make the SDGs a reality.

The report highlights that under current trends, in 2030, 575 million people will be living in extreme poverty; while 84 million children will be out of school, and of those in school, 300 million “will leave unable to read and write.”

Renewables will also make up “a mere fraction” of global energy supplies while 660 million people will live without electricity and nearly 2 billion will have no access to clean cooking.

Thus, the United Nations(UN) calls for a fundamental shift in commitment, solidarity, financing and action – to put the world on a better path, emphasizing that it is needed now.

“It is time to sound the alarm. At the mid-way point on our way to 2030, the SDGs are in deep trouble,” the report reads.

The report highlights five key recommendations and specifies a number of actions governments could take to support each goal.

Among them is recommitting to accelerated, sustained and transformative action at the national and global level to deliver on the promise of the SDGs.

Also, advancing concrete, integrated and targeted policies and actions to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, and end the war on nature, while promoting the rights of women and girls and empowering the most vulnerable.

Additionally, improving national and subnational capacity, accountability, and public institutions to accelerate SDG progress.

The recommendations also call for supporting developing countries in their efforts to achieve the SDGs, recommitting to deliver on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and mobilizing resources and investment needed, particularly for countries in special situations and those experiencing acute vulnerability.

It also highlights the need to continue strengthening the UN development system and boosting the capacity of the multilateral system to tackle emerging challenges and SDG-related gaps in the international architecture that have emerged since 2015.

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