UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report 2021

The 2021 edition of ‘Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’ is based on available data on the global indicators for the 17 SDGs, as of April 2021. The report notes that the global SDG database includes more indicators than ever before, with 211 (out of 231) indicators available in 2021, up from 115 in 2016.

The report begins by stressing that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, SDG progress was not on track. Progress towards the Goals was not occurring fast enough for achievement by 2030, and was even stalled or moving backwards in some areas. According to the report, the world’s collective response in the next 18 months will determine whether the pandemic turns out to be a “much-needed wake-up call.” Among other lessons, it has confirmed that “by threatening biodiversity, humanity threatens its own survival.”

The authors suggest that an appropriate response would:

Provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, to strengthen the financial position of developing countries and embrace a recovery that is guided by the 2030 Agenda
Use the recovery to adopt low-carbon, resilient and inclusive development pathways that will reduce carbon emissions, conserve natural resources, create better jobs, advance gender equality and tackle growing inequities
Improve availability of internationally comparable data on SDGs to fill gaps related to geographic coverage, timeliness and the level of disaggregation, to help identify differences across regions and who is being left behind
Put clean and sustainable energy “at the heart of the COVID-19 response and fight against climate change.”

More information: https://sdg.iisd.org/news/secretary-generals-sdg-progress-report-recaps-pandemic-impacts-on-17-global-goals/

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