The 2020 Sustainable Development Goals Report has been released through the official United Nations website. It presents an overview of the progress made to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 193 UN Member States. Although some progress was being observed, the report details that the change was not yet taking place at the necessary pace or scale. Added to this, the Covid-19 outbreak has led to health, economic, and social crises that put at stake the achievement of the Goals proposed for the 2030 Agenda.
The year 2020 marks the beginning of the Decade of Action to achieve the proposed 2030 agenda. The current situation catalyzes to drive a joint approach to the future, identifying the most pressing challenges. As has been shown, the crisis does not affect everyone equally, with the most vulnerable sectors suffering the most from the consequences of the pandemic. The pandemic exposed the inequalities that exist today. In the words of António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, “Far from undermining the foundations of the SDGs, the original causes and unequal effects of COVID-19 demonstrate precisely why we need the 2030 Agenda”.
The first report performs an analysis of the general panorama of the 17 SDGs, identifying the status of each one of them before and after the pandemic. For example, before Covid-19, it was clear that by 2030 poverty would not have ended. However, today, we are experiencing an unprecedented increase in poverty globally. It also emphasizes the fact that progress in health should be accelerated and that the pandemic could topple the gains made in past decades.
Projections indicate that the pandemic will push 71 million people back into extreme poverty in 2020, many of the workers in the informal economy, and half of the world’s workforce supports their families through unsafe and often risky jobs. While the effects of Covid-19 are also worsening the vulnerability of the one billion slum dwellers, who are more likely to suffer the great effects of this pandemic.
On the other hand, the report refers to the need for “timely, quality, open and disaggregated data and statistics” for the preparation and implementation of measures and policies that are not only efficient but also equitable. Meanwhile, the continued pursuit of these universal goals will keep governments and organizations focused on growth, but in turn, on inclusion, equity, and sustainability.
There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, however, we must remain firm in our convictions and not let the crisis derail our hopes and ambitions.
For more information, visit: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/.