What are the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: is the world on track to reach them by 2030?

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action for all nations to advance prosperity while preserving the environment.

They comprehend that strategies that encourage economic growth go hand in hand with measures that address a variety of social demands, such as those related to education, health, social protection, and job possibilities, as well as issues related to climate change and environmental protection.

What are the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

As follow, the 17 UN programmatic goals for sustainable development worldwide:

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

According to recent research from the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research, the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic might push up to 500 million people, or 8% of the world’s population, into poverty.

2. Zero Hunger

The goal of eradicating hunger worldwide by 2030 is not being met. Instead by 2030, there will be more than 840 million people who are impacted by hunger, if current trends continue.

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

More work is required to entirely eradicate a variety of diseases and handle a variety of ongoing and new health problems.

4. Quality Education

Nearly 1.6 billion children and teenagers would not have attended school by April 2020. And the over 369 million kids who depend on school lunches had to look elsewhere for their daily sustenance.

5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Over the past few decades, there has been progress: more girls are attending school, fewer are being coerced into early marriages, more women are holding elected office and other leadership posts, and laws are being changed to promote gender equality.

6. Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Despite there has been a significant improvement in access to sanitary facilities and clean water, millions of people, mostly in rural regions, still do not have these necessities.

7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

Energy efficiency is continuing to advance, renewable energy is making significant progress in the electrical industry, and access to electricity in less developed nations is starting to pick up speed.

8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected billions of lives and endangered the global economy. The International Monetary Fund predicts that there will be a global recession that is as bad as or worse than the one that occurred in 2009. The International Labor Organization estimates that as job losses rise, over half of the global workforce could lose their positions.

9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

If developing nations are to fulfill the 2030 target, they must speed up the growth of their manufacturing sector and increase spending on innovation and research.

10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Although there are some encouraging evidence that inequality is being reduced in some areas, such as a decline in relative income disparity in some nations and preferential trade treatment for lower-income nations, inequality still exists.

11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

The global urban population is growing. Generally the percentage of people who live in cities has exceeded 50% since 2007, and by 2030 that number will reach 60%. Consequently there is the urgent need to make cities sustainable and resilient to climate change.

12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

According to this goal, an estimated one third of all food produced each year, or 1.3 billion tonnes worth about $1 trillion, ends up rotting in the trash or spoiling as a result of poor harvesting and transportation methods.

13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

All nations on all continents are being impacted by climate change. It is harming people’s lives and upsetting national economies. Sea levels are rising, weather patterns are shifting, and extreme weather events are happening more frequently.

14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

To decrease overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification, marine protected zones must be well-managed, well-resourced, and subject to laws.

15. Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Human activity has altered over 75% of the earth’s surface, driving nature and animals into ever-tinier niches. The world need to invert this tendency urgently.

16. Promote justice, and peaceful and inclusive societies

The UN documented 357 murders and 30 forced disappearances of journalists, trade unionists, and advocates for human rights in 2019 across 47 countries. This is unacceptable for a transparent and peaceful society.

17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Many countries need official development support to encourage trade and prosperity. Presently, aid levels are dropping, and donor countries haven’t complied with their commitment to boost financing for development.

Is the world on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030?

The 193 UN member states signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. However, with less than 8 years to go, despite the efforts of many countries to promote a transition to more sustainable models, in most cases the targets are far from being achieved.

To address this, already in September 2019 the UN General Assembly had proclaimed the ‘Decade of Action’ on the 2030 Agenda. This, in order to accelerate efforts to ‘course-correct’ and realign the path towards achieving the SDGs.

After only a few months, the Covid-19 pandemic would lead to an unprecedented economic, social and health crisis, causing a major impact on the achievement of the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

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