UN chief: We must step up efforts to achieve the SDGs

Глава ООН: мы должны активизировать усилия по достижению ЦУР

Children in Mexico City hold signs with the Sustainable Development Goals. UN chief: We must step up efforts to achieve the SDGs Sustainable Development Goals

Without large-scale investments, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that is, building a better future for all, will not be possible. This is stated in the report on the SDGs, which was presented today at UN headquarters in New York by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Deputy for Economic and Social Affairs Li Junhua.

Progress has slowed down

The report found that only 17 percent of the SDG targets are currently being met, half of which show minimal or moderate progress, and progress on more than a third of the goals has stalled or even regressed. The main reasons, according to experts, are the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating conflicts, geopolitical tensions and growing climate chaos.

According to the report, in 2022 compared to 2019 the number of those living in extreme poverty increased by 23 million, and those living in hunger by 100 million.

The death toll in 2023 rose sharply armed conflicts of civilians. This year has also been the warmest on record, with global temperature rise approaching the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“This report highlights the urgent need for more close and effective international cooperation to achieve maximum progress, starting today,” said António Guterres.

“With more than six years left, we must not relent on our promise to end poverty, protect the planet and leave no one behind by 2030,” he added. 

Financing for Development

Financing for development is among the priorities in the report. The SDG investment gap in developing countries currently stands at $4 trillion a year. These countries need more resources. Reforming the global financial architecture is critical to providing the funding needed to boost sustainable development.

“We must step up efforts to stimulate the SDGs. This means much more needs to be done to reduce the debt burden and debt servicing costs. This means expanding access to backup financing for countries facing cash flow crises. And this means increasing the lending potential of multilateral development banks,” said the head of the UN. 

Peace and Security

The number of internally displaced persons in the world by May 2024 reached an unprecedented level – almost 120 million. Civilian casualties rose 72 percent between 2022 and 2023 as violence escalated, underscoring the urgent need for peace. Resolving ongoing conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy is essential, the UN stresses.

“From the Gaza Strip to Sudan and Ukraine… it’s time to silence the guns, support the displaced and move on from spending on destruction and war to investing in people and peace,” said the Secretary General.

Climate crisis

The report also calls on the need to combat climate change and transition to a green economy.

“I encourage countries put forward ambitious national climate action plans in 2025 that meet the 1.5 degree [temperature rise] limit, cover the entire economy and are also investment plans,” the UN chief said.

Success Stories

The report provides numerous examples of development success. Significant progress has been made in the development of renewable energy sources. Girls in most regions have achieved parity and even outpaced boys in schooling at all levels. Internet access has expanded by approximately 70 percent in just eight years.

Similarly, decades of progress against HIV/AIDS serve as a model for overcoming other pandemics through global solidarity and funding scientific breakthroughs, the report says.

“Time and time again, humanity has demonstrated that when we work together and apply our collective wisdom, we can find solutions to seemingly insoluble problems,” said Li Junhua.

Read also:

UN Poll: 80 percent of the world’s inhabitants support more active action in the fight against climate change


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