SDG Goals Unlikely To Be Met by 2030- Report Warns

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2024 released by the United Nations delivers a stark message: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, are at risk of not being met by the target year of 2030.

The report paints a sobering picture of the current state of global progress. According to the report, only a mere 17% of the SDG targets are on track to be achieved within the next six years. Nearly half of the targets are showing minimal or moderate progress, and over one-third have stalled or regressed. The report highlights the scarring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating conflicts, geopolitical tensions, and the growing climate crisis as significant factors hitting SDG progress hard.

According to the United Nations website, in 2015, 195 nations agreed with the United Nations that they could change the world for the better. This would be accomplished by bringing together their respective governments, businesses, media, institutions of higher education, and local NGOs to improve the lives of the people in their country by the year 2030.

List of Agenda

  • Eliminate Poverty
  • Erase Hunger
  • Establish Good Health and Well-Being
  • Provide Quality Education
  • Enforce Gender Equality
  • Improve Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Grow Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Create Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Increase Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • Reduce Inequality
  • Mobilize Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Influence Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Organize Climate Action
  • Develop Life Below Water
  • Advance Life On Land
  • Guarantee Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • Build Partnerships for the Goals

The report also sheds light on systemic deficiencies and inequities in the global economic and financial system, which disproportionately affect developing countries. These nations face enormous and growing challenges with insufficient international support, exacerbating inequalities and hindering sustainable development efforts.

Furthermore, the climate crisis continues to escalate, biodiversity loss is accelerating, and progress towards gender equality remains disappointing. Conflicts in regions such as Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan, and others have contributed to an unprecedented number of forcibly displaced people worldwide, reaching 120 million.

Despite the grim forecast, the report notes that the SDG Summit in September 2023 demonstrated a steadfast unity of governments behind the 2030 Agenda, offering a glimmer of hope. The commitment to rescue the SDGs and to deliver an SDG Stimulus has generated fresh impetus behind the Goals.

While acknowledging some progress, such as reductions in child mortality, HIV infections, and remittance costs, as well as improved access to water, sanitation, energy, and mobile broadband, the report underscores the need for accelerated and transformative actions.

The report calls for bolder actions to turn these green shoots into accelerated and transformative progress. It emphasizes the need for peace, solidarity, and a surge in implementation, along with a more concerted effort to dismantle gender barriers and empower all women and girls. The upcoming Summit of the Future and other key conferences in 2025 are seen as vital opportunities to advance international cooperation and maximize progress towards the SDGs.

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