Produced at the mid-way point towards 2030, the report warns that “many of the SDGs are moderately to severely off track” and offers five recommendations to “rescue” the Goals by the 2030 deadline.
The report calls on world leaders to come together at the SDG Summit and “deliver a Rescue Plan for People and Planet”.
The UN has released an advance unedited version of the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on SDG progress. This year’s “special edition” report updates on progress made since 2015 against the global SDG indicator framework. It will inform discussions during the July 2023 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the SDG Summit in September.
Produced at the mid-way point towards 2030, the report is titled, ‘Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Towards a Rescue Plan for People and Planet.’ It warns that “many of the SDGs are moderately to severely off track” and offers five recommendations to “rescue” the Goals by the 2030 deadline.
The report reveals that according to a preliminary assessment of around 140 targets with data, only about 12% are on track. Nearly 50% of the targets are moderately or severely off track and approximately 30% have either stagnated or “regressed below the 2015 baseline.”
Among other findings, the report highlights that under current trends, in 2030:
- 575 million people will be living in extreme poverty;
- 84 million children will be out of school, and of those in school, 300 million “will leave unable to read and write”;
- Renewables will make up “a mere fraction” of global energy supplies; and
- 660 million people will live without electricity and nearly 2 billion will have no access to clean cooking.
Recognizing that the lack of progress is universal, the report underscores that “developing countries and the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are bearing the brunt” of it. It offers five broad recommendations and specifies a number of actions governments could take to support each:
- Recommit to “accelerated, sustained and transformative action” at the national and global level “to deliver on the promise of the SDGs”;
- Advance “concrete, integrated and targeted policies and actions to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, and “end the war on nature,” while promoting the rights women and girls and empowering the most vulnerable;
- Improve national and subnational capacity, accountability, and public institutions to accelerate SDG progress;
- To support developing countries in their efforts to achieve the SDGs, recommit to deliver on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and mobilize the resources and investment needed, particularly for countries in special situations and those “experiencing acute vulnerability”; and
- Continue strengthening the UN development system and boost the capacity of the multilateral system to tackle emerging challenges and SDG-related gaps in the international architecture that have emerged since 2015.
The report calls on world leaders to come together at the SDG Summit and “deliver a Rescue Plan for People and Planet” around three breakthroughs: 1) equipping governance and institutions for sustainable and inclusive transformation; 2) prioritizing policies and investments that have multiplier effects across the Goals; and 3) securing a surge in SDG financing and an enabling global environment for developing countries.
The Secretary-General’s report was issued on 24 April 2023. It is one of several SDG assessments released each year in the lead-up to the HLPF. The Sustainable Development Goals Report by the UN Statistics Division and the Sustainable Development Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – both forthcoming – will also inform HLPF deliberations.
To support the quadrennial review of the 17 SDGs, the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) will be released in September, ahead of the SDG Summit. Prepared by a Group of Independent Scientists appointed by the Secretary-General, the report will outline key entry points to accelerate transformative action. [Publication: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Towards a Rescue Plan for People and Planet: Report of the Secretary-General (Special Edition)]