The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019

The impacts of climate change and increasing inequality are undermining progress on the sustainable development agenda, threatening to reverse many of the gains made over the last decades, the annual UN report warns.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019 was published by the United Nations (UN) at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2019. The report, which is based on the latest available data, remains the cornerstone for measuring progress and identifying gaps in the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Four years since the adoption of the SDGs the report notes progress in some areas, such as on extreme poverty reduction, widespread immunisation, decrease in child mortality rates and increase in people’s access to electricity, but warns that global response has not been ambitious enough, leaving the most vulnerable people and countries to suffer the most.

Among the key findings:

  • Increasing inequality among and within countries requires urgent attention, the report warns. Three quarters of stunted children live in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; extreme poverty is three times higher in rural areas than urban areas; young people are more likely to be unemployed than adults; only a quarter of people with severe disabilities collect a disability pension; and women and girls still face barriers to achieving equality.
  • The year 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record. Levels of carbon dioxide concentrations continued to increase in 2018. Ocean acidity is 26 per cent higher than in pre-industrial times and at the current rate of CO2 emissions is projected to increase by 100 per cent to 150 per cent by 2100.
  • The number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36 per cent in 1990 to 8.6 per cent in 2018, but the pace of poverty reduction is starting to decelerate as the world struggles to respond to entrenched deprivation, violent conflicts and vulnerabilities to natural disasters.
  • Global hunger has been on the rise after a prolonged decline.

The lack of progress is particularly apparent among environment-related goals such as climate action and biodiversity. The impacts of environmental deterioration are taking a toll on people’s lives. Extreme weather conditions, more frequent and severe natural disasters and the collapse of ecosystems are causing increased food insecurity and are worsening people’s safety and health, forcing many communities to suffer from poverty, displacement and widening inequalities.

Despite the threats, the report demonstrates that valuable opportunities exist to accelerate progress by leveraging the interlinkages across goals. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for instance, goes hand-in-hand with creating jobs, building more liveable cities, and improving health and prosperity for all.

(UN/ile)

More information and download the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/progress-report/

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