IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

U.N.'s annual Sustainable Development Report

21st June, 2024 Environment

U.N.'s annual Sustainable Development Report

Source: Reuters

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  • The UN's Sustainable Development Report indicates that no SDGs are on track to be met by 2030, with most showing limited or reversed progress.
  • Major contributing factors include funding shortfalls, geopolitical tensions and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Key Points

  • Global progress on the 17 SDGs is significantly off track, with no goal on course to be met by 2030.
  • Major issues include poverty, hunger, sustainable cities and biodiversity protection.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and chronic funding shortfalls have exacerbated the slow progress.
  • Developing countries need better access to international finance and supportive credit rating systems.
  • The report calls for a revamp of the UN system to better address these challenges.
  • Poverty and Hunger
    • Persistent challenges in eradicating poverty and reducing hunger globally.
    • Poorest countries have fallen further behind in progress.
  • Biodiversity Protection
    • Insufficient measures to protect biodiversity on land and in water.
    • Reversal of progress in protecting ecosystems.
  • Sustainable Cities
    • Challenges in creating sustainable urban environments.
    • Issues include inadequate infrastructure and increasing urban populations.
  • Political and Social Goals
    • Reversal of progress in areas such as press freedom.
    • Impact of geopolitical tensions and military conflicts.

Factors Affecting Progress

  • Funding Shortfalls
    • Chronic lack of funding for sustainable development initiatives.
    • Need for increased international financial support, especially for developing countries.
  • Geopolitical Tensions
    • Military conflicts and political instability hinder sustainable development.
    • Cooperation among nations through UN institutions is crucial but lacking.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
    • The pandemic has caused significant setbacks in achieving SDGs.
    • Impact on health, economy, and social systems globally.

Recommendations and Solutions

  • International Finance and Credit Rating Agencies
    • Developing countries need better access to international finance.
    • Credit rating agencies should consider long-term environmental and economic wellbeing in their assessments.
  • Revamping the UN System
    • Call for a reform of the UN system to better address global challenges.
    • Increased emphasis on global cooperation and effective governance.
  • Enhanced Global Cooperation
    • Countries need to collaborate more effectively through UN institutions.
    • The United States ranked last in willingness to cooperate globally, highlighting a need for greater international engagement.

Country-Specific Observations

  • Top Performers
    • Finland, Sweden and Denmark lead in SDG performance.
    • China has shown faster than average progress among major economies.
  • Lagging Countries
    • The poorest countries are lagging significantly in progress.
    • Need for targeted support and interventions to bridge the gap.




Q. The UN report highlights significant challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Analyse the key factors hindering progress, focusing on the issues of poverty, hunger, and biodiversity protection. Suggest specific measures to address these challenges in the context of developing countries.