Asia-Pacific’s Slow Progress on Development Goals
By admin July 12, 2017

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A recent United Nations regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Baseline Report has come to the conclusion that the Asia-Pacific region needs to boost its development efforts in order to successfully meet the SDG set by the UN Department Economic and Social Affairs. The original target timeframe to achieve the listed goals is by 2030.

According to the UN document outlining the goals, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there are 17 specific Goals that were established in 2015 for developing countries and regions to meet in order to show positive progress in the quality of life for people.

• Goal 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywhere
• Goal 2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
• Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
• Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
• Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
• Goal 6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
• Goal 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
• Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
• Goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
• Goal 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries
• Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
• Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
• Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
• Goal 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
• Goal 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
• Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
• Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Shamshad Akhtar, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific, stated that the region is achieving success in accomplishing some of the goals such as poverty, education, economic growth, industry, and infrastructure, but is lacking on many others such as food security, agricultural sustainability, good health, and gender equality.

The recent SDG baseline report was the first report of its kind on the Asia-Pacific region in order to track the progress being made on the Goals. One of the major shortcomings on goals such as gender equality, were due to the lack of data available from many areas in the region in order to track progress. The report suggests that along with actually accomplishing the goals, the UN and other countries have to find a more efficient way to accumulate data and track the progress of the Goals.

Even though progress has been slow in achieving some of the Goals, there is an ample amount of time to evaluate and work towards those outcomes. Time will eventually tell whether the progress towards the goals is sustainable or whether a greater effort will be needed to assist developing nations in their efforts to achieve a sustainable future for all; and this report is a step in the right direction to guide us to this better world.

Further Reading

Asia-Pacific moving in ‘wrong direction’ on some development targets, notes UN regional report

Sustainable Development Goals

Asia-Pacific Must Boost Development Reform Efforts To Achieve 2030 Agenda

What the SDGs mean to these global leaders

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2016: SDG Baseline Report

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