Europe lagging on UN Sustainable Development Goals
Geneva, March 26 (IANS) Halfway through the agenda of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, Europe is on track to meet only 26, or 15 per cent, of the 169 targets, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said.
Seven years after the adoption of the SDGs in 2015, Europe must accelerate progress or reverse current trends to achieve its 2030 ambitions, according to the report, which identifies the targets and goals where urgent action is required to make the 2030 agenda a reality, Xinhua news agency quoted the UNECE as saying in its 2022 SDG progress report released here on Friday.
“Our report shows that progress has been too slow: where we needed to accelerate progress on 57 targets (last year), this has now increased to 64; while last year we had nine targets for which we needed to reverse the trend, we now have 15,” said UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.
As a few targets, such as those relating to extreme poverty, food security, maternal mortality or safe drinking water, are on track to meet the SDGs, progress in many other categories must be accelerated.
For instance, although extreme poverty is rare in the UNECE region, targets to reduce poverty and income inequality are not on track to be achieved by 2030, as one in five individuals experience multidimensional poverty across UNECE countries, the report said.
While the UNECE region is on track to meet targets on maternal and child mortality and road safety, all other health targets require acceleration, such as the progress towards reducing the incidence and impact of communicable and non-communicable diseases and improving mental health and wellbeing.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected access to healthcare services with the potential to further slow progress on preventable diseases, premature mortality, mental health and family planning, the report said.
Based on the report’s assessment, of all the measurable targets the UNECE region will achieve only 26 SDG targets by 2030, while progress has to accelerate for 64 targets and the current trend needs to be reversed for 15 targets.
Meanwhile, about 40 per cent of the 169 targets cannot be adequately measured by official statistics due to insufficient data, which is an “urgent reminder that reliable, accurate, trustworthy statistics are not only the basis of good technical analysis but are the foundation of evidence-based policymaking at all levels”, she said.