Asia-Pacific set to miss SDG targets

17th May 2018

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The Asia-Pacific region is falling short in its progress towards delivering two-thirds of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with further action needed to achieve the targets by 2030.

That is according to a new UN report, which highlights how insufficient progress has been made in relation to 37 out of 57 targets studied since 2015 when the SDGs were agreed.

Improvements have actually deteriorated towards seven of these targets since then, with UN under-secretary-general, Shamshad Akhtar, arguing more needs to be done to ensure no one is left behind.

“Our region needs to significantly step up its development reform efforts in several areas,” she said.

“Inequalities are found to be widening because rapid economic growth has not always been equitably shared – more balanced and equitable growth must remain a priority.”

The seven targets where progress has reversed in the last couple of years are related to decent work and economic growth, industry, climate action, and sustainable use of oceans and forests.

It was also found that significant disparities exist across subregions and countries according to income levels, further threatening the Asia-Pacific region’s ability to achieve the goals.

In addition, the findings show that there are major gaps in the availability of data, with just 25% of the official SDG indicators currently possible to use in order to assess progress in the region.

This is thought to be limiting the robustness of assessments by countries and potentially impeding efforts to overcome development challenges.

Despite this, it was found that sufficient progress has been made at the regional level towards eradicating poverty, promoting health and wellbeing, and achieving education for all.

“Across all the SDG areas, work to find multilateral solutions to overcome transboundary challenges must be enhanced for our benefit and that of future generations,” Akhtar added.

Image credit: iStock


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