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#SDGsAt4: Progress Towards a Better Future? - Sustainable Conversations
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#SDGsAt4: Progress Towards a Better Future?

The first-ever Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit launched by the UN Chief, António Guterres, kicked off in New York from September 24-25, 2019 to discuss the progress of the UN SDG goals and next steps.

The SDG Summit, which is one of the five important high-level summits and meetings taking place during the opening week of the latest session of the UN General Assembly, will allow leaders from government, business and other sectors to identify specific actions that can help get the SDG response back on track, with a decade of action and delivery still in play, in the lead up to the 2030 deadline.

On September 25, 2015, the Member States of the UN adopted the landmark 2030 Agenda, which is broken down into 17 Sustainable Development Goals, that provide a blueprint for the transition to a healthier planet and a more just world, for present and future generations.

Four years ago, these targets were set to end poverty and hunger; expand access to health, education, justice and jobs; promote inclusive and sustained economic growth; while protecting our planet from environmental degradation.

Although positive results have been reported, global efforts have been hampered by challenges such as conflict, climate change, lack of access to essential health services, growing inequalities and significant financing gaps.

Some SDG successes and challenges

  • Goal 7- Affordable and Clean Energy: more people are using electricity than ever before. Nearly 9 out of 10 people now have access to electricity. Energy efficiency continues to improve, and renewable energy is making impressive gains in the electricity sector. But three billion people still lack clean cooking fuels and technologies, putting at risk their health and the environment.
  • Goal 10- Reduced Inequality: income inequality continues to rise in many parts of the world, even though the poorest 40% of the population in most countries experienced income growth faster than the national average. The bottom 40% still received less than 25% of overall income. In many countries, an increasing share of income goes to the top 1%.
  • Goal 13- Climate Action: as greenhouse gas levels continue to climb, climate change is occurring much faster than anticipated, and its effects are evident worldwide. The global mean temperature for 2018 was approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline, in the last four years.

Mr. Guterres emphasized that, with just over 10 years to go, the world is not on track to hit targets related to sustainable development, and urged world leaders to “take the decisions necessary, in order to come together more effectively to make sure that the 2030 Agenda is successfully implemented.

The Declaration calls for enhanced action to achieve the Goals, with Member States pledging to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the sustainable development objectives of the Agenda, and leave no one behind.

A more comprehensive list of progress on the SDGs can be found here.

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