Only 17% of targets to improve life around the world are likely to be reached by 2030, UN reports

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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations warned Friday that only 17% of its 169 goals to improve the lives of the world’s more than 7 billion people are on track to be achieved by the 2030 deadline.

Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres launched the annual report with the words: “It shows the world is getting a failing grade.”

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World leaders adopted the 17 broad development goals, from ending global poverty to achieving gender equality by 2015, and set 169 specific targets to be achieved by the end of the decade.

According to the report, almost half of the targets show minimal or moderate progress and more than a third are stalled or have regressed, with only 17% on track to be achieved.

“The takeaway is simple,” Guterres said. “Our failure to secure peace, address climate change and boost international financing undermines development.”

The report also noted the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and said that in 2022, an additional 23 million people would be pushed into extreme poverty and over 100 million more people would go hungry compared to 2019.

“In a world of unprecedented wealth, knowledge and technologies, denying the basic needs of so many is outrageous and unacceptable,” Guterres said.

On the negative side, the UN reported that for the first time this century, GDP per capita growth in half of the world’s most vulnerable countries is slower than that of advanced economies, threatening improvements in equality. And in 2022, it said, almost 60% of countries faced moderate to abnormally high food prices.

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The purpose of quality education is far away. Only 58% of students worldwide achieved minimum reading proficiency by the end of primary school, and “recent assessments show significant declines in math and reading scores in many countries,” the report said.

On gender equality, the report said the world is still lagging behind: one in five girls still marries before the age of 18, violence against women persists, far too many women do not have the right to decide about their sexual and reproductive health. And if the current pace continues, it will take 176 years for women to be on equal footing with men in management positions.

Guterres said the report also contained “some glimmerings of hope.”

Mobile broadband is accessible to 95% of the world’s population, up from 78% in 2015. The global capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has increased at an unprecedented 8.1% per year over the past five years, the report said.

Improved access to treatment has prevented 20.8 million AIDS-related deaths over the past three decades. New malaria vaccines rollout could save millions of lives. In most regions, girls now reach education levels equal to boys. And many women are breaking the glass ceiling, the report says.

“But the speed and scale of change needed for sustainable development is still far too slow,” Guterres said.

He called for action to end the wars of Gaza Unpleasant Ukraine, Sudan and further, “and to shift from spending money on destruction and war to investing in people and peace.”

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The Secretary-General also called for more action to combat climate change and for “the green and digital transitions.”

According to the report, there is a $4 trillion annual shortfall in investments needed to help developing countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Guterres called for greater efforts to make resources available and also to reduce debt pressures and debt service costs, to expand access to emergency financing for countries at risk of a cash flow crisis, and to increase countries’ lending capacity. the World Bank and other development banks.

“We must not abandon our promises: to end poverty, protect the planet and leave no one behind,” the Secretary General said.

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On the Web: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2024/

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