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Approach:

  1. Intro about SDGs.
  2. Mention the key findings on this in the SDG Report 2022.
  3. Conclusion – way ahead.

The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There are total 17 interlinked goals that recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

They were adopted by an UN General Assembly Resolution in September 2015 (Agenda 2030). Through the resolution, the global leaders pledged to set the world on a new trajectory to deliver meaningful progress for people and the planet through domestic actions in the next 15 years.

Key findings of the Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2022:

  • SDG 1 (No Poverty): Between 657-676 million people are currently projected to live in extreme poverty in 2022, compared to the pre-pandemic projection of 581 million.
  • SDG 2 (Zero Hunger): About 1 in 10 people are suffering from hunger worldwide, with 161 million additional people having slid into chronic hunger in 2020 alone.
  • SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being): The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening decades of progress in global health, decreasing global life expectancy and basic immunization coverage. The pandemic also increased the prevalence of anxiety and depression among people.
  • SDG 4 (Quality Education): 147 million children have missed over half of in-person instruction in 2020-2021, and 24 million learners may never return to school.
  • SDG 5 (Gender Equality): Women accounted for 39% of total employment in 2019 but 45% of global employment losses in 2020. Many women are increasingly burdened with unpaid care work. Domestic violence has also intensified.
  • SDG 6 (Clear Water and Sanitation): Meeting drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene targets by 2030 requires a 4-fold increase in the pace of progress.
  • SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy): Progress on electrification has slowed, with 679 million projected to have no electricity access in 2030.
  • SDG 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth): 1 in 10 children are engaged in child labour worldwide – a total of 160 million in 2020.
  • SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure): Global manufacturing has rebounded from the pandemic but least developed countries (LDCs) are left behind.
  • SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities): The pandemic has intensified income inequalities between countries and people.
  • SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities): Leaving no one behind will require an intensified focus on 1 billion slum dwellers.
  • SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production): 3% of the world’s food is lost after harvesting and before reaching retail markets, and 17% of total food is wasted at the consumer level.
  • SDG 13 (Climate Action): Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased 6% in 2021 reaching their highest level ever, taking down gains due to the COVID-19.
  • SDG 14 (Life Below Water): In 2021, more than 17 million metric tons of plastic entered the ocean – a number projected to double or triple by 2040.
  • SDG 15 (Life on Land): The report found that 23 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have also shown ‘stagnant progress’ under the goal. The proportion of forests fell from 31.9% of total land area in 2000 to 2% in 2020, representing a net loss of almost 100 MHa.
  • SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions): While global homicide rate declined 5.2% between 2015-2020, a quarter of the global population lives in conflict-affected countries.
  • SDG 17 (Partnership for Goals): Net official direct assistance (ODA) reached a new high of USD 177.6 billion, largely due to COVID-19-related aid, but ODA for SDG data declined by more than 18% (2020).

Going Ahea:

Firstly, addressing Climate Change has become the most urgent requirement. All nations, and especially the developed countries, must fulfil their commitments under the Paris Agreement. Further, there is need to enhance the emission target cuts as well as improve the climate finance and technology sharing to help the developing countries. In addition, the developed countries must come forward to support the developing nations in terms of finance, technology and other key resources in order for timely attainment of SDGs.

Secondly, innovative methods like organic farming, vertical farming etc. must be promoted for minimizing land degradation and diversion of forests for agriculture. Thirdly, efforts must be made to end armed conflicts and embark on a path of diplomacy and peace. For this, the Western and Eastern blocs must reach a compromise and end the miseries of the Ukrainian people.

Fourthly, the experiences during the pandemic wherein use of ICT technologies was enhanced, can be used to augment data infrastructure. The National Statistical Organization should focus on deployment of new collaboration software, new equipment to staff, and new remote access tools such as virtual private network (VPN), Virtual Desktop and Mobile Office.

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