On 10 May, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued, in advance, the unedited 2018 edition of the annual report on progress towards the SDGs. The report is based on selected SDG indicators for which data is available, using the latest data as of 10 May 2018.
The report titled, ‘Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,’ is produced to inform the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The global indicator framework used in the report was developed by the UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), and later adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in July 2017 (resolution 71/313).
For each of the 17 SDGs, the Secretary-General’s report provides an overview paragraph on progress. This is followed by a list describing statistical trends for the targets under each Goal.
Some of the most notable discoveries in the report include:
- Goal 2 (greater food security and the end of hunger): after a prolonged decline, “world hunger appears to be on the rise again”. This indicates that the prospect of ending hunger and malnutrition by 2030 has become increasingly difficult.
- Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy): ensuring access for all “has come one step closer,” and notes improvements in industrial energy efficiency.
- Goal 13 (climate action): 2017 was one of the three warmest years on record, and the world continues to experience rising sea levels, calling for countries implement their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
- Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions): there has been progress in regulations to promote public access to information, “albeit slowly,” as well as in strengthening national human rights institutions.
Some of the SDGs’ 169 targets are not reflected in the report, due to lack of data or methodological development on their respective indicators. The report stresses the need for quality, accessible, open, timely and disaggregated data, brought about through strengthened capacities of national statistical systems.
The 2018 session of the HLPF will convene from 9-18 July 2018, in New York, US.
The full report can be found here.