Last year, the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and embraced a shared aspiration: A world without poverty and with opportunity and dignity for all by 2030.
So how does the international community achieve the global sustainable development agenda?
First we need to know where we stand. And we need ideas on how to reach this better world in the next 15 years.
The past two weeks, government ministers, UN leaders, experts and academics, civil society representatives, and business leaders have gathered today at the UN through the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to assess where we are on the Sustainable Development Goals and share lessons and ideas on how to make progress on them.
In conjunction with this forum, expert groups released a number of related reports on the Sustainable Development Goals. Here are three that should be on your radar to have a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in front of us.
The UN released the inaugural report on where we stand on the Sustainable Development Goals, providing an overview on where we are on each of the goals so we have a better picture of where we need to go. The report also highlighted the importance of building data capacity so we can evaluate our progress, or lack thereof, on each goal and make informed decisions. For more insight, read my colleague Susan Myers’ post with five key takeaways.
The Overseas Development Institute released a report outlining actions countries can take to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and reach marginalized groups so no one is left behind. The report highlights the need for strong, early action, noting: “Efforts to ensure that no one is left behind are vital in the first 1,000 days – or three years – of the SDGs: the longer governments take to act, the harder it will be to deliver on their promises by 2030.” It also highlights the return-on-investment from making sure no one is left out of global progress.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Bertelsmann Stiftung launched the “SDG Index and Dashboards” to provide report cards of where countries stand in 2016 on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The index and dashboards help countries and their citizens identify the areas that need urgent action.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require good data and analysis, and reports like these will continue to be important guideposts for the global community to understand how we’re doing and hold ourselves accountable.
As the reports lay out – the challenges are big, but so are the opportunities to create a better world for all of us. With a better understanding of the world as it is today, let’s work together for the world we want tomorrow.