In September 2000, leaders from 189 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters to sign the Millennium Declaration, a historic document in which they pledged to achieve a set of eight quantifiable goals by 2015, such as reducing extreme poverty and hunger by half, promoting gender equality and reducing child mortality.
In order to implement measures and goals for a better world, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were established, which are aimed at the development and growth of nations, as well as ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be met by 2030.
In order to achieve each of the objectives, short-term goals have been established, and for example, in Mexico, the country is increasingly opting to implement measures that contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide and sustainability.
But it is not everything; as companies, governments, organizations, and citizens, we must be able to meet the goals set in order to have a better environment and a better ecosystem.
There are 193 countries in the world that signed and committed to comply with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
They pledged to have a planet without poverty, hunger, health, quality education, gender equality, water, energy, decent work, no inequality, climate action, peace, justice and strong institutions, underwater life, and responsible consumption.
The best performing countries are:
Sweden tops the list of those surveyed, meaning it has 84.5 % of the way to go to achieve the targets set for 2030.
Denmark and Norway, with Finland in fourth place. Western European countries, and Iceland, were in the top 10 and four of the top 20.
– Canada 13
– the Czech Republic 15
– Slovenia 17
– Japan 18
– Singapore 19
– Australia 20
According to the SDG Index, although these countries have high percentages, the necessary work has not yet been done to close the remaining gap. This is because they face significant challenges in specific areas such as climate change mitigation, income inequality, gender equality, and education.
Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, for example, will need to focus especially on evolving their energy systems from high-carbon to low-carbon sources to meet environmental sustainability targets.
17 Goals for people and the planet
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of people around the world. In 2015, all UN Member States adopted 17 Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sets out a plan to achieve the Goals in 15 years.
Progress is now being made in many places, but overall, actions to achieve the Goals are not yet moving forward at the speed or scale needed. The year 2020 should mark the start of a decade of ambitious action to achieve the Goals by 2030.
Decade of action
With less than ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, at the SDG Summit in September 2019, world leaders called for a decade of action and results for sustainable development and pledged to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation, and strengthen institutions to achieve the Goals by the target date of 2030, leaving no one behind.
The UN Secretary-General called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a decade of action at three levels: action at the global level to ensure greater leadership, more resources, and smarter solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals; action at the local level that includes the necessary transitions in the policies, budgets, institutions and regulatory frameworks of governments, cities and local authorities; and action by individuals, including youth, civil society, media, the private sector, trade unions, academia, and other stakeholders, to generate an unstoppable movement to drive the necessary transformations.
Numerous civil society leaders and organizations have also called for a “year of great activism” to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, urging world leaders to step up efforts to reach the people furthest behind, support action and innovation at the local level, strengthen institutions and data systems, rebalance the relationship between people and nature, and leverage more financing for sustainable development.
Central to the 2020-2030 decade is the need for action to address growing poverty, empower women and girls, and address the climate emergency.
Compared to the previous ten years, more people around the world are living better lives. More people than ever before have access to better healthcare, decent work, and education. However, inequalities and climate change are threatening to reverse this progress. Investing in inclusive and sustainable economies can provide significant opportunities for shared prosperity. Moreover, the policy, technological and financial solutions are within our reach. However, rapid and unprecedented change, as well as greater leadership, is needed to align these mechanisms for change with the Sustainable Development Goals.