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Asia-Pacific needs 42 years to reach SDGs: UN

UNB || BusinessInsider

Published: 09:43, 23 March 2023  
Asia-Pacific needs 42 years to reach SDGs: UN

Photo: Representational

Asia-Pacific achieved 14.4 percent progress needed to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it will take another 42 years for the region to reach the goalpost, said a United Nations (UN) report. 

At the current pace, Asia-Pacific will miss 90 percent of the 118 measurable SDG targets by 2030 unless efforts are multiplied, the Asia and the Pacific Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report 2023 issued Wednesday by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) added.

“While there are impressive national accomplishments across the 17 goals, none of the countries in the region is on track to reach them and overall achievement is much lower than anticipated for the midpoint,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations under-secretary-general and executive secretary of ESCAP.

“In developed and developing countries alike, persistent data gaps remain. Governments must renew their commitments to producing relevant, timely, granular, high-quality information to monitor and review the march towards the SDGs.”

In 2022, the areas of greatest progress for Asia-Pacific were affordable and clean energy (Goal 7) and industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9).

Progress towards achieving Goal 7 was largely driven by achievements in access to electricity and international support for clean and renewable energy, while there was little progress in the share of renewable energy consumption.

Progress towards achieving Goal 9 was driven by successes in mobile network coverage and total official flows for infrastructure development in the least developed countries.

However, progress towards climate action (Goal 13) is slipping away. The region is both a victim of the impact of climate change and a perpetrator of climate change, with a responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Countries are not on track to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The region is also regressing on Goal 13 owing to the increase in deaths and missing persons attributed to disasters.

While there is enough data for countries to act with greater ambition on the implementation of the SDGs, data availability for evidence-based follow-up and review remains a significant hurdle in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The report notes significant data gaps in Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 14 (life below water) and Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), each with less than 30 percent sufficient data available.