The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019
The impacts of climate change and increasing inequality across and within countries are undermining progress on the sustainable development agenda, threatening to reverse many of the gains made over the last decades that have improved people’s lives, warns the 2019 report on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Launched during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, a critical annual stocktaking event, the report, based on the latest available data, remains the cornerstone for measuring progress and identifying gaps in the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Four years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals -- the world’s blueprint for a fairer and healthier planet -- the report noted progress in some areas, such as on extreme poverty reduction, widespread immunization, decrease in child mortality rates and increase in people’s access to electricity, but warned that global response had not been ambitious enough, leaving the most vulnerable people and countries to suffer the most.
Among the key findings:
- Increasing inequality among and within countries requires urgent attention, the report warned. Three quarters of stunted children lived in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; extreme poverty was three times higher in rural areas than urban areas; young people were more likely to be unemployed than adults; only a quarter of people with severe disabilities collected a disability pension; and women and girls still faced barriers to achieving equality.
- The year 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record. Levels of carbon dioxide concentrations continued to increase in 2018. Ocean acidity was considered 26% higher than in pre-industrial times and is projected to increase by 100% to 150% by 2100 at the current rate of CO2 emissions.
- The number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36% in 1990 to 8.6% in 2018, but the pace of poverty reduction was starting to decelerate as the world struggled to respond to entrenched deprivation, violent conflicts and vulnerabilities to natural disasters.
- Global hunger had been on the rise after a prolonged decline.
Despite the threats, the report demonstrated that valuable opportunities existed to accelerate progress by leveraging the interlinkages across Goals. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for instance, goes hand-in-hand with creating jobs, building more livable cities, and improving health and prosperity for all.
The annual report, a joint effort of the global statistical community, was launched during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development as leaders from governments and different sectors of society gathered to chart strategies and efforts to fully implement the SDGs. The report provides essential data that allows decision-makers to guide efforts toward achieving the SDGs.