UN Releases 2020 SDGs Progress Report
The annual report of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2020 has been released by the UN.
The report was published ahead of the 2020 session of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The report draws on the latest available data on the indicators contained in the global SDG indicator framework as of April 2020 and highlights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on each SDG.
According to the report there is “continued unevenness of progress” across SDGs. The report identifies areas which require significant improvement.
Areas of progress until the end of 2019 included declining global poverty, falling rates of maternal and child mortality, access to electricity for more people, and the development of more national sustainable development policies and signing of international agreements for environmental protection.
At the same time, progress was stalled or reversed on the number of people suffering from hunger, the rate of climate change, and increasing inequalities.
Analysis by Movendi International illustrates the role that alcohol plays in impeding progress across all three of these goals, especially concerning hunger eradication (see pages 6-7) and inequalities reduction (see pages 38-44).
According to the UN report, SDG progress would suffer the most due to the COVID-19 pandemic in least developed countries (LDCs), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs), small island developing States (SIDS), and countries in humanitarian or fragile situations stand. This is due fragile health systems, limited social protection coverage, limited financial and other resources, vulnerability to shocks, and dependence on international trade.
There is no mention of alcohol harm in the report despite the importance of prioritizing alcohol policy solutions towards achieving the SDGs by 2030 and in reducing COVID-19 impact and recovering from the pandemic.
Alcohol is a major obstacle to 14 of the 17 SDGs. Alcohol also increases the burden on countries’ healthcare systems and emergency services and drains country resources adding to the COVID-19 burden. In this view alcohol policy solutions need to be prioritized as catalysts for achieving progress towards the SDGs.
In addition to the Secretary-General’s annual progress report, the UN also released a ‘Sustainable Development Goals Report’ that reviews the year’s progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda.