Introduction To The SDGs, The UN, And The Influence Of COVID-19

The Sustainable Development Goals, aka the Global Goals was adopted by the United Nations in 2015, with the objectives of ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. There are 17 interdependent SDGs in total, where if you implement according to one area, you will also affect the outcomes of the others. This interdependence is due to the need of having a balance between social, economic and environmental sustainability development. 

An Example of how Countries Follow the SDGs!

Currently, over 100 countries have integrated the SDGs into their national planning. However, how did they perform? 

The total progress towards achieving all 17 SDGs of each country can be measured. As expected, the top 17 are European countries, with the scores of 80 out of 100. The Nordic countries, Finland, Sweden and Denmark even occupied the top 3. They did well on (1) no poverty, and (7) affordable and clean energy. However, among all SDGs, their progress is relatively weaker in (12) Responsible consumption and production, (13) Climate action, (14) Life below water and (15) Life on land. 

COVID-19’s Influence on Achieving the SDGs and an Introduction to the United Nations

Under COVID-19, achieving the SDGs became more difficult. It is predicted that the number of people living in extreme poverty can increase to over 1 billion by 2030, with 250 million pushed into extreme poverty as a direct result of the COVID-19. 

In response to this prediction, the UN is helping to develop better response plans, such as investing in good governance, social protection, green economy and digital solutions to reduce the population under extreme poverty by 146 million by 2030. For instance, the UN introduced a temporary basic income, a minimum guaranteed income above the poverty line in 132 developing countries like Brazil. 

Furthermore, the pandemic worsened poverty among women and has increased domestic violence against them. The UN helped to alleviate this issue by isolating women from violent households and set up digital cash transfer programs prioritising them, such as what they did in Togo to serve 12% of the population. Additionally, the UN invested in developing a care economy to create job opportunities for the women.

COVID-19 poses many threats to the achievement of the SDGs. However, the UN and its member states are making emergency response plans to protect their progress. Let’s work together to construct a better world!


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