Asia-Pacific may meet only one out of 17 SDGs by 2030

23 July, 2018 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: The Asia-Pacific region is on track to meet only one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, a senior UN official has warned, underscoring that the global success in achieving the 2030 development agenda is "highly reliant" on India's performance.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for action to end poverty, protect the planet, improve health, education, and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030, report Agencies.

"When we look across the SDGs right now, Asia-Pacific as a whole is on track to meet only one of the 17 SDGs. We are only going to meet the SDG on education.

"While that is a great achievement -- universal education in a region as vast as the Asia-Pacific -- it is not enough," UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) Deputy Executive Secretary Kaveh Zahedi told PTI here.

Zahedi was in New York to participate in the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development at UN headquarters last week that reviewed progress towards several of the SDGs.

As nations across the world implement national development programmes in line with development goals, the UN official emphasised that success in the SDGs will in large part depend on its success in India.

He noted that the success on the Millennium Development Goals, to some degree, could be attributed to China's poverty reduction and its efforts in lifting millions out of poverty.

"We are highly reliant on India's success to demonstrate the global success on achieving the 2030 Agenda. It is going to depend on ambition and vision at the highest level of government and also depends on money and investment," he said.

Zahedi raised concern over the region "moving backwards" on parameters of inequality besides the emerging "digital divide" within and between countries.

"The region is becoming more unequal. Not only are we not going to achieve the SDGs, we are moving in the wrong direction.