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What is the current situation on the Sustainable Development Goals?

Romain Guns
24 August 2018
Three years after the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations, we are examining how much progress there is. We look back on some of the key points of the 2018 High Level Forum in New York.

The forum ended on 18 July in an atmosphere of optimism and urgency for areas where further efforts are needed. Positive points have also emerged, such as improving the quality of life of people around the world, reducing maternal and child mortality, and reducing the number of forced marriages in South Asia. That girls can benefit from quality education, better health and participation in the life of the community is a step towards equal opportunities.

Despite the progress, the world needs initiatives more than ever. Due to escalating conflicts and the intensification of natural disasters, global hunger has increased for the first time. According to the United Nations, more than 670 million people will live without electricity by 2030 and 9 out of 10 urban residents will breathe air polluted by carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, there is climate change, the deterioration of the environment and above all the loss of biodiversity and the ever-increasing deforestation.

Nevertheless, participants completed the forum on a positive note. In addition, they created new partnerships for the SDGs and strengthened existing partnerships. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: "Development cooperation is the only way to tackle the complex and intricate challenges we face." It is necessary today to warn the world population of the dangers of declining biodiversity and the environment and to take a step back in technology. Because, according to Guterres, technology is a double-edged sword: it can help us achieve our goals, but it can also reinforce inequalities.