Join the event online on the 17th of July, 8:00 – 9:30 am EST


The 2023 UNECE SDG Progress Report notes that the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, surging inflation and public debt, and the deteriorated short-term economic outlook are without doubt challenging SDGs globally and in the UNECE region. According to the Report, only 115 of the 169 SDG targets could be measured for the UNECE region and a mere 21 of the targets which are possible to measure are on have sufficient pace to course for  2030. In addition, 79 of the targets need to accelerate and 15 targets are running counter to the desired direction. 

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) recently released its Sustainable Development Report for the year 2023. This report highlights that all the top 20 countries on the SDG Index are in Europe, most of them European Union member states. However, despite their progress, none of these top-ranking countries have managed to achieve a perfect score in terms of SDG implementation. In addition, it is also not clear whether this high score takes into account the externalities these countries have on countries in the Global South. One finding of great concern in the report is the prediction that the gap in SDG outcomes between high-income countries (HICs) and low-income countries (LICs) is projected to widen by 2030. 

Alongside the SDSN report, civil society reports from the region have continued to sound the alarm about the growing disparity between the targets set by the SDGs and the actual outcomes being observed. These reports emphasize the need for increased and transformative efforts to bridge this gap and by doing this address the systemic challenges that continue to hinder the progress of sustainable development.

At this side event experts, civil society representatives, and Members States will discuss why and how UNECE member states arrived at this result. We will explore who the 2030 Agenda is for now, and whether we are complacent with the current progress. The expected outcome of the discussion will be recommendations on how the region can get more on track and how the region can support the Global South to be on track as well. The event will show how regional civil society organizations are integral to this process.


Guiding questions

  • Are We Complacent? UNECE earlier this year reported that our region is only on track to only achieve 21 (out of the 169) SDG targets by 2030. Why haven’t we progressed further with SDG implementation in our region? 
  • What do you think are the structural barriers to SDG implementation in our region?
  • What are the priority actions needed to get on track with achieving the 2030 Agenda?
  • What recommendations are there to ensure those furthest left behind are prioritized in the work to get on track?
  • As the gap in SDG outcomes between high-income countries (HICs) and low-income countries (LICs) will be larger in 2030 than when the goals were universally agreed upon in 2015, how can those countries in our region better own up to their historical responsibilities? How can we ensure that measures by UNECE member states improve outcomes for LICs and do not exacerbate existing inequalities?
Registration for the event