SDG Counting
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SDG Counting

UN Secretary-General: SDGs Need “Rescuing”

Statement to ECOSOC may preview HLPF focal points

Photo Credit: UNclimatechange


  • 15 million people have died during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 100 million more people became impoverish in 2020.
  • Women’s rights have been set back by a full generation.
  • Global financial investments favored the already wealthy nations while ignoring the needs of developing countries.
  • Disparity in health access was apparent in vaccinations with over 70% of people in high income countries receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccination while only 17% in low-income countries have been able to receive one.
  • Multiple crises are disproportionately affecting developing countries from unequal recovery, to climate crisis effects, to food and fuel access issues, and international conflict.


  • The SDG framework remains the best tool for improving global conditions and responding to emerging issues.
  • UN influence, through Country Teams and strategic initiatives, is expanding with promising results.
  • Collaboration and coordination has increased in recent years.
  • COVID-19 response and Climate Change guidance are among the most effective elements of support.
  • We’ve seen improvements in transparency, accountability, data usage and independent evaluations.

Next Steps

  • Improve support and international cooperation for countries most in need.
  • Mobilize investments around food systems, energy, and digital connectivity.
  • Increase liquidity and asset infusions for developing economies to continue progress.
  • Create a global financial system overall because we must “ensure power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly, so countries can invest in their people.”
  • Align public and private finance with the SDGs and global climate protocols.
  • Increase investment in food systems and job growth.

Five Areas for urgent attention

  • Ensure UN teams have the skills, expertise, and configuration to support strategic investments.
  • Expand and improve partnerships, knowledge, and financing.
  • Change approach to collaboration across humanitarian, development, and security challenges.
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
  • Strengthen collaboration at regional level.



Keeping track of progress on trying to count and measure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals

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Keeping track of progress on trying to count and measure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.