228 - Inside the Sustainable Development Goals
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Inside the Sustainable Development Goals

On the first day of 2016, the world officially began implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals aimed at addressing urgent global challenges. In this regard, a comprehensive plan of action was put into place based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be implemented over the next 15 years.

Progress of the Sustainable Development Goals

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are a road map to ensure lasting social and economic progress worldwide. In a transformative global vision, the agenda seeks to enhance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Let’s take a look at an example of the improvement that has been made since.

Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. Recently, data from the World Health Organization revealed that almost half of all deaths globally are now recorded with a cause. This highlights the progress countries have made in collecting vital statistics and monitoring progress. China, Turkey, and Iran are some of the countries that have made significant strides towards strengthening the data they collect.

In 2015, an estimated 56 million people passed away in the world. 27 million of these deaths were registered with a cause, according to WHO’s annual World Health Statistics. Ten years before that, in 2005, only a third of deaths had a recorded cause. Now, 90 percent of deaths are recorded with detailed cause-of-death information, compared to 5 percent in 1999.

Attaching more value to the information on deaths that are registered enhances the usefulness of data for tracking public health trends, planning measures to improve health and evaluating whether implemented policies are working.

“If countries don’t know what makes people get sick and die, it’s a lot harder to know what to do about it,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation. “WHO is working with countries to strengthen health information systems and to enable them to better track progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

A new index from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation, provides insight into how well countries are performing. Covering 77 indicators in all, it ranks 149 countries. The record shows that Sweden is in the first place, followed closely by fellow Scandinavian countries Denmark and Norway. Canada is in 13th, while the United States is ranked 25th. However, the rank shows that even with the significant progress that has been witnessed, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in West and Central Africa. The Central African Republic is in last, while the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia are also struggling. It is another compelling evidence we cannot let up, helping those who need help the most. Poverty, good health and well-being, hunger and clean water are still huge obstacles if we want to succeed in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

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