Sustainable Development Goals - will the Western World meet the deadline?

Distinguished Visiting Professor Asit K. Biswas and Professor in Practice Cecilia Tortajada share their view that developed countries will find it difficult to meet their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

There are less than 10 years remaining before the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved. For developing countries, which were making inadequate progress even before the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the goals by 2030 have become even more challenging than ever before.

The pandemic has seriously disrupted global plans to achieve SDG targets because of unexpected and very high economic, social and health costs. All governments had to borrow heavily and divert focus to counter the pandemic’s immediate adverse impacts, leaving limited resources and efforts towards achievement of SDGs.

The pandemic has transformed, and will continue to transform for years to come, political priorities, human behaviours and social perceptions all over the globe. These will affect achievement of SDGs in many different ways.

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First published: 19 May 2021