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Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis

This is the fifth edition of the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development. Since 2016, we have published this report annually to assess not only the implementation of the 2030 Agenda but also the structural obstacles in its realization.

When we started to plan for this year’s report in Autumn 2019, mass protests were shaking a growing number of countries in various regions of the world. In Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, in Egypt, Lebanon, [...]

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New York, 18 September 

The COVID-19 crisis and the worldwide measures to tackle it have deeply affected communities, societies and economies around the globe. The implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been put at high risk in many countries. COVID-19 is a global wake-up call for enhanced international cooperation and solidarity.

But calls for “building back better” by just pushing the reset button will not change the game. We need structural changes [...]

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Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the SDGs

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The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined [...]

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Civil Society watchdog says the UN week of summits 23-27 September could see more positive action on the climate emergency, on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and could change the direction of financing for development.

New York, 13 September 2019: “In the four years since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) most governments have failed to turn the proclaimed transformational vision of the agenda into policies that bring about real change, but there are [...]

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Transforming institutions – shifting power – strengthening rights Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda the world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries. But there are signs of change. Social movements have emerged worldwide, many with young people and women in the lead. [...]
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New York, 15 July 2019: Analyses from the many global civil society organisations which contributed to the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2019 make it clear that to meaningfully tackle the obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals needs more sweeping, holistic shifts in how and where power is vested.

The current status of Artificial Intelligence governance must be reshaped or it will contribute to more being left behind. The risks and shifts are [...]

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New York, 8 July 2019: “The world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries.”

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not just a matter of better policies. It requires more holistic and more sweeping shifts in how power is vested, including through institutional and governance [...]

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How to overcome obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda “The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
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The third edition of the civil society report Spotlight on Sustainable Development states that unpaid care work represents the largest subsidy to the global economy and the main obstacle for women´s economic participation. Care public policies are needed to transform the social organization of care and narrow gender gaps.
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New York, 9 July 2018: “The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The report is launched on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York by a global coalition of civil society organizations [...]

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Join the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNRISD and FES for the Geneva launch of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 report. Carrying the subtitle "Reclaiming policies for the public. Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality - assessments and alternatives", the civil society "shadow" report provides a wide-ranging independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. At the event, contributors will present and discuss key [...]

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New York, 19 July 2017: Despite soaring rhetoric, glossy reports and slick presentations, the fact remains that implementation on the ground is “stalled”, as highlighted in a series of civil society national reports as part of the global Spotlight Report initiative.

Increasingly, civil society is expressing concern that the SDGs are being used not as a roadmap for social, economic and environmental transformation, but as a vehicle to entrench inequitable power relations. In particular, as exhibited in many speeches at [...]