The 9th Sustainable Development Report is launched | SDSN Northern Europe
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The 9th Sustainable Development Report is launched

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This year's report highlights the urgent need for reforms in the UN to reinforce global cooperation and financing for sustainable development. The Nordic countries can take the lead.

Today the UN SDSN releases the 9th edition of the Sustainable Development Report (SDR)Since 2015, the SDR, which includes the SDG Index and Dashboards, provides the most up-to-date data to track and rank the performance of all UN Member States on the SDGs.

This year's report highlights the urgent need for reforms in the UN to reinforce global cooperation and financing for sustainable development. It also reveals that none of the seventeen SDGs are on track to be achieved by 2030, with only 16% of the targets showing progress.

Ahead of the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024, the report calls for a “United Nations 2.0” to meet the critical challenges of the 21st century. This includes addressing significant shortfalls in SDG financing and enhancing multilateral cooperation.

Key findings relevant to the Nordic region:

  1. Nordic leadership in SDG achievement: The Nordic countries continue to lead globally in SDG performance. Finland, Sweden, and Denmark take the top three positions in the 2024 SDG Index, followed closely by Germany and France. Despite their high rankings, these countries still face significant challenges in achieving particularly the environmentally driven SDGs, highlighting the need for continued and enhanced efforts in these areas.
  2. Stagnation and reversal in global progress: Globally, progress on the SDGs has stagnated since 2020, with setbacks in areas such as zero hunger, sustainable cities, life below water, life on land, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. The report underscores the necessity for the Nordic countries to not only maintain their leadership but also to support global initiatives aimed at reversing these trends.
  3. Urgency for financial reform: Sustainable development is identified as a long-term investment challenge requiring urgent reform of the global financial architecture. The report emphasizes the need for new institutions and financing mechanisms to provide low-income countries with affordable long-term capital. Nordic countries can play a pivotal role in advocating for and supporting these financial reforms at the global level.
  4. Commitment to multilateralism: The SDR introduces a new index ranking countries on their support for UN-based multilateralism. This underscores the importance of global cooperation, with countries like Barbados and Antigua ranking highest, and the USA ranking last. The Nordic countries’ strong commitment to multilateralism positions us as key players in driving these necessary reforms.
  5. Focus on sustainable food and land systems: The report presents new pathways for achieving sustainable food and land systems, crucial for addressing global hunger and environmental sustainability. The Nordic countries, with our advanced agricultural technologies and strong environmental policies, can lead these efforts but also need to enhance the protection of our own environment.

As the UN Summit of the Future approaches, the Nordic countries must leverage our leadership in sustainable development to advocate for and implement the necessary reforms within the UN. By doing so, we can help ensure that global progress on the SDGs is not only restored but accelerated, benefitting both the Nordic region and the wider world.

Did you know?

​The Nordic countries are among the worst when it comes to deforestation abroad caused by goods imported for final consumption locally? Read more in the Sustainable Development Report.​

World map with the Nordic countries marked for significant or higher challenges remain.
The Nordics stand out when it comes to deforestation abroad.
Foto: SDSN