Halfway to 2030:

How Many Targets Will Be Achieved in the UNECE Region?

Snapshot and insights in 2022


In 2022, close to the mid-point of the time foreseen for enacting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we find ourselves in a world that is very different from when the Agenda was launched. The Covid-19 pandemic, while threatening health and economies and deepening existing inequalities, is unleashing forces of change. Against this backdrop, the commitment to the 2030 Agenda requires intensified efforts and policy solutions to steer these forces of change in such a way that they accelerate progress towards sustainable development.

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the pivotal role of the regional dimension in implementation, follow-up and review. Actions at the regional level bridge the global and national levels, and provide the necessary focus for international exchanges of experience and peer learning. All five United Nations regional commissions annually organize regional forums for sustainable development. In the region of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which comprises 56 countries of Europe, North America and Central Asia, the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development will be held for the sixth time this year (Geneva, 6 and 7 April 2022), to share policy solutions, best practices and challenges in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Progress in the UNECE region

The present progress assessment comes close to the halfway mark between the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and their 2030 finish line. Data on the several years that have passed since the adoption provide a solid basis for estimating the trend, and there is still time for course correction in areas where this is needed.

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The report shines a spotlight on gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG 5) in the UNECE region. Based on the data available through the United Nations Global SDG Indicators Database, UN Women provided an overview of the current situation, showing good examples as well as large variation among UNECE countries.

The agencies and United Nations country teams participating in the Regional Coordination Group on Data and Statistics for Europe and Central Asia provided 11 further stories that take a closer look at how various regional and country level actions relate to sustainable development outcomes. Anchored in data, the insights from these stories help understand the ways that change can be achieved. Several stories address the challenges brought by the pandemic and measure their impact.

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