UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In a grim report Monday, the UN warned that at the current pace of global progress, 575 million people will still live in extreme poverty and 84 million children will be out of school by 2030 — and will for example, it takes 286 years to achieve equality between men and women.
The report on progress in achieving 17 comprehensive UN goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 to improve the lives of the world’s more than 7 billion people states that only 15% of some 140 specific goals that have been evaluated by experts to be on track through the end of the decade.
Nearly half of the targets are moderately or severely off track, it said, and of those 30% have either seen no movement at all or have regressed, including key poverty, hunger and climate targets.
The ambitious goals for 2030 include ensuring that hunger is eradicated and no one lives on less than $2.15 a day, which is the extreme poverty line, providing every child with a quality primary and secondary education, achieving gender equality, ensuring that all people have clean water, sanitation and access to affordable energy, reduce inequalities and take urgent action to combat climate change.
“Unless we act now, the 2030 agenda could become an epitaph for a world that could have been,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a foreword to the report. “If progress is not made, inequalities will continue to deepen, increasing the risk of a fragmented two-speed world.”
The report was released ahead of a summit Guterres has convened at the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in September, which he said will be “a moment of truth and reckoning.”
Secretary of State for Economic and Social Affairs Li Junhua said conflicts including the war in Ukraine, climate change, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly its devastating financial impact on developing countries, and geopolitical tensions are all “imminent to derail”. deserved progress” toward achieving the goals.
He said in a foreword that in 80% of the 104 countries studied, the pandemic caused the biggest drop in childhood vaccinations in three decades, an increase in tuberculosis and malaria deaths, and learning losses. It also interrupted three decades of progress in poverty reduction and caused the biggest rise in inequality between countries in three decades, he said.
“By May 2023, the devastating effects of war, conflict and human rights violations had displaced as many as 110 million people, 35 million of them refugees – the highest number on record,” said the ECOSOC chief.
Li told a press conference that launched the report that at the September summit, the UN wants political leaders to come up with “a new roadmap” to accelerate action at global, regional and national levels to reach the 2030 goals.
With seven years to go, the report said meeting the goals is “in deep trouble” and “it’s time to sound the alarm.”
At the current rate, not only will 575 million people still live in extreme poverty by 2030, but only about a third of countries will meet the target of reducing national poverty by half.
“Shockingly, the world is back at a level of hunger not seen since 2005, and food prices remain higher in more countries than they were in 2015-2019,” the report said.
By 2021, the number of people going hungry will reach nearly 800 million, well above pre-pandemic levels. , it said.
In terms of education, the report said that years of underinvestment and learning losses mean that without major effort, not only will an estimated 84 million children be out of school by 2030, but some 300 million students will have to acquire basic literacy and math skills for success in education. will miss life. and only one in six countries will meet the goal of universal high school completion.
On tackling global warming, the report said, “If there has ever been an alleviation from the shortsightedness of our prevailing economic and political systems, it is to step up the war on nature.”
The slim chance of preventing temperatures from rising above the internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis is fast approaching, the report says, and the critical tipping point of 1.5 degrees is likely to be reached or surpassed by 2035.