Bangladesh among top three SDG performers

Bangladesh features among the top three countries that have progressed most on the SDG Index score since 2015, when the UN member states agreed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.   

The two other countries are Côte d’Ivoire and Afghanistan.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Network released the annual Sustainable Development Report, including the SDG Index and Dashboards to track progress on the Global Goals for 2030, on Monday.

Bangladesh is ranked 109th among 165 countries on the index, up from 120th among 157 countries four years ago.

The country’s score has increased to 63.5 out of 100 from 63.02 a year ago. It was 59.01 in 2015.

The report said East and South Asia has progressed more on the SDGs than any other region, both since 2010 and since the adoption of the goals in 2015.

Some of the countries that progressed most also started from lower baselines.

By contrast, the three countries that have declined the most are Venezuela, Tuvalu, and Brazil.

Finland tops the 2021 SDG Index, followed by two Nordic countries – Sweden and Denmark.

Interestingly, Finland also took the top spot as the happiest country in the world according to survey data taken from the Gallup World Poll and published in the World Happiness Report last March 2021.

Yet even Finland and Nordic countries face major challenges on several SDGs and are not on track for achieving all of the SDGs by 2030, the report said.

For the first time since the heads of state of all 193 UN member countries agreed on these universal goals at a historic summit in 2015, the annual report shows a reversal in progress.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created not only a global health emergency but also a sustainable development crisis,” said Jeffrey D Sachs, president of the SDSN and first author of the report.

“To restore SDG progress, developing countries need a significant increase in fiscal space, through global tax reform and expanded financing by the multilateral development banks.

“Fiscal outlays should support the six key SDG transformations: quality education for all, universal health coverage, clean energy and industry, sustainable agriculture and land use, sustainable urban infrastructure, and universal access to digital technologies,” Sachs said.

The decline in SDG performance globally is driven to a large extent by increased poverty rates and unemployment.

This decline is likely underestimated due to time lags in international statistics.

Sound policies and strong global cooperation can restore and accelerate SDG progress in the coming decade.