Education for Sustainable Development

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.

Education is essential to sustainable development. Citizens of the world need to learn their way to sustainability. Our current knowledge base does not contain the solutions to contemporary global environmental, societal and economic problems. Today’s education is crucial to the ability of present and future leaders and citizens to create solutions and find new paths to a better future.

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is not a particularprogramme or project, but is rather an umbrella for many forms of education that already exist, and new ones that remain to be created. ESD promotes efforts to rethink educational programmes and systems (both methods and contents) that currently support unsustainable societies. ESD affects all components of education: legislation, policy, finance, curriculum, instruction, learning, assessment, etc. ESD calls for lifelong learning and recognizes the fact that the educational needs of people change over their lifetime. Many individuals and organizations around the world already implement ESD (e.g. a teacher weaving sustainability themes into primary education using participatory methods; a community development worker raising people’s awareness on rights which are denied to them; or a public health worker training people to draw water from clean sources). There are many programmes using an ESD approach to learning which is critical for achieving sustainability.

Makes Education Relevant

Education for Sustainable Development equips learners with the knowledge, skills and values to address social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century.

 Transforms Education

Education for Sustainable Development uses innovative learner-centered teaching and learning styles. It empowers student and makes them agents in the educational process, from early childhood to old age. It promotes learning beyond the     boundaries of educational institutions.

 Promotes Equity and Respect

Education for Sustainable Development helps learners understand the situation, the outlook and the need of people who live in other parts of the world or belong to another generation.

 Helps Address Climate Change

175 million children are likely to be affected by disasters related to climate change within the next decade. Education for sustainable development prepares learners to adapt to the impact of climate change and empowers them to address its causes.

Bluid Green Societies

Education for Sustainable Development equips students with skills for green jobs that help preserve or restore the quality of the environment, and improve human well-being and social equity. It motivates learners to choose sustainable lifestyles.Type your paragraph here.

Goal 1 calls for an end to poverty in all its manifestations by 2030. It also aims to ensure social protection for the poor and vulnerable, increase access to basic services and support people harmed by climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

The international poverty line is currently defined at $1.90 or below per person per day using 2011 United States dollars purchasing power parity (ppp). In the decade beginning in 2002, the proportion of the world’s population living below the poverty line dropped by half, from 26 per cent to 13 per cent. If growth rates during those 10 years prevail for the next 15 years, the global extreme poverty rate will likely fall to 4 per cent by 2030, assuming that growth benefits all income groups of the population equally. However, if the growth rates over the longer period of 20 years prevail, the global poverty rate will likely be around 6 per cent. In other words, eliminating extreme poverty will require a significant change from historical growth rates.

In 2015, 10.2 per cent of the world’s workers were living with their families on less than $1.90 per person per day, down from 28 per cent in 2000. Young people are especially likely to be among the working poor: 16 per cent of all employed youth aged 15 to 24 were considered working poor, compared to 9 per cent of adults.
Expanding social protection programmes and targeting appropriate schemes to the poor and most vulnerable can further reduce poverty. Social protection programmes include social assistance, such as cash transfers, school feeding and targeted food assistance, as well as social insurance and labour market programmes, including old-age pensions, disability pensions, unemployment insurance, skills training and wage subsidies, among others.

Social protections have expanded globally since 2000, as many developing countries adopted policies that afford protection for multiple contingencies. Pension coverage in particular is expanding rapidly. Over half (51 per cent) of people above retirement age received a pension according to data available for the period from 2010 to 2012. Almost all countries have child or maternity benefit programmes, and cash transfer schemes are increasing.

Despite progress over the past decade, increasing social protection for those most in need remains a priority. Globally, 18,000 children still die each day from poverty-related causes, and only 28 per cent of employed women are effectively protected through contributory and non-contributory maternity cash benefits. Most poor people remain outside social protection systems, especially in low-income countries. Of the entire population, only 1 out of 5 receive any type of social protection in low-income countries, compared with 2 out of 3 in upper-middle-income countries. The coverage gap is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, where most of the world’s poorest people live. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 15 per cent of those in the bottom income quintile have access to a social protection benefit.

Disaster risk reduction is essential to ending poverty and fostering sustainable development. Disaster risk is disproportionally higher in poorer countries with weaker institutions. In low- and lower-middle-income countries experiencing rapid economic growth, the exposure of people and assets to natural hazards is increasing at a faster pace than that at which risk-reducing capacities are being strengthened, leading to increased disaster risk.

Economic losses from internationally reported disasters, principally large-scale disasters, have grown steadily since 1990, reaching an estimated annual average of $200 billion in 2013. Reported damage to housing, schools and health-care facilities, along with agricultural production, shows statistically significant upward trends from 1990 onwards.

Goal 2 aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It also commits to universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year. This will require sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices, equal access to land, technology and markets and international cooperation on investments in infrastructure and technology to boost agricultural productivity.

The fight against hunger has progressed over the past 15 years. Globally, the prevalence of hunger has declined, from 15 per cent according to figures for 2000 to 2002, to 11 per cent according to figures for 2014 to 2016. However, more than 790 million people worldwide still lack regular access to adequate amounts of dietary energy. If current trends continue, the zero hunger target will be largely missed by 2030. Many countries that failed to reach the target set as part of the Millennium Development Goals, of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, have faced natural and human-induced disasters or political instability, resulting in protracted crises, with increased vulnerability and food insecurity affecting large parts of the population. The persistence of hunger is no longer simply a matter of food availability. More and better data on access to food can enable the tracking of progress and guide interventions to fight food insecurity and malnutrition.

Globally, in 2014, nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of 5, an estimated total of 159 million children, had stunted growth. Stunting is defined as inadequate height for age, an indicator of the cumulative effects of undernutrition and infection. Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounted for three quarters of the children under 5 with stunted growth in 2014. Another aspect of child malnutrition is the growing share of children who are overweight, a problem affecting nearly every region. Globally, between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of children under the age of 5 who were overweight grew from 5.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

Ending hunger and malnutrition relies heavily on sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices. Genetic diversity in livestock breeds is crucial for agriculture and food production since it allows for the raising of farm animals in a wide range of environments and provides the basis for diverse products and services. Globally, 20 per cent of local livestock breeds, meaning breeds reported in only one country, are at risk of extinction. Another 16 per cent of breeds are stable, and the status of the remaining local breeds is unknown owing to a lack of data. The figures exclude livestock breeds that have already become extinct.

To increase the productive capacity of agriculture, more investment is needed, both public and private, from domestic and foreign sources. However, recent trends in government spending are not favourable. The agriculture orientation index, defined as agriculture’s share of government expenditures divided by the sector’s share of gross domestic product (GDP), fell globally from 0.37 to 0.25 between 2001 and 2013. The decline in the index was interrupted only temporarily during the food price crisis of 2006 to 2008, when governments increased agricultural spending.
Since the late 1990s, the percentage of aid for supporting agriculture in developing countries has been stable at around 8 per cent, when measured as a share of sector-allocable aid from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This has decreased, from a peak of 20 per cent in the mid-1980s, as a result of donors beginning to focus more on improving governance, building social capital and bolstering fragile States.

One of the targets for Goal 2 calls for correcting and preventing distortions in world agricultural markets, including the elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies. Those subsidies mask market signals, reduce competitiveness and can lead to environmental damage and the inequitable distribution of benefits. That said, some progress is being made, with members of the World Trade Organization adopting a ministerial decision, in December 2015, on eliminating export subsidies for agricultural products and restraining export measures that have an equivalent effect.

Goal 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. The Goal addresses all major health priorities, including reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines. It also calls for more research and development, increased health financing, and strengthened capacity of all countries in health risk reduction and management.

Between 2000 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio, or number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, declined by 37 per cent, to an estimated ratio of 216 per 100,000 live births in 2015. Almost all maternal deaths occur in low-resource settings and can be prevented. Globally, 3 out of 4 births were assisted by skilled health-care personnel in 2015. Under-five mortality rates fell rapidly from 2000 to 2015, declining by 44 per cent globally. Nevertheless, an estimated 5.9 million children under the age of 5 died in 2015, with a global under-five mortality rate of 43 per 1,000 live births. The neonatal mortality rate, that is, the likelihood of dying in the first 28 days of life, declined from 31 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 19 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. Over that period, progress in the rate of child survival among children aged 1 to 59 months outpaced advances in reducing neonatal mortality; as a result, neonatal deaths now represent a larger share (45 per cent) of all under-five deaths.

Preventing unintended pregnancy and reducing adolescent childbearing through universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services are critical to further advances in the health of women, children and adolescents. Worldwide, in 2015, approximately 3 in 4 women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years of age) who were married or in union satisfied their need for family planning by using modern contraceptive methods; in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, however, the share was less than half. Childbearing in adolescence has steadily declined in almost all regions, but wide disparities persist: in 2015, the birth rate among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 ranged from 7 births per 1,000 girls in Eastern Asia to 102 births per 1,000 girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

The incidence of major infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, has declined globally since 2000. Globally in 2015, the number of new HIV infections among all people was 0.3 new infections per 1,000 uninfected people; 2.1 million people became newly infected that year. The incidence of HIV was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new cases per 1,000 uninfected people. In 2014, 9.6 million new cases of tuberculosis (133 cases per 100,000 people) were reported worldwide, with 58 per cent of them in South-Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific. Almost half the world’s population is at risk of malaria and, in 2015, the incidence rate was 91 new cases per 1,000 people at risk, an estimated total of 214 million cases. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 89 per cent of all malaria cases worldwide, with an incidence rate of 235 cases per 1,000 people at risk. In 2014, at least 1.7 billion people, in 185 countries, required treatment for at least one neglected tropical disease.

According to estimates from 2012, around 38 million deaths per year, accounting for 68 per cent of all deaths worldwide, were attributable to non communicable diseases. Of all deaths among persons under the age of 70, commonly referred to as premature deaths, an estimated 52 per cent were as a result of non-communicable diseases. Over three quarters of premature deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease. Globally, premature mortality from those four main categories of non communicable disease declined by 15 per cent between 2000 and 2012. Reducing tobacco use will be critical for meeting the proposed target of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third. In 2015, over 1.1 billion people consumed tobacco, with far more male (945 million) than female (180 million) smokers.

Unhealthy environmental conditions increase the risk of both non communicable and infectious diseases, which is reflected in the strong integrated nature of the Goals. In 2012, an estimated 889,000 people died from infectious diseases caused largely by faecal contamination of water and soil and by inadequate hand-washing facilities and practices resulting from poor or non-existent sanitation services. In 2012, household and ambient air pollution resulted in some 6.5 million deaths.

Substance use and substance-use disorders have also created a significant public health burden. Worldwide, average alcohol consumption in 2015 was estimated at 6.3l of pure alcohol per person among those aged 15 or older, with wide variations across countries. Alcohol consumption was highest in the developed regions (10.4l per person) and lowest in Northern Africa (0.5l per person). In 2013, only about 1 in 6 people worldwide suffering from drug-use disorders received treatment. Approximately 1 in 18 people with drug-use disorders received treatment in Africa that year, compared with 1 in 5 in Western and Central Europe.

Mental disorders occur in all regions and cultures. The most common are anxiety and depression, which, not infrequently, can lead to suicide. In 2012, an estimated 800,000 people worldwide committed suicide, and 86 per cent of them were under the age of 70. Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29.

Around 1.25 million people died from road traffic injuries in 2013. Halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 is an ambitious goal given the dramatic increase in the number of vehicles, which nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013.

Total official flows from all providers for medical research and basic health sectors were $8.9 billion in 2014. Within this total, official development assistance (ODA) from DAC donors was $4.5 billion in 2014, an increase of 20 per cent in real terms since 2010, with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America accounting for $2.6 billion of that total. In 2014, $1 billion was spent on malaria control and $1.2 billion was spent on other infectious diseases, excluding AIDS.

Despite progress, the world failed to meet the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015. In 2013, the latest year for which data are available, 59 million children of primary-school age were out of school. Estimates show that, among those 59 million children, 1 in 5 of those children had dropped out and recent trends suggest that 2 in 5 of out-of-school children will never set foot in a classroom. The Sustainable Development Goals clearly recognize that this gap must be closed, even as the international community more explicitly addresses the challenges of quality and equity.

Measuring learning achievement, starting in the early grades, will help to identify where schools are failing to meet their commitments to children and to formulate appropriate remedial action. For example, data for 2013 from 15 Latin American countries show that in six countries, fewer than 50 per cent of third graders had a minimum level of proficiency in mathematics; in three countries, fewer than half were proficient in reading.

At the end of primary school, children should be able to read and write and to understand and use basic concepts in mathematics. However, in 2014, between 40 per cent and 90 per cent of children failed to achieve even minimum levels of proficiency in reading, in 10 African countries, and in nine of those countries, between 40 per cent and 90 per cent of children failed to achieve minimum levels of proficiency in mathematics.

The end of lower secondary education often coincides with the end of compulsory education. By this stage, young people should be able to master subject-related knowledge and skills and possess personal and social skills. Data from 38 countries in the developed regions show that, in the majority of those countries, at least 75 per cent of young people achieved at least a minimum proficiency in reading and/or mathematics; the same was true for only 5 out of 22 countries, in developing regions, for which data were available.

Completion rates for both primary and lower secondary education has been rising steadily since 2000. Completion rates for primary education in both developed and developing regions exceeded 90 per cent in 2013. At the lower secondary level, the gap between developed and developing regions has narrowed substantially, but still stood at nearly 20 percentage points in 2013 (91 per cent for developed regions and 72 per cent for developing regions).

Quality early education provides children with basic cognitive and language skills and fosters emotional development. In the majority of the 58 countries with available data for the period 2009-2015, more than half of children between the ages of 3 and 4 were developmentally on track in at least three of the following domains: literacy, numeracy, physical development, social-emotional development and learning.

Goal 4 strongly supports the reduction of persistent disparities. Worldwide, in 2013, two thirds of the 757 million adults (aged 15 and over) who were unable to read and write were women. Globally, in 2013, 1 in 10 girls were out of school, compared to 1 in 12 boys. Children from the poorest 20 per cent of households are nearly four times more likely to be out of school than their richest peers. Out-of-school rates are also higher in rural areas and among children from households headed by someone with less than a primary education.

To fulfil the promise of universal primary and secondary education, new primary school teachers are needed, with current estimates showing a need for nearly 26 million of them by 2030. Africa faces the greatest challenges in this regard, with nearly 7 in 10 countries experiencing acute shortages of trained primary school teachers. In 2013, only 71 per cent of teachers in sub-Saharan Africa and 84 per cent in Northern Africa were trained in accordance with national standards.

Official development assistance for educational scholarships amounted to around $1.1 billion annually from 2011 to 2013. It totalled $1.2 billion in 2014, with Australia, France and Japan being the largest contributors.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment have advanced in recent decades. Girls’ access to education has improved, the rate of child marriage declined and progress was made in the area of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including fewer maternal deaths. Nevertheless, gender equality remains a persistent challenge for countries worldwide and the lack of such equality is a major obstacle to sustainable development.

Assuring women’s rights through legal frameworks is a first step in addressing discrimination against them. As of 2014, 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions; another 52 countries have yet to make this important commitment. In 132 countries, the statutory legal age of marriage is equal for women and men, while in another 63 countries, the legal age of marriage is lower for women than for men.

Violence against women and girls violates their human rights and hinders development. Most such violence is perpetrated by intimate partners, with available data from surveys conducted between 2005 and 2015, in 52 countries, (including only one country from the developed regions) indicating that 21 per cent of girls and women aged between 15 and 49 experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner in the previous 12 months. Estimates on the risks of violence experienced by women with disabilities, women from ethnic minorities and among women above the age of 50 are not yet included, owing to data limitations. Additionally, human trafficking disproportionately affects women and girls, since 70 per cent of all victims detected worldwide are female.

Globally, the proportion of women aged between 20 and 24 who reported that they were married before their eighteenth birthday dropped from 32 per cent around 1990 to 26 per cent around 2015. Child marriage is most common in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with 44 per cent of women married before their eighteenth birthday in Southern Asia and 37 per cent of women married before their eighteenth birthday in sub-Saharan Africa. The marriage of girls under the age 15 is also highest in those two regions, at 16 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively. Social norms can and do change, however, with the rate of marriage of girls under the age of 15 declining globally from 12 per cent around 1990 to 7 per cent around 2015, although disparities are found across regions and countries. The most rapid reduction in child marriage overall was recorded in Northern Africa, where the percentage of women married before the age of 18 dropped by more than half, from 29 per cent to 13 per cent, over the past 25 years.

The harmful practice of female genital mutilation/cutting is another human rights violation that affects girls and women worldwide. While the exact number of girls and women globally who have undergone the procedure is unknown, at least 200 million have been subjected to the procedure in 30 countries with representative prevalence data. Overall, rates of female genital mutilation/cutting have been declining over the past three decades. However, not all countries have made progress and the pace of decline has been uneven. Today, in the 30 countries, for which data were available, around 1 in 3 girls aged 15 to 19 have undergone the practice, versus 1 in 2 in the mid-1980s.

In every region, women and girls do the bulk of unpaid work, including caregiving and such household tasks as cooking and cleaning. On average, women report that they spend 19 per cent of their time each day in unpaid activities, versus 8 per cent for men. The responsibilities of unpaid care and domestic work, combined with paid work, means greater total work burdens for women and girls and less time for rest, self-care, learning and other activities.

Globally, women’s participation in parliament rose to 23 per cent in 2016, representing an increase by 6 percentage points over a decade. Slow progress in this area is in contrast with more women in parliamentary leadership positions. In 2016, the number of women speakers of national parliaments jumped from 43 to 49 (out of the 273 posts globally); women accounted for 18 per cent of all speakers of parliament in January 2016.

Water and sanitation are at the very core of sustainable development, critical to the survival of people and the planet. Goal 6 not only addresses the issues relating to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, but also the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide.

In 2015, 4.9 billion people globally used an improved sanitation facility; 2.4 billion did not. Among those lacking adequate sanitation were 946 million people without any facilities at all, who continued to practise open defecation. In 2015, 68 per cent of the global population was using improved sanitation facilities compared to 59 per cent in 2000. Nevertheless, the unsafe management of faecal waste and wastewater continues to present a major risk to public health and the environment.

More progress has been made in access to drinking water. In 2015, 6.6 billion people, or 91 per cent of the global population, used an improved drinking water source, versus 82 per cent in 2000. Despite that improvement, an estimated 663 million people were using unimproved water sources or surface water that year. While coverage was around 90 per cent or more in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, widespread inequalities persist within and among countries. Moreover, not all improved sources are safe. For instance, in 2012 it was estimated that at least 1.8 billion people were exposed to drinking water sources contaminated with faecal matter.

Holistic management of the water cycle means taking into account the level of “water stress”, calculated as the ratio of total fresh water withdrawn by all major sectors to the total renewable fresh water resources in a particular country or region. Currently, water stress affects more than 2 billion people around the world, a figure that is projected to rise. Already, water stress affects countries on every continent and hinders the sustainability of natural resources, as well as economic and social development. In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress, an increase from 36 countries in 1998. Of those, 10 countries, on the Arabian Peninsula, in Central Asia and in Northern Africa, withdrew more than 100 per cent of their renewable fresh water resources.

Integrated water resources management, one of the follow-up actions to the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation), aims to address this urgent situation. In 2012, 65 per cent of the 130 countries that responded to a survey question on integrated water resources management reported that management plans were in place at the national level.

Total official flows for water and sanitation were $10 billion in 2014, of which total aid flows from DAC donors amounted to $8 billion. Aid for water and sanitation nearly doubled as a share of ODA during the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990). Since that time, on average, it has remained at around 7 per cent of total aid flows. Better targeting and tracking of water aid within the context of national situations is needed. For instance, numerous countries with limited access to water supply and/or sanitation have been receiving minimal external assistance (typically less than $2 per capita annually), while other countries with higher levels of access have received much more (at least $30 per capita a year).

Effective water and sanitation management also depends on the participation of stakeholders. According to a 2013-2014 Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water survey, 83 per cent of the 94 countries surveyed reported that procedures for stakeholder participation were clearly defined in law or policy. In the Sustainable Development Goals, the focus is being refined to also include the participation of local communities, which will be captured in the next cycle of Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water monitoring.

Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals, from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization, to combating climate change.

The proportion of the global population with access to electricity has increased steadily, from 79 per cent in 2000 to 85 per cent in 2012. Still, 1.1 billion people are without this valuable service. Recent global progress in this area has been driven largely by Asia, where access is expanding at more than twice the pace of demographic growth. Of those gaining access to electricity worldwide since 2010, 80 per cent are urban dwellers.

The proportion of the world’s population with access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking increased from 51 per cent in 2000 to 58 per cent in 2014, although there has been limited progress since 2010. The absolute number of people relying on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, such as solid fuels and kerosene, however, has actually increased, reaching an estimated three billion people. Limited progress since 2010 falls substantially short of global population growth and is almost exclusively confined to urban areas.

The share of renewable energy (derived from hydropower, solid and liquid biofuels, wind, the sun, biogas, geothermal and marine sources, and waste) in the world’s total final energy consumption has increased slowly, from 17.4 per cent in 2000 to 18.1 per cent in 2012. More telling is the fact that modern renewable energy consumption, which excludes solid biofuels used for traditional purposes, grew rapidly, at a rate of 4 per cent a year between 2010 and 2012, and accounted for 60 per cent of all new power-generating capacity in 2014. In absolute terms, about 72 per cent of the increase in energy consumption from modern renewable sources between 2010 and 2012 came from developing regions, mostly from Eastern Asia. The technologies making the largest contribution have been hydropower, wind and solar energy; together they account for 73 per cent of the total increase in modern renewable energy between 2010 and 2012.

Energy intensity, calculated by dividing total primary energy supply by GDP, reveals how much energy is used to produce one unit of economic output. Globally, energy intensity decreased by 1.7 per cent per year from 2010 to 2012. This represents a considerable improvement over the period from 1990 to 2010, when it decreased by 1.2 per cent a year. As a result, global energy intensity, which stood at 6.7 (millijoules (mJ) per 2011 United States dollar ppp) in 2000 fell to 5.7 by 2012. The proportion of the world’s energy use covered by mandatory energy efficiency regulation, which has almost doubled over the past decade, from 14 per cent in 2005 to 27 per cent in 2014, was a factor. Still, current progress is only about two thirds of the pace needed to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Among end-use sectors, industry was the largest contributor to reduced energy intensity, followed closely by transportation. About 68 per cent of the savings in energy intensity between 2010 and 2012 came from developing regions, with Eastern Asia as the largest contributor.

Sustained and inclusive economic growth is necessary for achieving sustainable development. The global annual growth rate of real GDP per capita increased by 1.3 per cent in 2014, a significant slowdown compared to 2010 (2.8 per cent growth) and 2000 (3.0 per cent growth). Developing regions grew far faster than developed regions, with average annual growth rates in 2014 of 3.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.

Labour productivity (measured by GDP per worker) spurs economic growth. Growth in labour productivity in developing regions far outpaced that of developed regions, especially in Asia. Between 2010 and 2015, labour productivity grew by 0.9 per cent per year, on average, in developed regions, while rising by 6.7 per cent per year, on average, in Eastern Asia, the region with the fastest growth. Despite rapid growth in some developing regions, labour productivity remains far higher in the developed regions. In 2015, the average worker in developed regions produced 23 times the annual output of an average worker in sub-Saharan Africa (which has the lowest labour productivity in developing regions), and 2.5 times that of an average worker in Western Asia (which has the highest labour productivity in developing regions).

The global unemployment rate stood at 6.1 per cent in 2015, down from a peak of 6.6 per cent in 2009, mostly owing to a decline in unemployment in the developed regions. Unemployment affects population groups differently. Globally, women and youth (aged 15 to 24) are more likely to face unemployment than men and adults aged 25 and over. In all regions, except Eastern Asia and the developed regions, the unemployment rate among women is higher than that of men. In almost all regions, the rate of youth unemployment is more than twice that of adults.

Although the number of children engaged in child labour declined globally by one third from 2000 to 2012 (from 246 million to 168 million), more than half of child labourers in 2012 (85 million) were engaged in hazardous forms of work. The incidence of child labour was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where 21 per cent of children were employed as child labourers. Of all child labourers worldwide, 59 per cent were engaged in agricultural activities in 2012.

While economic growth and employment are important for economic security, access to financial services is an essential component of inclusive growth. Between 2011 and 2014, the proportion of the world’s adult population with an account at a financial institution or a mobile money service provider increased from 51 per cent to 62 per cent, meaning that 700 million adults became account holders during this period. Financial exclusion disproportionately affected women and the poor. The proportion of women who are account holders is 9 percentage points lower than the proportion of men who are account holders. Moreover, the proportion of account holders among the poorest 40 per cent of households is 14 percentage points lower than among those living in the richest 60 per cent of households.

In 2014, aid for trade assistance was $54.8 billion, an increase of almost 120 per cent over the period from 2002 to 2005. However, total commitments fell slightly (by $1 billion) in 2014 compared to 2013, driven mainly by a $4.7 billion drop in support for transport and storage. A total of 146 developing countries received aid for trade assistance in 2014, with lower-middle-income countries receiving 39.4 per cent of the total, the least developed countries receiving 26.3 per cent and upper-middle-income countries receiving 19 per cent. On a per capita basis, however, the least developed countries received $10 per capita, more than any other income group and more than twice the global average.

Goal 9 encompasses three important aspects of sustainable development: infrastructure, industrialization and innovation. Infrastructure provides the basic physical systems and structures essential to the operation of a society or enterprise. Industrialization drives economic growth, creates job opportunities and thereby reduces income poverty. Innovation advances the technological capabilities of industrial sectors and prompts the development of new skills.

An important component of physical infrastructure is air shipping and air travel. In 2014, 45 per cent of all air passengers originated from developing regions; 55 per cent originated from developed regions. However, in the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, air passenger volume was extremely low, making up only 0.8 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, of the global total. Similar patterns are found for freight volumes in air transit: the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States made up only 1.1 per cent, 0.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent of the global total, respectively, in 2014.

Manufacturing is a foundation of economic development, employment and social stability. In 2015, the share of manufacturing value added in terms of GDP of developed regions was estimated at 13 per cent, a decrease over the past decade owing largely to the increasing role of services in developed regions. In contrast, the share of manufacturing value added in GDP remained relatively stagnant for developing regions, increasing marginally from 19 per cent in 2005 to 21 per cent in 2015. Those values hide substantial differences, with manufacturing value added contributing over 31 per cent to GDP in Eastern Asia and 10 per cent or less in both sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. The least developed countries face particular challenges in industrializing. Although those countries represent 13 per cent of the global population, they contribute less than 1 per cent of global manufacturing value added. Worldwide, about 500 million people are employed in manufacturing. While manufacturing job numbers have fallen in industrialized countries, they have steadily increased in developing countries. In the least developed countries, agricultural and traditional sectors remain the main sources of employment.

In developing countries, small-scale industries accounted for an estimated 15 per cent to 20 per cent of value added and 25 per cent to 30 per cent of total industrial employment in 2015. However, access to financial services in those countries remains a problem. Globally, the credit gap for small and medium enterprises (defined as having between 5 and 99 employees) was estimated at $3.2 trillion to $3.9 trillion in 2012. In emerging markets, between 45 per cent and 55 per cent of all small and medium enterprises are unserved or underserved by financial services.
As the structure of world economies shifts to less energy-intensive industries and countries implement policies for enhanced energy efficiency, almost all regions have shown a reduction in carbon intensity of GDP. Global carbon dioxide emissions per unit of value added showed a steady decline between 1990 and 2013, a decrease of about 30 per cent.

Innovation and the creation of new and more sustainable industries are spurred by investments in research and development. Global expenditure on research and development as a proportion of GDP stood at 1.7 per cent in 2013. However, this figure masks wide disparities. expenditure on research and development was 2.4 per cent of GDP for developed regions, 1.2 per cent for developing regions, and below 0.3 per cent for the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries. The number of researchers per 1 million inhabitants showed a similar pattern. While the global average was 1,083 researchers per 1 million inhabitants, the ratio ranged from 65 per 1 million in the least developed countries to 3,641 per 1 million in developed regions.

Total official flows for economic infrastructure in developing regions reached $59.5 billion in 2014. The main sectors receiving assistance were transport and energy.
Infrastructure and economic development also rely on information and communications technology. Mobile cellular services have spread rapidly around the world, allowing people in previously unconnected areas to join the global information society. By 2015, the percentage of the population living in areas covered by mobile broadband networks stood at 69 per cent globally. In rural areas, the share was only 29 per cent.

Goal 10 calls for reducing inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status within a country. The Goal also addresses inequalities among countries, including those related to representation, migration and development assistance.

Target 10.1 seeks to ensure that income growth among the poorest 40 per cent of the population in every country is more rapid than its national average. This was true in 56 of 94 countries with data available from 2007 to 2012. However, this does not necessarily imply greater prosperity, since nine of those countries experienced negative growth rates over that period.

The labour share of GDP, which represents the proportion of wages and social protection transfers in an economy, provides an aggregate measure of primary income inequality. A shift of income away from labour towards capital has contributed to rising inequality. Globally, the labour share of GDP decreased from 57 per cent in 2000 to 55 per cent in 2015, mainly owing to stagnating wages and a decline in employers’ social contributions in developed regions, while the trend was stable or slightly upward in developing regions.

Preferential treatment for developing countries and the least developed countries in trade can help reduce inequalities by creating more export opportunities. Major developed country markets already offer duty-free market access to the least developed countries on most of their tariff lines. But even when they do not, as in the case of some agricultural products, the average applied tariff rate is often close to zero per cent. The share of exports from the least developed countries and developing regions that benefitted from duty-free treatment increased from 2000 to 2014, reaching 79 per cent for developing countries and 84 per cent for the least developed countries. The comparative advantage of the least developed countries in duty-free access varies depending on the product groups analysed. Almost all agricultural products from the least developed countries (98 per cent) were exempt from duties by developed countries, versus 74 per cent of products from developing countries. Shares of exports exempt from duties diverged even more for textiles and clothing: the rate for both product groups for the least developed countries was around 70 per cent, while for developing countries it was 41 per cent for textiles and 34 per cent for clothing.

Official development assistance and financial flows contribute to reducing inequalities within and among countries. In 2014, total resource flows for development to the least developed countries totalled $55.2 billion, and eight donor countries met the target of 0.15 per cent of gross national income (GNI) for ODA to the least developed countries. Preliminary ODA figures for 2015 show that bilateral net ODA to the least developed countries increased by 4 per cent in real terms, compared to 2014.

People migrate for many reasons, including better employment opportunities and higher wages. When successful, many migrants send money back to their country of origin to care of family members. Remittances to developing countries have increased slightly, rising to $431.6 billion in 2015, up 0.4 per cent from 2014. In contrast, global remittances (including those to developed countries) were estimated at $582 billion in 2015, a decline of 1.7 per cent from 2014. Even with the global contraction in remittance flows in 2015, the longer term trend is upward. However, the cost of sending money across national borders is significant, averaging 7.5 per cent of the amount remitted in 2015, down from 10 per cent in 2008 but still above the 3 per cent called for in target 10.c.

More than half the world’s population lives in cities. By 2030, it is projected that 6 out of 10 people will be urban dwellers. Despite numerous planning challenges, well-managed cities and other human settlements can be incubators for innovation and ingenuity and key drivers of sustainable development.

However, as more people migrate to cities in search of a better life and urban populations grow, housing issues intensify. Already in 2014, 30 per cent of the urban population lived in slum-like conditions; in sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion was 55 per cent, the highest of any region. Globally, more than 880 million people were living in slums in 2014. This estimate does not include people in inadequate or unaffordable housing (defined as costing more than 30 per cent of total monthly household income).

As population growth outpaces available land, cities expand far beyond their formal administrative boundaries. This urban sprawl can be seen in many cities around the world, and not only in developing regions. From 2000 to 2015, the ratio of the land consumption rate to the population growth rate in Eastern Asia and the Oceania was the highest in the world, with developed regions second. Other regions, such as South-Eastern Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, showed a decrease in that indicator over the same time period. Unfortunately, a low value for this ratio is not necessarily an indication that urban dwellers are faring well, as this can indicate a prevalence of overcrowded slums. Unplanned urban sprawl undermines other determinants of sustainable development. For example, for every 10 per cent increase in sprawl, there is a 5.7 per cent increase in per capita carbon dioxide emissions and a 9.6 per cent increase in per capita hazardous pollution. This illustrates the important interlinkages across the goals and targets.

Likewise, managing solid waste is often problematic in densely populated areas. In fact, in many developing regions, less than half of solid waste is safely disposed of. As per capita waste generation continues to rise, the collection and safe disposal of solid waste will continue to require serious attention.

Urban air pollution also challenged cities around the world, causing illness and millions of premature deaths annually. In 2014, around half the global urban population was exposed to air pollution levels at least 2.5 times higher than maximum standards set by the World Health Organization.

The quest for sustainable and coordinated urban development starts with national policies and regional development plans. As of 2015, 142 countries had a national urban policy in place or under development. Those countries are home to 75 per cent of the world’s urban population.

Economic growth and development require the production of goods and services that improve the quality of life. Sustainable growth and development require minimizing the natural resources and toxic materials used, and the waste and pollutants generated, throughout the entire production and consumption process.

Two measures, material footprint and domestic material consumption, provide an accounting of global material extraction and use, as well as flows or consumption of materials in countries. The material footprint reflects the amount of primary materials required to meet a country’s needs. It is an indicator of the material standard of living or level of capitalization of an economy. Domestic material consumption measures the amount of natural resources used in economic processes.

In 2010, the total material footprint in developed regions was significantly higher than that of developing regions, 23.6 kg per unit of GDP versus 14.5 kg per unit of GDP, respectively. The material footprint of developing regions increased from 2000 to 2010, with non-metallic minerals showing the largest increase.

Domestic material consumption in developed regions has diminished slightly, from 17.5 tonnes per capita in 2000 to 15.3 tonnes per capita in 2010. It remains significantly higher than the value for developing regions, which stood at 8.9 tonnes per capita in 2010. Domestic material consumption per capita increased in almost all developing regions from 2000 to 2010, except in Africa, where it remained relatively stable (around 4 tonnes per capita), and Oceania, where it decreased from around 10.7 to 7.7 tonnes per capita. The rise in domestic material consumption per capita in Asia during that period is primarily a result of rapid industrialization.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants established international frameworks to achieve the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, chemicals and persistent organic pollutants. With six exceptions, all Member States are party to at least one of those conventions. The number of parties to those conventions rose significantly from 2005 to 2015, particularly in Africa and Oceania. There are now 183 parties to the Basel Convention, 180 to the Stockholm Convention and 155 to the Rotterdam Convention.

Climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. Urgent action to combat climate change and minimize its disruptions is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The global nature of climate change calls for broad international cooperation in building resilience and adaptive capacity to its adverse effects, developing sustainable low-carbon pathways to the future, and accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. On 22 April 2016, 175 Member States signed the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The new agreement aims to reduce the pace of climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.

Climate change often exacerbates disasters. Between 1990 and 2013, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported disasters, with annual deaths trending upwards. As a result, more countries are acting on the imperative to implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. In 2015, 83 countries had legislative and/or regulatory provisions in place for managing disaster risk.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are responsible for providing a range of national reports on their efforts to implement the agreement. As of 4 April 2016, 161 intended nationally determined contributions, from 189 of the 197 Parties to the Framework Convention (the European Commission submitted one joint intended determined contribution) had been recorded by the secretariat of the Framework Convention, providing insights into the efforts many countries are taking to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. Among those countries, 137 parties included an adaptation component in their intended nationally determined contributions. Some countries stressed that adaptation was their main climate change priority, with strong linkages to other aspects of national development, sustainability and security. In order to help countries move forward on climate action, a global stocktaking was established, in the context of the Paris Agreement, to assess collective progress every five years. The process will begin in 2018, with a facilitative dialogue to review the efforts of parties towards emissions reductions and to inform the preparation of final nationally determined contributions.

As parties scale up climate change action, enhanced cooperation, capacity-building and access to financial and technical support will be needed to help many countries realize their priorities, including those identified in intended nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans. Developed countries have committed to mobilizing, by 2020, $100 billion a year in climate financing from a wide variety of sources to help address the needs of developing countries. By 2025, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will set a new collective goal of at least $100 billion per year. The Green Climate Fund, a mechanism within the Framework Convention created to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices, is an important delivery vehicle for this financing. As of May 2016, the Green Climate Fund had mobilized $10.3 billion.

Climate change is already affecting the most vulnerable countries and populations, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States. The preparation of national adaptation programmes of action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is helping the least developed countries address urgent and immediate needs, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. In addition, the implementation of national adaptation programmes of action will help the least developed countries prepare and seek funding for comprehensive national adaptation plans, thereby reducing their risk of being left behind.

Oceans, along with coastal and marine resources, play an essential role in human well-being and social and economic development worldwide. They are particularly crucial for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the global population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods and tourism benefits, as well as subsistence and income. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion. In fact, coastal and marine resources contribute an estimated $28 trillion to the global economy each year through ecosystem services. However, those resources are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution. The sustainable use and preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and their biological diversity is essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular for small island developing States.

Pollution of both land and seas is a threat in many coastal regions. In addition, since river basins, marine ecosystems and the atmosphere are all part of hydrological systems, the effects of such pollution are often felt far from their source. In many coastal communities, pollution and eutrophication, which is the presence of excessive nutrients in water, frequently owing to runoff from the land, causing dense plant growth and the death of animal life, are driving detrimental changes. The five large marine ecosystems most at risk from coastal eutrophication, according to a global comparative assessment undertaken in 2016 as part of the Transboundary Water Assessment Programme, are the Bay of Bengal, the East China Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Brazil Shelf and the South China Sea.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the ocean has absorbed about one third of the carbon dioxide released by human activities, thereby mitigating the full impact of climate change. However, this comes at a steep ecological price, as dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater lowers the pH level of oceans, thereby increasing acidity and changing the biogeochemical carbonate balance. Concerns about ocean acidification, first expressed in the early 1980s, have now been confirmed, and the extent of its impact on marine ecosystems is being investigated.
Fisheries contribute significantly to global food security, livelihoods and the economy. However, if not sustainably managed, fishing can damage fish habitats. Ultimately, overfishing impairs the functioning of ecosystems and reduces biodiversity, with negative repercussions for sustainable social and economic development. In order to achieve a healthy balance, fish stocks must be maintained within biologically sustainable limits, at or above the abundance level that can produce maximum sustainable yields. Based on an analysis of assessed stocks, the percentage of world marine fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels declined from 90 per cent in 1974 to 69 per cent in 2013. Fortunately, the downward trend has slowed and appears to have stabilized since 2008.

Biodiverse marine sites require safeguarding to ensure sustainable long-term use of their precious natural resources. Globally, in 2014, 8.4 per cent of the marine environment under national jurisdiction (up to 200 nautical miles from shore) and 0.25 per cent of the marine environment beyond national jurisdiction were under protection. From 2000 to 2016, the share of marine sites around the world that are designated as key biodiversity areas and are completely covered by protected areas increased from 15 per cent to 19 per cent.

Preserving diverse forms of life on land requires targeted efforts to protect, restore and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and other ecosystems. Goal 15 focuses specifically on managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded lands and successfully combating desertification, reducing degraded natural habitats and ending biodiversity loss.

Between 1990 and 2015, the world’s forest area diminished from 31.7 per cent of the world’s total land mass to 30.7 per cent. The loss was mainly attributable to the conversion of forest to other land uses, such as agriculture and infrastructure development. Meanwhile, other areas were transformed into forests through planting, landscape restoration or the natural expansion of forest. Owing to the balance of the two processes and efforts to slow deforestation, the global net loss of forest area declined from 7.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 3.3 million hectares per year during the period from 2010 to 2015.

To safeguard places that contribute significantly to global biodiversity, protected areas have been established and identified as key biodiversity areas. In 2014, 15.2 per cent of the world’s terrestrial and freshwater environments were covered by protected areas. The percentage of terrestrial key biodiversity areas covered by protected areas has increased, from 16.5 per cent in 2000 to 19.3 per cent in 2016. Over the same period, the share of freshwater key biodiversity areas that are protected has increased from 13.8 per cent to 16.6 per cent, and the share of mountain key biodiversity areas under protection has grown from 18.1 per cent to 20.1 per cent.

The focus in Goal 15 on halting biodiversity loss comes at a critical time, since many species of amphibians, birds and mammals are sliding towards extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List Index, amphibians are declining most rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean, primarily as a result of the chytrid fungal disease, one of numerous wildlife diseases on the rise worldwide. The greatest extinction risks for birds and mammals are found in South-Eastern Asia, mainly owing to the conversion of lowland forests. However, their decline is not inevitable, with extinction risks for vertebrate species having been reversed in five small island developing States (the Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tonga) as a result of conservation actions over the past several decades.

Conservation efforts can also be thwarted by poaching and the trafficking of wildlife. Since 1999, at least 7,000 species of animals and plants have been detected in illegal trade, and the list of species under international protection continues to grow. Comparing the size of legal trade in wildlife products (about 900,000 transactions per year) to the quantity of wildlife seized (about 16,000 seizures per year) provides an indication of the scope of illicit wildlife trafficking. The value of legal and illicit wildlife products can also be compared. For example, the value of recorded seizures of Crocodylus genus represents between 0.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent of the value of legal protected exports of this species between 2009 and 2013, with no clear trend discernible.

In 2014, bilateral ODA to support biodiversity amounted to $7 billion, an increase of 16 per cent in real terms over 2013. The two largest recipients of biodiversity assistance were the Philippines and India, which together received about $1 billion of the total aid.

Peace, justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are at the core of sustainable development. Several regions have enjoyed increased and sustained levels of peace and security in recent decades. But many countries still face protracted armed conflict and violence, and far too many people struggle as a result of weak institutions and the lack of access to justice, information and other fundamental freedoms.

The number of victims of intentional homicide worldwide remained relatively stable from 2008 to 2014. The worldwide number of victims of intentional homicide was estimated to be between 4.6 and 6.8 per 100,000 people in 2014, a slight decrease with respect to previous years. Yet during that period, the homicide rate in developing countries was twice that in developed countries, and increased in the least developed countries. Moreover, despite the lack of harmonized data, fatalities and injuries related to armed conflict appear to be increasing in some countries, causing unprecedented population displacements and enormous humanitarian needs.

Various forms of violence against children are pervasive, including discipline that relies on physical punishment and psychological aggression. In all but 7 of 73 countries and areas with available survey data from 2005 to 2015, more than half of children between the ages of 1 and 14 were subjected to some form of psychological aggression and/or physical punishment at home. In Northern Africa, the share was more than 90 per cent.

Globally, the share of girls and boys among victims of human trafficking (21 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively) peaked in 2011. By 2014, the figures had dropped to 18 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, but were still almost twice the levels recorded for 2004.

Sexual violence is one of the most unsettling of children’s rights violations. Yet underreporting and the lack of comparable data limit understanding of the full extent of the problem. Survey data from 31 low- and middle-income countries suggest that the proportion of women aged between 18 and 29 who experienced sexual violence for the first time before the age of 18 varies widely, ranging from zero to 16 per cent. Comparable data on the experiences of men are only available for five countries, but values are lower than those reported among women in the same countries.

Progress with respect to the rule of law and access to justice is mixed. Globally, the proportion of people held in detention without sentencing decreased slightly, from 32 per cent of total detainees in 2003-2005 to 30 per cent in 2012-2014. However, the percentage for developing regions has consistently been more than two times that of developed regions. In Southern Asia, for instance, more than 2 out of 3 prisoners remained unsentenced in 2012-2014, despite some improvement over the data available for the period 2003 to 2005.

Among victims of robbery, between one quarter and one half reported the crime to the police, in 27 countries with available data. The data suggest a significant gap in citizens’ access to and trust in authorities. Although official data on the prevalence of bribery are limited, figures from 19 countries indicate that the rate of prevalence of bribery may reach as high as 50 per cent among citizens who had contact with public officials, undermining trust in state institutions.

Registering children at birth is a first step in securing recognition before the law and safeguarding individual rights and access to justice. Despite recent progress, the births of more than 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 worldwide have not been recorded. In sub-Saharan Africa, over half (54 per cent) of children have not been registered by their fifth birthday. Globally, children living in urban areas are around 1.5 times more likely to be registered than their rural counterparts. In most regions, birth registration rates tend to be highest among the richest 20 per cent of the population.

Efforts are under way to make national and international institutions more effective, inclusive and transparent. Over the past 10 years, nearly two thirds of 144 countries with available data were able to plan their national budgets effectively (where final expenses remained within 10 per cent of original budgets). Voting rights assigned to various groups of countries in international institutions is one indication of inclusivity at the international level. For example, while developing countries account for 63 per cent of voting rights in the African Development Bank, this figure is only 35 per cent in the International Monetary Fund and 38 per cent in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank Group.

A free press is closely linked to access to information and the protection of human rights, but the trend in this regard is discouraging. The number of journalists killed increased from 65 in 2010 to 114 in 2015, despite the fact that, by 2013, 90 States had adopted laws on freedom of and/or access to information.
The proportion of countries with national human rights institutions has doubled over the past 15 years, reaching 35.5 per cent by the end of 2015. The share of such institutions that are compliant with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles) (adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/134) was highest in developed regions (46 per cent) and in Latin America and the Caribbean (41 per cent).

Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda requires a revitalized and enhanced global partnership that brings together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizes all available resources. Enhancing support to developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States, is fundamental to equitable progress for all.

In 2015, net ODA from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD totalled $131.6 billion. Taking account of inflation and the rise in the value of the dollar in 2015, this was 6.9 per cent higher in real terms than in 2014, and represented the highest level ever reached. Total ODA from those countries as a share of their gross national income was 0.30 per cent, on par with 2014. Most of the increase was owing to higher expenditures for costs associated with refugees. However, even if those costs are excluded, ODA still rose by 1.7 per cent. Seven countries met the United Nations target for ODA of 0.7 per cent of gross national income in 2015: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Information and communications technology
Fixed-broadband services remain largely unaffordable and unavailable across much of the population in developing regions, highlighting digital divides in access to high-speed, high-capacity Internet services. By 2015, fixed-broadband penetration had reached 29 per cent in developed regions, but only 7.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively, in developing regions and the least developed countries. Major disparities are also found in Internet use. In developing regions, one third of the population is online versus 1 in 10 people in the least developed countries. Data also reveal that more men than women are online. In 2015, globally, the Internet user penetration rate was about 11 per cent lower for women than for men. The gender gap is even higher in developing regions (15 per cent) and highest in the least developed countries (29 per cent).

Net ODA for capacity-building and national planning amounted to $23 billion in 2014; of that total, sub-Saharan Africa received $6 billion and Southern and Central Asia received $4.6 billion. The main sectors receiving assistance were public administration, environment and energy, which together were allocated a total of $9.3 billion.

The weighted average of applied tariffs has been decreasing over time, but still varies widely across regions and country groups on main product sectors. Average agricultural tariffs on imports coming into Asia, for instance, are the highest in the world, at around 27 per cent for Southern Asia and 20 per cent for Eastern Asia in 2015, under most-favoured nation status.

In 14 years, the least developed countries’ share in world merchandise exports nearly doubled, from 0.6 per cent in 2000 to 1.1 per cent in 2014. The key driver of export growth during that period was a massive rise in the price of fuel, ores and metals, reflecting a high demand in developing countries, notably China. In services, the least developed countries increased their share of world exports to 0.8 per cent in 2014 ($40 billion), up from 0.5 per cent in 2005.

Data, monitoring and accountability
The requirements of the indicators developed in the context of the Millennium Development Goals have fostered stronger national statistical plans and systems. The number of countries with a national statistical plan increased in some regions between 2010 and 2015, including in sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries. However, the overall number of plans declined from 56 to 54 among the countries being observed, since the time period of some existing plans expired.
Financial support for statistical capacity amounted to $325 million in 2013, compared with $379 million in 2010. However, assistance to the least developed countries, in this regard, tripled during the period and reached $265 million. Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of statistics for evidence-based policymaking and development, the share of ODA dedicated to statistics hovered at around 0.3 per cent between 2010 and 2013.

Population and housing censuses are a primary source of the disaggregated data needed for formulating, implementing and monitoring development policies and programmes. During the 10-year period spanning from 2006 to 2015, 90 per cent of countries or areas around the world conducted at least one population and housing census.

Over the period 2005-2014, birth registration data were available for 183 out of 230 countries or areas, whereas death registration data were available for 157. Only 58 per cent of developing countries with available data have birth registration coverage of 90 per cent or more; 71 per cent of developing countries with available data have death registration coverage of 75 per cent or more. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest levels of complete birth and death registration.


To have “MERCY FOR EARTH”. To bet on a major life style. For us to be visionaries and help us spread the word, to scream out loud for help, for the right of our children, our wildlife, our paradise…


Last Tweets

Mercy for Earth © All rights reserved.