First progress report on Sustainable Development Agenda aims to leave no one

Officially launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the ministerial meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on Wednesday, the report was detailed today to highlight its most important asset – the global data it contains. “We have the chance to truly set the world on a different sustainable path leaving no one behind,” Assistant-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Thomas Gass, today told the press in New York. The annual Sustainable Development Goals Report is an opportunity “to review where the world stands at the start of this collective journey,” Mr. Gass added. He then listed a number of figures – about 800 million people around the world live in extreme poverty and hunger, 5.9 million children die before they reach the age of five, 59 million of primary school age are out of school, 2.4 billion people still lack improved sanitation facilities, one in two children under the age of five lack birth certificates. These statistics are at the core of the progress report which is the baseline for evaluation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs. “It is crucial to build a global data ecosystem replete with quality reliable and timely data,” said Mr. Gass, speaking alongside Francesca Perucci, Chief of the Statistical Services Branch. The global data is part of the 169 targets which will guide the plan of action for people, planet and prosperity from this year through 2030. The Indicators were developed by experts representing 28 national statistical systems through an “open, inclusive and transparent process,” Mr. Gass said. While the 17 Goals were universally accepted and approved by all 193 Member States last year, the indicators still have to be adopted by the UN’s Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly. “The idea is that every country would provide the data – all the goals and all the targets are valid for all the countries,” Mr. Gass underscored in today’s press conference. This week’s report is the first progress report since the launch of the SDGs. Progress reports are expected every year for the next 14 years and will be presented to the High-level Political Forum, which is the UN’s central platform for the follow-up and review of the SDGs. During his speech yesterday, Mr. Ban said he would convene an event on 21 September for countries to deposit their instruments of ratification on the Paris Agreement on climate change, an accord that was adopted in December last year and will enter into force when 55 countries ratify, and 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for.In April, 178 countries signed the Paris Agreement at the UN Headquarters, and 19 countries have so far ratified. But these 19 countries accounted for less than 1 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.Mr. Ban encouraged at least 40 countries who committed that they will ratify this Paris Agreement before the end of this year, including the United States, China, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Argentina. He noted that a key feature of this year’s Forum is the voluntary national reviews, a mechanism that allows Governments to voluntarily present what they and their societies are doing to implement the 2030 Agenda. This year, 22 countries will share their experiences. “Ensuring progress in achieving the SDGs will be greatly enhanced by making sure that lessons are shared and best practices are replicated,” he explained, calling on Member States to intensify efforts at follow-up and review through a participatory process, with the full engagement of the business sector and civil society. @media only screen and (min-width: 760px), screen9 {#PhotoHolder3 #PhotoCrop { max-height: 770px; /* sets max-height value for all standards-compliant browsers */ width: 134%; margin-left:-161px; margin-top: -568px;}#story-headline{ font-size: 5.2em; line-height: 1.2em; color:#fff; position: relative; top: 100px; margin-left:0em; text-shadow: 10px 10px 10px rgba(0,0,0,0.8); width:52%;}}#sidebar {display:none;} div#story-content .span8 {width:100% !important} #fullstory p { font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.8em;}strong { font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.7em; xfont-family:Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;}li { font-size: 15px; xline-height: 1.7em;}blockquote { font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.5em; font-style:italic;} read more

UN agency sounds alarm as droughtstricken herders in Ethiopia face massive livestock

The drought has led to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and south-eastern regions of the country, as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought,” warned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the (FAO). FAO pointed out that drought-hit pastoralists face reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and have limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food. “Some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region,” said the UN agriculture agency. The current food and nutrition crisis is significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death – especially for children, pregnant and nursing mothers, for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition. With up to two million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production. “It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities,” said Abdoul Karim Bah, FAO Deputy Representative in Ethiopia. By providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while simultaneously supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. In addition to FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes to provide cash for families, animal health campaigns will be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rain sets in – when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. Funding appealFAO urgently requires $20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders. FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, destocking and animal health interventions, thanks to the support of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, as well as FAO’s own Early Warning Early Action fund and Technical Cooperation Programme. read more