There are several obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Progress is being made, but not yet in the speed and scale needed. The question is if the challenges will be overcome in time. (Photo: United Nations Ukraine / Flickr)

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The SDGs: Between hope and disillusionment, what has to be done?

The United Nations introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 intending to address the most urgent human challenges until 2030. The main mantra of the SDGs, ensuring no one is left behind, demonstrates the direction towards a more inclusive and sustainable future. This year marks five years of the 2030 Agenda and the beginning of the Decade of Action to speed up the process of reaching the goals.

With only ten years left to realize the SDGs, an estimated 150 million people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic. In some regions, poverty could be back at the same level as 30 years ago. Even before the pandemic, global efforts have not been delivering the change needed and the world is not on track to meet the SDGs by 2030.

In this FUF Magazine issue, the SDGs are covered from a variety of angles. Structural challenges are explored, relating to the progress, approach, universality and interconnectedness of the goals. The implementation of Agenda 2030 is also addressed concerning economic growth, climate change, frugal innovations, Human Rights cities, lack of water access, famine in warfare, waste management, and fossil fuels. 

Ending poverty, tackling climate change and creating a peaceful world is urgently demanding a global commitment like the SDGs. But, as this issue illustrates, there is still a long way to go and the pressure is accelerating with 2030 getting closer. To reach the SDGs, structural and operational limitations have to be solved

Will the vision of the Agenda 2030 be realized? How far have we come on the journey?

What opportunities do we see, and what obstacles have to be overcome? These are some of the burning questions which are explored in this SDGs issue where we are focusing on the global quest towards a better future for all. 

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