Highlights Vol 24, No. 07 - July 2020

Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 to reveal latest SDGs data

A third of the way into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, what progress have we made? How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted SDG progress and what are the perspectives for recovery? The 2020 Sustainable Development Goals Report, to be launched on 7 July will try to answer these questions, as the world gathers at the virtual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) for two weeks of critical discussions on the future of the SDGs.

This year’s report shows the world was not on track to meet the SDGs even before the pandemic erupted. It highlights how the COVID-19 crisis is disrupting implementation efforts across the SDGs, undoing years and even decades of progress in some cases.

The latest evidence demonstrates that the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries are being affected most by the pandemic. The data and insights provided by the report will play an important role in informing both the immediate response to COVID-19 and the steps needed to get the world back on track to deliver the 2030 Agenda. The report also provides a progress summary for SDG targets with a 2020 deadline.

The SDG Report 2020 uses appealing visual storytelling to make the data on SDGs progress more accessible and understandable. It provides in-depth analysis of selected indicators, both globally and across regions, using the latest data, and supported by an array of charts and maps.

The report also uses infographics to provide a high-level overview of the achievements, gaps and challenges for each Goal before the pandemic, along with insights into the impact of COVID-19. It has been prepared by UN DESA’s Statistics Division, with input from over 200 experts in more than 40 international agencies.

The reports will also be presented in an interactive platform on the Statistics Division’s Sustainable Development Goal indicators website.

2020 World Youth Report: young people want to do good, not just well

Very early during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people were demonstrating their ingenuity and solidarity with community members by helping those most at risk, such as older persons. Young people were sacrificing their time and efforts, even as the pandemic was impacting their own employment, education and opportunities. In all types of crises and times of need, from climate change to armed conflict, young people are quick to act and respond to the needs of others.

The rise in youth social entrepreneurship speaks to young people’s desire to make the world a better place. While social entrepreneurship gives young people the opportunity to earn a living and be their own boss, it also provides a platform to address unmet community needs, support underserved groups and foster social inclusion. The 2020 edition of UN DESA’s World Youth Report focuses on social entrepreneurship.

“While I was looking for work, I saw many others having an even harder time finding employment,” says Pezana Rexha, the young founder and CEO of Pana: Storytelling Furniture in Albania. “I decided to leverage the skills I developed during my studies in architecture to create a social enterprise which uses reclaimed wood to create unique furniture. I have trained and now employ older persons, persons with disabilities and others at risk of marginalization,” she added.

While young people are increasingly attracted by social entrepreneurship, they face towering barriers, such as lack of access to funding, training, technical support and markets. Other obstacles, which are disproportionally impacting young women, young migrants and rural youth, are often liked to stereotypes.

The new UN DESA World Youth Report on Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda makes a case of removing these barriers and creating an environment, where young social entrepreneurs can thrive. However, the Report clearly notes that investing in youth social entrepreneurship does not release policymakers from their obligations to address the current youth unemployment crisis.

The World Youth Report on Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda will be launched on 2 July. Follow @UNDESA and @UN4Youth on Twitter for the latest updates.

The report will be available on this site following the launch on 2 July.

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