More from UNDESA Vol 21, No. 07 - July 2017

Launch of the World Economic and Social Survey 2017: Reflecting on 70 years of development policy analysis

The World Economic and Social Survey is celebrating 70 years of publication!

The Survey is the oldest continuing publication dedicated to recording and analyzing the performance of the global economy and global development while offering relevant policy recommendations. The first World Economic and Social Survey was called the “Economic Report: Salient Features of the World Economic Situation 1945-47”, launched at Lake Success, NY in January 1948. Over the 70 years, the Survey has taken on different names. In 1947, it was called the Economic Report; and from 1948 to 1954, the World Economic Report. In 1955, the publication was renamed the World Economic Survey. Since 1994, it has been called the World Economic and Social Survey. The year 1999 marked the launching of a companion publication entitled World Economic Situation and Prospects.

Since the publication of the first issue, the World Economic and Social Survey has promoted a broader understanding of development, emphasizing the importance of advancing the structural transformation of the economy, progress in social development and environmental sustainability.

This year’s edition, reflecting on 70 years of development policy analysis, shows that many parallels can be drawn between the challenges currently facing the international community and those that confronted the world in the past. These lessons from the past are relevant to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, the Survey highlights the importance of a stable global economy supported by coordinated global actions, well-functioning international trade and monetary systems, respect for national policy space, international solidarity and development planning.

Watch the launch of the World Economic and Social Survey 2017 on 13 July 2017, 11 am EDT at

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017

Two years after the world leaders adopted the transformative and ambitious 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, how is the world progressing in delivering on the Goals and targets? The two progress reports on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an overview: the report of the Secretary-General: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (E/2017/66) and The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017. The reports review progress made towards the 17 Goals in the second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda highlighting the most significant gaps, challenges and progress made.

The reports show that while considerable progress has been made over the past decade across all areas of development, the pace of progress observed in previous years is insufficient to fully meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets by 2030. Time is therefore of the essence. Moreover, progress has not always been equitable. Advancements have been uneven across regions, between the sexes, and among people of different ages, wealth and locales, including urban and rural dwellers. Faster and more inclusive progress is needed to accomplish the bold vision articulated in the 2030 Agenda.

Current data indicate that an estimated 767 million people still lived below $1.90 a day in 2013 — down from 1.7 billion people in 1999; the under-5 mortality rate fell 44 % from 2000 to 2015, but 5.9 million children under 5 died in 2015. About 793 million people are undernourished globally in 2014-2016. Between 2000 and 2015, there was a 46 per cent reduction in HIV incidence and a 41 per cent decrease in the incidence of malaria. About one in four women between the ages of 20-24 reported being married before age 18. Ocean acidification is substantially above pre-industrial levels and 31% of marine fish stocks were overfished in 2013.

The Report of the Secretary-General: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (E/2017/66) was made available on 8 June 2017 as an input into the deliberations of Member States for the HLPF. The report is prepared annually by the Secretary-General in cooperation with the United Nations system and is based on the global indicator framework developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017 will be launched on 17 July 2017 during the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF. The report presents data and analysis on SDGs for a wider audience with charts, infographics and analysis on selected indicators for which data are already available.

The reports were prepared by the UN DESA’s Statistics Division and will be presented in an interactive platform on the Statistics Division website on SDG indicators at

Follow Us