Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Six Megatrends That Could Alter the Course of Sustainable Development

As the world works to achieve the Global Goals, a recent UN report identifies six issues that challenge ambitious targets

By: Esuna Dugarova and Nergis Gülasan

We are approaching two years into implementing the ambitious 2030 Agenda – a historic agreement to end poverty, combat inequalities, promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and protect the environment. The new global framework, with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) at its core, commits to promoting development in an integrated way – economically, socially and environmentally – in all countries, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Our recently published report identifies six megatrends that will shape the trajectories of – and could potentially undermine – progress on the SDGs. In the current context of a looming retreat from multilateralism, the choices governments and societies make to manage these long-term trends will be fundamental to whether the world can get onto a pathway of sustainable development.

1 | Poverty and inequalities

Substantial progress has been achieved in multiple dimensions of poverty in the past decades, including the reduction of absolute poverty, decline in child and maternal mortality rates, and improved access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Income inequality between countries has also been falling, mainly due to the rapid growth in large developing countries.

Image: Man-made environmental degradation is one of the challenging megatrends that humanity faces today. Photograph: Blickwinkel/Alamy Stock Photo

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