From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much.
Mains level : Paper 2-Pandemic and SDGs
- As lockdown eases, return to business as usual is unimaginable in Asia and Pacific which was already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Efforts to respond to the pandemic have revealed how many people in our societies live precariously close to poverty and hunger.
Progress towards SDGs in pandemic
- The SDGs can serve as a beacon in these turbulent times.
- SDGs are a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, globally, by 2030.
- The pandemic has exposed fragility and systemic gaps in many key systems.
- Countries have used workable strategies during pandemic to accelerate progress related to development goals and strengthen resilience.
- Countries have taken steps to extend universal health care systems and strengthen social protection systems.
- Accurate and regular data have been key to such efforts.
- Innovating to help the most disadvantaged access financing and small and medium-sized enterprise credits have also been vital.
- Several countries have taken comprehensive approaches to various forms of discrimination, particularly related to gender and gender-based violence.
- Partnerships with the private sector and financing institutions, have played a critical role in fostering creative solutions.
Focus on green recovery in Asia-Pacific countries
- Countries in Asia and the Pacific are developing ambitious new strategies for green recovery and inclusive approaches to development.
- South Korea recently announced a New Deal based on two central pillars: digitisation and decarbonisation.
- Many countries in the Pacific are focusing on “blue recovery,” which promote more sustainable approaches to fisheries management.
- India recently announced operating the largest solar power plant in the region.
- China is creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector than in fossil fuel industries.
Suggestions for policymaking
- We need a revolution in policy mindset and practice- following are part of the transformations needed.
- 1) Inclusive and accountable governance systems.
- 2) Adaptive institutions with resilience to future shocks.
- 3) Universal social protection and health insurance.
- 4) Stronger digital infrastructure.
Consider the question “Pandemic has highlighted the fragility of our systems. But it also emphasised the need to strive to achieve the SDGs. Comment.”
With the onslaught of pandemic disrupting us, we should base our recovery and progress trajectory firmly towards achieving SDGs.
Sustainable Development Goals and India
- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
- The 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.
- The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
- The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations.
- They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large.
The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. “Poverty eradication is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, and so is the commitment to leave no-one behind,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said. “The Agenda offers a unique opportunity to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development path. In many ways, it reflects what UNDP was created for.”