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Asia-Pacific region performing better than the global average on global goals - new report

Written by Susan Nicolai, Tanvi Bhatkal, Chris Hoy

Press Release

Asia and the Pacific is on course to progress faster than the global average in achieving the universal development goals recently adopted by the United Nations, reveals a new report by the Overseas Development Institute.

The report, ‘Projecting progress: The SDGs in Asia and the Pacific’, looks at – for the first time – the scale of the challenge for the Asia-Pacific region to reach the new ambitious Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, if current trends continue.

The analysis suggests the region is on track to do well on five of the 17 key targets, including those on ending extreme poverty, halting deforestation and improving sanitation.

It goes on to warn however that that four targets, such as those on reducing slum populations, reducing waste and combatting climate change, require a complete reversal of current trends if they are to be achieved.

The analysis points out a further eight targets which are not progressing fast enough if they are to be achieved, and points out how disparities across the region means progress is often unequal.

Report author Tanvi Bhatkal, Research Officer with ODI’s Development Progress, said: ‘The Asia-Pacific region has made good progress on some fronts in the past decade, and is in a position to continue building on that.

‘Our research suggests the region is set to perform better than the global average in achieving the  global goals, but there are still many targets where improvement must be made if the goals are to be met.

‘A particular concern is the variations in progress seen across the region, and so attention is needed on these disparities to ensure no one is left behind.’

Among the key findings of the report are:

  • The Asia-Pacific region is on track to halt deforestation by 2030
  • Almost half of the countries in Asia and the Pacific are on track to reduce extreme poverty by 90% or more by 2030
  • More than a third of countries in the region are projected to achieve universal access to electricity
  • However, no country in the region is on track to achieve universal secondary education unless the rate of progress is increased
  • The region is also set to make little to no progress on reducing the share of violent deaths
  • Meanwhile, a complete reversal of the current trends is needed to achieve targets in reducing slum populations, reducing waste, combating climate change and marine conservation.


Notes to editors

  • The report focuses on projections for developing countries in three sub-regions: South, East and South-East Asia, and the Pacific
  • Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is made up of several SDG targets. ODI has selected one key target per goal for projections
  • The report, ‘Projecting progress: The SDGs in Asia and the Pacific’, finds one target, halting deforestation, is on track to be achieved in the region
  • Four targets are on track to get more than half-way to the targets when scores are averaged across the region
  • Eight targets are showing some progress but the rate of progress needs to speed up significantly in order to be reached by 2030
  • A further four are moving in the wrong direction and need to reverse current trajectories to be achieved by 2030