Esuna Dugarova and Nergis Gülasan
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commits to promoting development in a balanced way – economically, socially and environmentally – in all countries of the world, leaving no one behind, and paying special attention to those people who are poorest or most excluded.
While the future is impossible to predict, there are clear directions on several economic and social aspects that will influence our ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This joint UNDP-UNRISD report reviews recent trends in six areas that are fundamentally important to achieving the 2030 Agenda. These six 'mega-trends' relate to (i) poverty and inequalities, (ii) demography, (iii) environmental degradation and climate change, (iv) shocks and crises, (v) development cooperation and financing for development, and (vi) technological innovation. Some of the trends are positive, including on the reduction of absolute poverty and several technological innovations. Yet negative trends in several of the others pose a significant risk to the realization of the SDGs. The report explores this in more detail and discusses policy implications for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.