On 1 January 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the transformative plan of action based on 17 Sustainable
Development Goals—to address urgent global challenges over the next 15 years.
This agenda is a road map for people and the planet that will build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and ensure sustainable social and economic progress worldwide. It seeks not only to eradicate extreme poverty, but also to integrate and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development—economic, social and environmental—in a comprehensive global vision.
It is vital that we begin implementation with a sense of opportunity and purpose based on an accurate evaluation of where the world stands now.
That is the aim of this report. It presents an overview of the 17 Goals using data currently available to highlight the most significant gaps and challenges.
The latest data show that about one in eight people still lived in extreme poverty, nearly 800 million people suffered from hunger, the births of nearly a quarter of children under 5 had not been recorded, 1.1 billion people were living without electricity, and water scarcity affected more than 2 billion people.
These statistics show how important coordinated global data-generation efforts will be in supplying reliable and timely data for systematic follow-up and progress reviews.
The Goals apply to all societies. Even the wealthiest countries have yet to fully empower women or eliminate discrimination. All nations will need to build the Sustainable Development Goals into their national policies and plans if we are to achieve them.
This first report is a starting point. With collective global action, we can seize the opportunities before us and, together, fulfil the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.
Secretary-General, United Nations