Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020

Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis

Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Eradicate poverty, end wars, stop the destruction of the planet: Nothing less was the international community's goal with the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The non-binding Agenda is aimed at influencing national, regional and global policies. Progress of the implementation is monitored through voluntary, annual governmental reports. 

A critical civil society perspective, however, is necessary and needs to be heard. Therefore, FES has supported the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a coalition of civil society organizations that critically monitors the Agenda, since 2016. The annual report aims to assess not only the implementation of the 2030 Agenda but also the structural obstacles in its realization.

The Spotlight Report 2020 is the fifth edition of the report. It aims to unpack the various features and amplifiers of the COVID-19 emergency and its interlinkages with other crises, including the economic lockdown, increased job loss, hunger and homelessness, increased disparities of opportunity, wealth and power both within and among countries, increasing instances of racial and gender violence, discrimination of all those perceived as “different” and escalating climate disasters. The main message of the 2020 report is that the multiple crises can only be overcome if the massive power asymmetries within and between societies can be reduced.

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