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 2021 is the sixth edition of the report. It focuses on the fact that it is time to overcome contradictions and hypocrisy in the COVID-19 crisis. Policy responses to the pandemic and resulting economic crisis have greatly exacerbated national and global inequalities. Blatant examples are the unfair distribution of care work, relying mainly on women and poorly remunerated if at all, and the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis and the other unresolved global problems, most notably the climate emergency, it is high time for transformative policies at all levels. This is the key message of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development Report 2021.
According to the report, economic justice based on human rights can be achieved, but the trend towards privatizing, outsourcing and systematic dismantling of public services must be reversed. To combat growing inequality and build a socially just, inclusive post-COVID world, everyone must have equitable access to public services, first and foremost to healthcare and education.