Of the reviews presented or committed to be presented by countries of the Region of the Americas towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, there are some that have presented once, others twice or with a commitment to present a second time, while many that have not done so
By Francisco Becerra-Posada MD, MPH, DrPH
Have Countries Forgotten about the Sustainable Development Goals?
The Case of the Americas
The world is seeing a series of political changes, such as the ones in Mexico, Argentina, countries in Europe; unrest due to economic or policy changes as has happened in Hong Kong, France, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru to mention a few. Economic trade war between the USA and China, and a constant threat to world peace by unilateral actions from a few countries. Also, we have seen and continue seeing the longstanding discussions and push back from establishment around climate change and its implications towards humanity as a whole.
These chaotic times we are facing make one wonder what has happened to the work countries were supposed to be doing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is evidence that countries have reported advances of the proposed objectives they signed up for and the reviews they have or will be presenting are stored by the UN in the Voluntary National Reviews Database.
Of the reviews presented or committed to be presented by countries of the Region of the Americas, there are some that have presented once, others twice or with a commitment to present a second time, while many that have not done so.
Of the 35 countries in the Region (not counting territories), Table 1 presents those countries that have reported or will report on the advances on the SDGs.
Table 1. Countries of the Region of the Americas that have presented or committed reviews on advances on the SDGs
Source: Voluntary National Reviews Database, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/
Of the 35 countries in the region, 11 countries have or will present one review only by 2020. Of these seven are from the Caribbean and four of the continental region [*]: Bolivia, Canada, El Salvador and Paraguay. Of those presenting or committed to present twice, 13 countries have done so, amongst them, five countries of Central America. Only Nicaragua has not signed up for the review of their advances. Some countries of the continental Americas have yet to present or commit to: Guyana, Nicaragua, Suriname, United States and Venezuela.
The Caribbean has still to move forward and start committing to present their reviews. Of the 13 countries (including Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti), only six have done or committed to present the reviews.
Hopefully all SDGs are being covered and fully reviewed. Advancing towards the implementation of the planned interventions in each country is key as to diminish social determinants that hinder the advancement of a better life of millions of people that live in poverty and see their needs not fulfilled.
Hopefully the reviews speak of real advances and policy -social and economic- changes towards bringing these populations in need forward and their governments don’t leave them behind.
[*] Countries are being considered geographically, not by geo-political organizations.