Nepal ahead of India in South Asian SDG index

September 24, 2017

Kathmandu: Nepal has secured third position in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index among South Asian nations, indicating the country is better-off in attaining the United Nations-backed targets within 2030 than many others in the neighborhood. The index has not covered the Maldives. Although Nepal’s performance in the South Asian league table was strong, it lags behind in the global index--which covers 157 of the 193 UN member states--securing 105th position.

Nepal secured this position by obtaining an overall score of 61.6, according to the SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2017 titled ‘Global Responsibilities: International Spillovers in Achieving the Goals’ released on Thursday. This score indicates the country, on average, has travelled 61.6 percent of the way towards attaining all the SDGs.

Although the latest report has placed Nepal in a better position than many other South Asian nations in terms of proximity to the global goals, the country still needs to make lots of efforts to meet targets related to ending hunger (Goal 2), promoting good health and wellbeing (Goal 3), ensuring access to affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), and promoting decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), says the report jointly prepared by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German social responsibility foundation, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a group that works with the UN to promote the SDGs. Nepal also needs to put in lots of effort to build resilient industry, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (Goal 9), create sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), and promote peace, justice and strong institutions (Goal 16).

The report acknowledges that poorer countries, like Nepal, tend to be closer to the bottom of the rankings, as they lack adequate infrastructure, and the mechanisms needed to manage key environmental issues that are the focus of other SDGs. Also, rich countries tend to generate adverse “spillovers” that hinder the ability of poorer countries to achieve the SDGs.

This calls for considerable global assistance to supplement national leadership, says the report. This assistance, according to the report, should come in many forms: foreign direct investment, global tax reform to enable the poor countries to fight tax evasion by international investors, technology sharing, capacity development, and more official development assistance.

Source: The Kathmandu Post