National reports

Paraguay faces strong challenges in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their focus on reducing inequalities and their complex links to production and growth. The right to health has not been met yet and social protection is still not a right for everyone. Even if there is a systematic improvement of the indicators of the past decade, these positive results were achieved only after years. After more than a decade of economic growth, lost opportunities in terms of welfare, the lack of productive transformation and tax justice place the country in an unfavourable position to meet the goals of reducing inequalities and ensuring socially and environmentally sustainable growth.
Is the 2030 Agenda compatible with the neoliberal project? What happens in Spain in the current political context is a practical laboratory on how institutions, political parties and citizens are thinking about that question. Any serious strategy and initiatives to adapt and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Spain would have to incorporate several fundamental issues. Not so long ago, Spain’s commitment to the recognition of freedoms and rights in terms of equality were recognized; and its geographical and climatic conditions and technological development are sufficient to manage an energy transition towards models based on renewable resources. Its challenge in terms of employment however, suggests the need to explore productive transformation policies. There is room to expand fiscal policy given its low tax revenue in relation to neighbouring countries, and domestic rates of poverty and inequality require prioritizing specific policies in order to reduce them.
India is one of the world’s emerging economies, with impressive economic growth. While this growth has increased the income of a very small section of the population, India has the largest number of poor people in the world. The country has the world’s third largest number of billionaires and still millions of children are out of school; many millions of children do not live to the age of five; many millions of mothers die in childbirth. Despite economic growth, the country faces challenges of social and economic inequalities, urban-centred economic growth and shrinking civic spaces. While economic growth indeed made a difference to the large middle class, it is yet to ‘trickle down’ to rural poor, farmers and a vast number of poor and marginalized people, including Dalits (Scheduled Castes) and Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) , which make up 25 percent of the population. The environment is under increasing stress and there is a vibrant discussion about the consequences of mining and other disruptive activities on forests and environment and the implications for climate change. On the one hand, economic growth provides resources for greater investment in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and on the other, the urban-centric growth model, and increasing instances of crony capitalism also result in rising inequality and shrinking democracy and civic spaces and pose a challenge to effectively realize the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.
Bulgaria has come a long way from its turbulent political and economic transition in the 1990s to becoming a member of the European Union (EU) in January 2007. Today, it is an upper middle-income economy of 7.2 million people with a per capita income of USD7,420. (GNI per capita, 2014). However, since 2008, economic growth has been sluggish and income gains of the bottom 40 percent of the population have been weak. Supported by prudent macro-fiscal management, Bulgaria showed resilience during the global economic crisis with reduced imbalances and a sound public debt level (27.6% of GDP in 2014). Yet, convergence has slowed and Bulgaria’s income per capita are just 45 percent of the EU average in 2013.Eurostat data show that in 2014, Bulgaria holds second place in the at-risk-of-poverty-or-social-exclusion scale: Romania (40.2 %), Bulgaria (40.1 %) and Greece (36.0 %). Given this situation, what must be done to implement the 2030 Agenda?
Guatemala reached the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) without achieving a single one. To meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is essential that social organizations play an important role. But this will only be possible if social action is matched by state and political will, which must be expressed in political and budgetary changes. So far, the state has expressed only good wishes. A long list of shortcomings frames the barely positive scenario outlined to comply with the SDGs in Guatemala. If these great challenges are not faced by taking the necessary actions, the state will not meet the demands of the population and the SDGs will not be met by 2030 either.
The approval of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development coincided with the election of President Mauricio Macri’s new Government in Argentina. The first six months of President Macri’s administration reveal a strong shift in policy that will have a significant impact. In this context, the evidence shows that under the current policies, not only will the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon in the 2030 Agenda not be met, there will also be a significant reversal in terms of the social and environmental achievements of the previous decade. Preserving the social progress and well-being attained to date and coordinating critical actions is essential in light of a new neoliberal turn that seems to set the stage for greater social inequality and environmental contamination. The country’s array of active forums for involvement (unions, community and civil society organizations) must therefore review their positions and establish common goals in line with the SDGs.
Due to the lasting impact of the international financial crisis and resulting increase in poverty and insecurity, and especially due to the Government’s extensive austerity policies, Italy faces challenges in many of the areas addressed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goal. Moreover, the political context is critical, the result of three changes of Government without elections, in which the executive power has taken decisive initiatives for reform in many fields, including constitutional reforms, resulting in a progressive worsening of the gap between the political action of the "palace" and the daily exercise of citizen democratic participation.
This report looks at the incorporation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into the national development plan-- Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 –and asks whether Malaysia’s approach to the SDGs will demonstrate the same neoliberal biases, aims and agenda of all development plans since 2009. Will it belie the same fetishes for GDP or market/corporate stratagems instead of real socio-economic development plans? Does it package structural adjustment and austerity plans in the guise of ‘rationalizing’ and ‘integrating’ limited resources, funding and collaborative programmes? Will the imaginary crisis of a ‘middle-income trap’ continue to occupy the policy agenda, as opposed to the real crisis of the increasing income divide between the few who have and the many who have not?
Honduras has committed itself to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. This commitment is essential to overcoming the pervasive violence that is destroying people’s lives. Women’s lives are particularly at risk, which means that achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030, as mandated by SDG 5, will be a major challenge. Women’s rights are continuing to suffer major setbacks with the increasing concentration of power in the Presidency of the Republic. Implementing the SDGs, however, requires political will and as resources are increasingly allocated to re-militarization, it is clear that human rights are not the priority. Only if social organizations, with the support of the international community, encourage compliance may the situation of the Honduran people improve.
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprises a number of goals which concern the internal situation in Germany. Among these are goals which derive from the human rights obligations, such as in the areas of education, health and social security. Examples include reducing the proportion of poor people in Germany by half and increasing the proportion of young people who complete secondary education. Other goals address the external effects of German politics and economy. They demand domestic measures which also have immediate impacts for people in the countries of the South. These include goals for reducing resource use, for changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, but also for the relationship to migrants and refugees. Still other goals go to Germany’s international responsibility and solidarity. Besides the traditional development policy obligations the corresponding targets concern all areas of structural policies, particularly trade, investment and finance.
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