UNCTAD takes the pulse of global goals

25 June 2019

New online statistical review helps to illustrate, in a quantitative way, UNCTAD's important contribution to the implementation of the global goals.

UNCTAD launched an online statistical review of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 25 June during its annual Trade Development Board meeting.

The SDG Pulse presents analyses for a range of indicators relevant to trade, investment, financing for development, debt, transport and technology.

“SDG Pulse offers a great tool for anyone interested in sustainable development. We have provided high quality statistical analyses, clear key messages and most importantly, all of the data are easily downloadable,” UNCTAD’s head of statistics and information, Steve MacFeely, said.

SDG Pulse

The new annual report has a special ‘In Focus’ section, which each year will focus on a different theme. The theme for the first edition of the report is inequality.

Analysing inequality

It provides analyses for some dimensions of inequality, including global economic and global income inequality.

Analysing inequality

A key fact highlighted by this year’s report is that today, the top 1% of the world’s population (about 76 million people) live on an average income of US$172 per day.

At the other end of the scale, the poorest 50% of the population (approximately 3.8 billion people) live on an average income of only $4 per day.

The report presents further analyses of gender inequalities in the field of international trade and access to banking.

It also discusses the dangers of an emerging but very important dimension of inequality – access to data and information.

The SDG Pulse also showcases some of the work that UNCTAD is doing on the ground to help realize the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

This year, the report highlights three capacity-building projects, quantifying not only their activities, but also their successes and contribution to sustainable development around the world.

“The SDG Pulse helps to illustrate, in a quantitative way, the important contribution that UNCTAD makes to the implementation of the SDGs. This responds directly to a request from countries,” UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said at the launch of the report.

For example, UNCTAD’s TrainForTrade programme has trained more than 5,000 people over the past five years in topics ranging from port management, digital ecommerce to international trade statistics.

According to the report, 82% of trainees passed their exams and received certification, while 84% expressed satisfaction with the training they received.

New report on inclusive growth

Meanwhile, UNCTAD and the Eurasian Economic Commission also launched a new report on inclusive growth, including a new composite index, to enrich available information on sustainable economic development beyond gross domestic product (GDP) on 25 June.

“GDP does not reflect the long-term nature of economic activity,” said, Tatyana Valovaya, Russia’s minister in charge of integration and macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, while launching the report.

She added that GDP does not consider damage caused to the environment, including depletion of natural resources, neither does it consider the quality of life in a country nor digital services provided free of charge.

“At the same time, GDP per capita does not reflect the real well-being of citizens, nor does it consider income inequalities” she said, explaining the importance of the composite index.

Ms. Durant said the report and composite index were “an excellent example of how UNCTAD can partner with member states or regions to make progress on some of the most complex issues facing the world today.”