Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures2016 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


Welcome to the 2016 edition of the UNCTAD Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures. This edition is dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 (2030 Agenda Declaration) (United Nations General Assembly, 2015). At the time of writing (June 2016), the indicators for measuring progress towards these Goals that have been proposed by the Inter-agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDG) and accepted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (United Nations Statistical Commission, 2016) have not yet been endorsed by the General Assembly. Nevertheless, we think it is useful to give an early or preliminary assessment of progress for a selection of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets.

The 2030 Agenda Declaration stresses the importance of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data to measure progress and to ensure that no one is left behind. The Declaration also states that data and information from existing reporting mechanisms should be used where possible. This report is in keeping with that philosophy; it has been compiled using a wide variety of data sources, both official and unofficial, to present a broad overview. The purpose of this report is not to present an in-depth review or analysis, but rather to provide a situation summary and highlight some key facts and messages, and give a fair synopsis of how things stand today, at the beginning of this 15-year agenda.

The selection of the targets presented in this report reflects UNCTAD’s mandate. UNCTAD is responsible for dealing with economic and sustainable development issues with a focus on trade, finance, investment and technology. Through these actions, UNCTAD contributes to progress on 52 specific Sustainable Development Goal targets, grouped under 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, the report presents some general statistical analysis for all 17 Goals, as it is considered desirable to highlight the interdependencies of all the Goals, just as it is to underline the interconnectedness of all aspects of development. Readers will note that two themes, prosperity and partnership, are given priority in this report, as these are the areas where UNCTAD’s expertise contributes most.

The report is organized in five broad themes or sections:

  • People: Goals 1–5
  • Planet: Goals 6 and 12–15
  • Prosperity: Goals 7–11
  • Peace: Goal 16
  • Partnership: Goal 17

Along with the Goals, selected targets are discussed. The full list of the Goals and targets presented in this report is given below. A special note is also included in the report on global and regional population projections and demographic changes. This has been included as, over the lifetime of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the years following, the global population will increase significantly. These changes provide an important context for the implementation of the Agenda.

There are many important messages highlighted in this report. We would like to emphasize just two: one regarding data and one regarding the not-unrelated issue of resources. The 2030 Agenda has placed much greater emphasis than the Millennium Development Goal agenda on the need for improved data and statistics. In the lead up to adopting the 2030 Agenda, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons (United Nations, 2013) called for a data revolution. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon subsequently established an Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. In its 2014 report A world that counts – Mobilizing the data revolution for sustainable development (Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, 2014), the question was raised of whether unequal access to data should in fact be a recognized form of inequality. A dilemma exists concerning the fact that data availability is usually weakest for the poorest countries of the world, while these are the countries for which they are needed the most in the context of monitoring sustainable development. This leads to the second message. The cost of implementing the 2030 Agenda will be significant. Estimates of how many additional resources will be required vary. Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, one of the co-facilitators of the intergovernmental consultative process, anticipates that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda could cost between US$3.5 trillion and US$5 trillion per year (Inter Press Service, 2016). Ibrahim Thiaw, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, estimates it will cost at least an additional US$1.5 trillion annually over the Millennium Development Goals (Thiaw, 2016). One thing is clear – these sums are far in excess of existing funding. We would ask readers to think about data as infrastructure; infrastructure every bit as important as broadband or electricity networks. These issues are touched on in Goals 9 and 17. In order to provide policymakers around the world with the coherent information they need to inform their decisions, a lot of investment is required behind the scenes. This investment in data infrastructure will require additional resources but will yield a return consisting of a broader knowledge base, and ultimately more efficient policy formation and a better-informed public.

Goals and targetsShort titles
Goal 1No poverty
Target_1.bPolicy frameworks
Target_1.aResource mobilization
Goal 2Zero hunger
Target_2.1Food for all
Target_2.4Sustainable food production
Target_2.aAgricultural productive capacity
Target_2.bTrade restrictions in agricultural markets
Goal 3Good health
Goal 4Quality education
Goal 5Gender equality
Target_5.aEconomic rights for women
Target_5.bWomen empowerment through information and communications technology (ICT)
Goal 6Clean water and sanitation
Goal 7Affordable and clean energy
Goal 8Decent work and economic growth
Target_8.1Economic growth
Target_8.2Economic productivity
Target_8.3Productive activities
Target_8.9Sustainable tourism policy
Target_8.10Banking, finance and insurance
Target_8.aAid for Trade
Goal 9Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Target_9.1Resilient infrastructure
Target_9.2Inclusive and sustainable industrialization
Target_9.3Financial services for small enterprises
Target_9.4Sustainable industry
Target_9.5Science, technology and innovation
Target_9.aSustainable and resilient infrastructure
Target_9.bIndustrial diversification through technology
Target_9.cAccess to ICT
Goal 10Reduced inequalities
Target_10.2Social, economic and political inclusion
Target_10.5Financial markets and institutions
Target_10.6Participation in institutions
Target_10.aDifferential treatment for trade
Target_10.bOfficial development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment
Goal 11Sustainable cities and communities
Goal 12Responsible consumption and production
Target_12.6Sustainable practises in companies
Target_12.aScientific and technological capacity
Target_12.bSustainable tourism
Goal 13Climate action
Goal 14Life below water
Target_14.4Harvesting and overfishing
Target_14.6Sustainable fishing
Target_14.7Sustainable use of marine resources
Target_14.bMarine resources and markets
Goal 15Life on land
Target_15.9Ecosystems and biodiversity
Target_15.aFinancial resources for planet
Goal 16Peace, justice and strong institutions
Goal 17Partnerships for the Goals
Target_17.1Domestic resource mobilization
Target_17.2ODA commitments
Target_17.3Additional financial resources
Target_17.4Long-term debt sustainability
Target_17.5Investment promotion for least developed countries (LDCs)
Target_17.6Partnership and knowledge sharing
Target_17.7Environmentally sound technology
Target_17.8Science, technology and innovation for LDCs
Target_17.10Multilateral trading system
Target_17.11Double exports from developing countries
Target_17.12Market access for LDCs
Target_17.13Global macroeconomic stability
Target_17.14Policy coherence
Target_17.15Policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development
Target_17.16Share knowledge, technology and finance
Target_17.17Public, private and civil partnerships
Target_17.18Capacity-building for reliable data availability
Target_17.19Measure progress