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Lanka ranks 1st in South Asian Sustainable Development Goals index

Sri Lanka has secured the first 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 neighbourhood.


Sri Lanka has secured the 81st slot in the Global ranking the top most place for any South Asian nation. The index has not covered the Maldives.


Sri Lanka secured this position by obtaining an overall score of 65.9, 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 65.9 percent of the way towards attaining all the SDGs.


SDGs-a follow-up on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired at the end of 2015-are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These goals have to be achieved by all UN member states by 2030.


One of the primary objectives of SDGs is to end poverty and hunger from the world. SDGs also aim to promote well-being of all the people, sustainable industrialisation, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and employment and decent work for all.


Other goals include: reducing inequality; making cities inclusive, safe and resilient; ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and taking urgent actions to combat climate change and its impacts.


In short, SDGs aim to bridge all forms of inequality, raise access to basic public services, ensure access to justice and promote sustainable economic development.


The report acknowledges that poorer countries 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.


“For example, the high consumption levels, banking secrecy and tax havens, and weapons exports, by the rich countries may severely inhibit sustainable development in poorer and more vulnerable countries,” says the report.

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