"Azerbaijan has demonstrated leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."
These words were said by Fergus Auld, the British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, during the event "Green Transformation in Azerbaijan: Sustainable Development Goals".
Fakt Yoxla examined whether the Ambassador's claim was true.
As a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals, in 2015, the UN approved a document entitled "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets to promote the creation of extremely important opportunities for human development and the sustainability of global development by protecting the planet for the next 15 years. The main goal of this agenda is to end all forms of poverty in the world, to take action against inequalities, and to fight against climate change and other global threats.
The execution level of countries' agenda, which consists of 17 main goals, is assessed by the UN with an annual report.
According to the latest "Sustainable Development Report - 2022" report published by the UN, Azerbaijan ranked 50th among 163 countries participating in the assessment with 73.5 points.
In addition to the general indicator, the report also assessed the current situation related to individual goals. In the UN report, the sustainable development goals are assessed in four categories from the best results to the weakest results:
Significant challenges remain
Major challenges remain
According to the latest assessment, the level of achievement of the SDG goals by Azerbaijan is as follows:
Sustainable Development in Azerbaijan
|1.||No poverty||SDG achieved|
|2.||Zero hunger||Significant challenges remain|
|3.||Good health and well-being||Major challenges remain|
|4.||Quality education||Challenges remain|
|5.||Gender equality||Major challenges remain|
|6.||Clean water and sanitation||Significant challenges remain|
|7.||Affordable and clean energy||Significant challenges remain|
|8.||Decent work and economic growth||Major challenges remain|
|9.||Industry, innovation and infrastructure||Significant challenges remain|
|10.||Reduced inequalities||SDG achieved|
|11.||Sustainable cities and communities||Challenges remain|
|12.||Responsible consumption and production||Challenges remain|
|13.||Climate action||Significant challenges remain|
|14.||Life below water||Information unavailable|
|15.||Life on land||Major challenges remain|
|16.||Peace, justice and strong institutions||Major challenges remain|
|17.||Partnerships for the goals||Significant challenges remain|
As the assessment shows, Azerbaijan has achieved two of the 17 sustainable development goals so far. The assessment for three goals resulted in "Challenges remain", for five goals - "Significant challenges remain", and for five goals - "Major challenges remain". Indicators for the protection of the marine ecosystem have not been disclosed at all.
The screenshot has been taken from the Sustainable Development Report 2022.
One of the sustainable development goals shown as “SDG achieved” by Azerbaijan in the assessment is related to the reduction of inequalities.
According to the UN methodology, the indicators for this goal are the Gini and Palma indices. It is clear from the information in the report that the assessment of Azerbaijan for this target was carried out according to the Gini index calculated for 2005. In subsequent years, this index was not calculated, and the "SDG achieved" result was concluded based on the 2005 indicator. There is no general calculation of the Palma index.
Now, let’s talk about leadership in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the former Soviet republics, Estonia ranked 10th, Latvia - 14th, Belarus - 34th, Ukraine - 37th, Lithuania - 39th, Russia - 45th, Moldova - 46th, and Kyrgyzstan - 48th. From this point of view, it is clear that Azerbaijan ranks 9th among 15 post-Soviet countries in terms of achieving sustainable development goals.
Fakt Yoxla concludes that Ambassador Fergus Auld's claim is False.