Sustainable Development Report 2024

Jun 17, 2024

The SDGs and the UN Summit of the Future

The Sustainable Development Report (SDR) reviews progress made each year on the Sustainable Development Goals since their adoption by the 193 UN Member States in 2015. Published on the eve of the UN Summit of the Future, the Sustainable Development Report 2024 recommends a set of key reforms to the UN system to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This year’s edition also presents a new index of countries’ support to UN-based multilateralism ...


Sachs, J.D., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2024). The SDGs and the UN Summit of the Future. Sustainable Development Report 2024. Paris: SDSN, Dublin: Dublin University Press. 10.25546/108572

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Since 2016, the global edition of the Sustainable Development Report (SDR) has provided the most up-to-date data to track and rank the performance of all UN member states on the SDGs. This year’s edition was written by a group of independent experts at the SDG Transformation Center, an initiative of the SDSN. It focuses on the UN Summit of the Future, with an opening chapter endorsed by 100+ global scientists and practitioners. The report also includes two thematic chapters, related to SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) and SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture).

This year’s SDR highlights five key findings:

  1. On average, globally, only 16% of the SDG targets are on track to be achieved by 2030, with the remaining 84% demonstrating limited or a reversal of progress. At the global level, SDG progress has been stagnant since 2020, with SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG14 (Life Below Water), SDG15 (Life on Land) and SDG16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) particularly off-track. Globally, the five SDG targets on which the highest proportion of countries show a reversal of progress since 2015 include: obesity rate (under SDG 2), press freedom (under SDG 16), the red list index (under SDG 15), sustainable nitrogen management (under SDG 2), and – due in a large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors that may vary across countries – life expectancy at birth (under SDG 3). Goals and targets related to basic access to infrastructure and services, including SDG9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), show slightly more positive trends, although progress remains too slow and uneven across countries.

  2. The pace of SDG progress varies significantly across country groups. Nordic countries continue to lead on SDG achievement, with BRICS demonstrating strong progress and poor and vulnerable nations lagging far behind. Similar to past years, European countries – notably Nordic countries – top the 2024 SDG Index. Finland ranks number 1 on the SDG Index, followed by Sweden (#2), Denmark (#3), Germany (#4), and France (#5). Yet, even these countries face significant challenges in achieving several SDGs. Average SDG progress in BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa) and BRICS+ (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) since 2015 has been faster than the world average. In addition, East and South Asia has emerged as the region that has made the most SDG progress since 2015. By contrast, the gap between the world average SDG Index and the performance of the poorest and most vulnerable countries, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), has widened since 2015.

  3. Sustainable development remains a long-term investment challenge. Reforming the Global Financial Architecture is more urgent than ever. The world requires many essential public goods that far transcend the nation-state. Low-income countries (LICs) and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) urgently need to gain access to affordable long-term capital so that they can invest at scale to achieve their sustainable development objectives. Mobilizing the necessary levels of finance will require new institutions, new forms of global financing — including global taxation —, and new priorities for global financing, such as investing in quality education for all. The report presents five complementary strategies to reform the Global Financial Architecture.

  4. Global challenges require global cooperation. Barbados ranks the highest in its commitment to UN-based multilateralism; the United States ranks last. As with the challenge of SDGs, strengthening multilateralism requires metrics and monitoring. The report’s new Index of countries’ support to UN-based multilateralism (UN-Mi) ranks countries based on their engagement with the UN system including treaty ratification, votes at the UN General Assembly, membership in UN organizations, participation in conflicts and militarization, use of unilateral sanctions and financial contributions to the UN. The five countries most committed to UN-based multilateralism are: Barbados (#1), Antigua and Barbuda (#2), Uruguay (#3), Mauritius (#4), and the Maldives (#5). By contrast, the United States (#193), Somalia (#192), South Sudan (#191), Israel (#190), and the Democratic Republic of Korea (#189) rank the lowest on the UN-Mi.

  5. SDG targets related to food and land systems are particularly off-track. The SDR presents new FABLE pathways to support sustainable food and land systems. Globally, 600 million people will still suffer from hunger by 2030, obesity is increasing globally, and greenhouse gas emissions from Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) represent almost a quarter of annual global GHG emissions. The new FABLE pathways brought together more than 80 local researchers across 22 countries to assess how 16 targets related to food security, climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and water quality could be achieved by 2030 and 2050. The continuation of current trends widens the gap with targets related to climate mitigation, biodiversity, and water quality. Pursuing commitments that have been already taken by countries would improve the situation, but they are still largely insufficient. Significant progress is possible but requires several dramatic changes: 1) avoid overconsumption beyond recommended levels and limit animal-based protein consumption with dietary shifts compatible with cultural preferences; 2) invest to foster productivity, particularly for products and areas with strong demand growth; and 3) implement inclusive, robust, and transparent monitoring systems to halt deforestation. Our sustainable pathway avoids up to 100 million hectares of deforestation by 2030 and 100 Gt CO2 emissions by 2050. Additional measures would be needed to avoid trade-offs with on-farm employment and water pollution due to excessive fertilizer application and ensure that no one is left behind, particularly to end hunger.

About the Authors

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
Director, SDSN; Project Director of the SDG Index

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and many other international awards and honors. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time magazine, “the world’s best known economist.” A survey by The Economist in 2011 ranked Professor Sachs as amongst the world’s three most influential living economists of the first decade of the 21st century.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute. Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.

Guillaume Lafortune
Director, SDSN Paris; Scientific Co-Director of the SDG Index

Guillaume Lafortune

Guillaume Lafortune took up his duties as Director of SDSN Paris in January 2021. He joined SDSN in 2017 to coordinate the production of the Sustainable Development Report and other projects on SDG data and statistics.

Previously, he has served as an economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working on public governance reforms and statistics. He was one of the lead advisors for the production of the 2015 and 2017 flagship statistical report Government at a Glance. He also contributed to analytical work related to public sector efficiency, open government data and citizens’ satisfaction with public services. Earlier, Guillaume worked as an economist at the Ministry of Economic Development in the Government of Quebec (Canada). Guillaume holds a M.Sc in public administration from the National School of Public Administration (ENAP) in Montreal and a B.Sc in international economics from the University of Montreal.

Contact: Email

Grayson Fuller
Manager, SDG Index & Data team, SDSN

Grayson Fuller

Grayson Fuller is the manager of the SDG Index and of the team working on SDG data and statistics at SDSN. He is co-author of the Sustainable Development Report, for which he manages the data, coding, and statistical analyses. He also coordinates the production of regional and subnational editions of the SDG Index, in addition to other statistical reports, in collaboration with national governments, NGOs and international organizations such as the WHO, UNDP and the European Commission. Grayson received his Masters degree in Economic Development at Sciences Po Paris. He holds a Bachelors in Romance Languages and Latin American Studies from Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude. Grayson has lived in several Latin American countries and speaks English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian. He enjoys playing the violin, rock-climbing and taking care of his numerous plants in his free time.

Contact: Email

About the Publishers

Dublin University Press
Dublin University Press is Ireland’s oldest printing and publishing house with its origins in Trinity College Dublin in 1734. The mission of Dublin University Press is to benefit society through scholarly communication, education, research and discourse. To further this goal, the Press operates as an open, innovative and inclusive channel for high quality scholarly publishing with an emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion and with full support for author copyright retention, open access and open scholarship. As an independent, non-profit, ethical and research-centric publisher, Dublin University Press is committed to fostering the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.


The Sustainable Development Report (SDR) reviews progress made each year on the SDGs since their adoption by the 193 UN member states in 2015. This year’s edition focuses on the UN Summit of the Future and on the SDGs under review this year at the High-Level Political Forum, with notably dedicated chapters related to SDG17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) and SDG2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture).

The report was prepared by the SDSN’s SDG Transformation Center and coordinated by Guillaume Lafortune in cooperation with Jeffrey D. Sachs. Lead writers are Jeffrey D. Sachs, Guillaume Lafortune and Grayson Fuller. The statistical work was led by Grayson Fuller, in collaboration with Guilherme Iablonovski, Sara Allali, and Samory Touré and under the overall supervision of Guillaume Lafortune. The interactive website and data visualization that accompanies this report was developed by Max Gruber and Ruben Andino. Members of the Leadership Council of the SDSN led the preparation of Part 1. “Recommendations of the High-Level Group of SDSN for The Summit of the Future ”. Part 4. “Pathways for Sustainable Land-Use and Food Systems” was prepared by the FABLE Consortium, led by Aline Mosnier, Clara Douzal, Charlotte Chemarin, Davide Cozza and Maria Diaz at SDSN in collaboration with country teams.

For their contributions at various stages, we also thank Eamon Drumm, Richard Kundratitz, Juliana Torres Cortes, María Cortés Puch, Alyson Marks, Sonja Neve, Ryan Swaney, Isabella Massa and, more broadly, the chairs and managers of the 55 national and regional SDSN Networks. For their inputs at the reviewing phase, we thank Javier Benayas (SDSN Spain, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Eric Rosenthal (SDSN Italy). The SDG Index and Dashboards combines data and analyses produced by international organizations, civil society organizations, and research centers. We thank all of these for their contributions and collaboration in producing the report, including during the annual public consultation process that took place between April 18th and April 26th, 2024.

We thank Dublin University Press and Roberto Rossi of Pica Publishing for preparing the report for publication. We also thank partners at the Environmental systems research institute (ESRI). We welcome feedback on the publication and data that may help to strengthen future iterations of this work. Please notify us of any publications that use the SDG Index and Dashboards data or the Sustainable Development Report and share your publication with us at


The following table depicts each country's position according to the report