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Fast-Tracking the SDGs: Driving Asia-Pacific Transformations

May 20, 2020

As this report is published, the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before it hit, the Asia-Pacific region was progressing too slowly on delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prospects for success will be influenced by the region’s response and recovery strategies. Transformative approaches that will also address the climate crisis, halt environmental degradation and reduce inequalities are needed.

This report explores six transformative entry points that can help the region achieve the SDGs, including in the context of efforts to respond to the pandemic. These are:

  • Strengthening human well-being and capabilities
  • Shifting towards sustainable and just economies
  • Building sustainable food systems and healthy nutrition patterns
  • Achieving energy decarbonization and universal access to energy
  • Promoting sustainable urban and peri-urban development
  • Securing the global environmental commons

The report takes a closer look at the speed of progress and levels of achievement of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as compared with regional averages, for these six entry points. It highlights strategies deployed in countries that have progressed most rapidly. A special “deep dives” section takes a look at the experiences of six diverse countries. Looking beyond the immediate crisis to the longer term, this report proposes that action is needed in four broad areas for the acceleration:

  • Mission orientation and mobilizing the public and stakeholders
  • Aligning systems
  • Readying institutions and people for change
  • Policymaking for managing complexity

As governments and other stakeholders ready themselves to deliver on a Decade of Action towards SDG achievement within the new reality of COVID-19, the six entry points and the four building blocks for accelerating transformation can help get the region on track. 

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