Sustainable Development Outlook 2021: From Anguish to Determination

Publication Date

September 20, 2021

Page Number

Link to Report




The third annual Sustainable Development Outlook (SDO), noting that the “COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted significant setbacks upon the progress made towards achieving the SDGs, leading to a profound distress in the international community.  However, despite these setbacks, it is possible to convert anguish into determination.”

Seven-point action program:

  1. Make the COVID vaccine a public good
  2. Strengthen access to quality and affordable universal health coverage
  3. Put universal social protection in place that is not tied to residence
  4. Choose from alternative paths to structural transformation
  5. Raise international solidarity to a higher level
  6. Share the earth equitably with other species
  7. Make use of the COVID crisis to overcome political barriers to difficult policy changes. 

Chapters describe the outlook for most of the SDGs, and policies and actions to achieve positive scenarios for ending hunger and poverty, health and well-being, economic growth and employment, and reducing inequality within and between countries.

The report pays particular attention to the inter-linkages between the SDGs:  “Fore examle poverty (SDG 1) is a major cause of malnutrition (SDG 2), the lack of which adversely affects economic growth (SDG 8) and deprives low-income people of the income necessary to access health care (SDG 3), thus perpetuating and even aggravating inequality (SDG 10).”

Also see: Sustainable Development Report 2021: The Decade of Action for the SDGs (June 2021, 518p)