The far-reaching and ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind requires quality, timely, reliable and disaggregated data and statistics. This has drawn official statistics into a challenging situation to meet increasing and evolving data and statistical demands, and no National Statistical Office (NSO) has yet to fulfill all the statistical requirements of the 2030 Agenda.
Fiscal policy – the use of government spending and taxation – is a prominent policy tool for national development. Since the 1980s, its role somewhat diminished as laissez-faire, an approach of limited government, began to prevail. The unprecedented and concerted fiscal expansion in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 not only helped stabilize the world economy, but also vindicated the importance of a proactive fiscal policy. Nevertheless, it also resulted in higher public debt in developed countries and non-private corporate debt in China.
One of the most frequently asked questions children are asked is what they want to become in the future. I remember when I was younger, sitting in a classroom, my teacher asked everyone in class this very same question. My classmates eagerly answered, “I want to be a lawyer, a doctor, or a teacher!” But not once did I ever hear a child say, “I’m going to be a statistician when I grow up!”
The state of implementation of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is monitored at the global level by using the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 169 targets and the 232 internationally-agreed indicators.
Four years after the global leaders came together to commit to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequalities, tackle climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind, an important question remains: How can the world finance such an ambitious agenda?
My 10-year-old daughter is a very conscientious environmentalist. Very. She turns off water while brushing her teeth, picks up plastic from beaches, and—as many of my stubbed toes can attest to—faithfully turns off lights throughout our house. You can then imagine my surprise when stopping at a fast food joint the other day for a quick bite to eat, she eagerly demanded a burger. Humouring her request, I nevertheless thought it was prudent to remind her of beef’s environmental impact, so I asked her:
Less than a dollar per person per day. That is all it will cost developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to realize their ambitions for an inclusive and sustainable future, according to a study by ESCAP.
Economics is supposedly a hard-nosed academic profession, focused on understanding the mechanisms by which material wealth is created and enlarged to meet ever-growing demand. For a long time, the belief has been that maximization of individual consumption is equivalent to the maximization of social well-being.
The Midterm Review of the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries (VPoA) for the Euro-Asian region held in Bangkok recently provided an opportunity to reflect on progress made and, more importantly, what remains to be done to address the unique challenges facing landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) to achieve the 2030 Agenda
March 1st came and went without further escalation of already tense US-China trade and investment relationships. It is, however, too soon to fill in champagne glasses. Protectionist policies implemented so far by the world’s largest economy and corresponding retaliatory tariffs by other countries have already caused immense uncertainty regarding the future structure of global trade and the global trade system. In the meantime, what are potential ripple effects on sustainable economic development in the Asia-Pacific region?