A debate held at the EESC on 24 January revealed that the EU is failing to meet the objectives of the UN's 2030 Agenda. Yet there is hope. The EU has the opportunity to take the lead, including through financial support. The EESC plays an important role in monitoring progress.

The EESC January plenary hosted a debate with Guillaume Lafortune, Vice-President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Lafortune presented the 2022 Europe Sustainable Development Report, written with the support of the EESC. According to Mr Lafortune, the EU is failing to meet the objectives. In the meantime, progress is deteriorating across the world, and developing countries in particular, which face severe financing constraints, are lagging behind.

The report recommends that the EU advocate within the United Nations system for a global plan to scale up international finance for the SDGs. EESC President Christa Schweng echoed this idea by highlighting the importance of the EU's leadership in achieving global transformations.

The EESC will also play a key role in the European Commission's First Voluntary Review in July 2023, gathering stakeholders' views on progress towards the SDGs. The EESC recommended a cross-cutting approach to the goals, considering the interrelated nature of the SDGs and their respective targets, and proposed launching a new platform to foster structured civil society engagement on SDG-related policy. (gb)