Cyprus's Plunge in Global Sustainability Rankings
The 2023 edition of the annual 'Sustainable Development Report', published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), brings concerning news for Cyprus.
The report, assessing progress on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 166 countries since their adoption in 2015, reveals that all SDGs are significantly off track, with none projected to be met by 2030. Cyprus, unfortunately, stands at a disheartening 59th position, marking a worrisome downward trend from previous years.
Led by the influential American economist, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the report calls for urgent action to restore and accelerate SDG progress. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged world leaders to convene at the 2023 SDG Summit in September to deliver a "Rescue Plan for People and Planet."
Cyprus' performance in sustainable development has been on a distressing decline. Falling from 34th in 2020 to 59th in 2023, it is now ranked last among European Union countries, trailing far behind its peers. In stark contrast, Greece has shown continuous improvement, ranking 28th in 2023.
The areas where Cyprus' performance deteriorated significantly are 'Climate action' and 'Peace, justice, and strong institutions', particularly in terms of corruption. On a positive note, the country has seen improvement in 'Reduced inequalities'.
These alarming results are further compounded by Cyprus' decline in competitiveness rankings by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre for three consecutive years. The country dropped from 40th to 45th among 64 evaluated countries, with declining performance in economic, government, business efficiency, and infrastructure.
Competitiveness and sustainable development should have been areas where Cyprus excelled, especially within Europe. However, the nation finds itself languishing at the bottom compared to its peers.
It is evident that political rhetoric lauding achievements fails to acknowledge serious shortcomings when independently assessed. Cyprus must face reality and take action to reverse this decline. With abundant human capital, resources, and entrepreneurial spirit, the country has the potential to overcome its challenges and progress positively into the future. The first step towards progress is recognising the issues at hand and working diligently to address them effectively.
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Source: Cyprus Mail