Members' Research Service By / July 6, 2022

Reporting on SDG implementation: UN mechanisms and the EU approach

The UN General Assembly resolution of 25 September 2015 (‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’) emphasises the interlinkages among previous international commitments and highlights that sustainable development can only be achieved through a universal and comprehensive effort.

© United Nations and European Union/Eurostat

Written by Eric Pichon (updated on 12.07.2023).

Adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – ‘the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’ – clearly links 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to a series of targets to be reached by 2030. The 2030 Agenda includes a detailed mechanism for monitoring progress towards these targets. At its core are a number of quantified indicators for each target, which are regularly revised by the UN and other international agencies. These agencies and the EU provide support to national statistical services across the world in collecting data for the SDG indicators in order to gather reliable and comparable datasets.

The data feed into the voluntary national reports that countries prepare to exchange best practice and advice on tackling the challenges they encounter in implementing their SDG strategies. Every year, a high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) takes stock of both progress and weaknesses in implementation. Based on the reporting and the conclusions of the HLPF, every 4 years an SDG summit – the next one coming up in September 2023 – makes recommendations and pledges to undertake a number of actions to accelerate progress.

The EU Statistical Office (Eurostat) has solid experience in collecting consistent data from the EU Member States. Together with a set of specific indicators created by Eurostat, these data give a good overview of the EU’s progress towards the SDGs. Moreover, the EU services for international partnerships have set up a framework of indicators to assess how EU support contributes to other countries’ implementation of the SDGs. At this year’s HLPF, the EU is presenting its first voluntary review, giving an overview of the EU policies’ and initiatives’ contribution to progress towards each of the SDGs at EU and global levels.

Although technical in nature, SDG indicators and data also have a political dimension, as they clearly measure countries’ and other stakeholders’ achievements against their own commitments

Update of a briefing published in July 2022.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Reporting on SDG implementation: UN mechanisms and the EU approach‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.


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