In 2015, the United Nations proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) as a blueprint to address common human challenges in order to achieve a
better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. The 17 SDGs are (1) No
Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality
Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable
and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation
and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and
Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action,
(14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong
Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals. These goals cover 169 targets across
three major areas: economic growth, social progress, and protection of the environment.
In the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, 63 major economies worldwide
were ranked in terms of performance on the 17 “Sustainable Development Goals”.
The three top-ranked countries were Denmark (85.2%), Sweden (85.0%), and
Finland (82.8%). France (81.5%) took fourth place, and Austria and Germany were
tied for fifth (81.1%). The Czech Republic and Norway were tied for seventh
place (80.7%), and the Netherlands and Estonia ranked ninth and 10th,
respectively. The majority of the top ten countries were in Europe. Top rankings
for major countries in the Asia-Pacific region are New Zealand (11th), Japan (15th),
Korea (18th), Australia (34th), and Singapore (47th). Taiwan did not feature in
the 2020 edition.
Despite not having been included in the survey, Taiwan has taken the
initiative to set its own sustainable development goals, which are patterned
after the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The objective is to map out the direction
of the country’s policies on sustainable development and to join forces with
the rest of the world to achieve sustainability for all.
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