Oman has improved its ranking in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index, released by the United Nations-backed Sustainable Development Report 2020, over 2019. The sultanate was ranked 83rd with a score of 67.9 in 2019, but in 2020, it is ranked 76th with a score of 69.7.
The SDR 2020 was released on June 30 with this year’s report focusing on the short-term fight to stop COVID-19 – emphasising the importance of public health strategies – and on the long-term transformations to guide the recovery phase.
Among the GCC countries, UAE is placed first with 71st rank, followed by Oman (76), Bahrain (82), Saudi Arabia (97), Qatar (103) and Kuwait (112).
Oman has performed better in SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 4 (Quality education), SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), SDG 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals).
“The Sustainable Development Goals are needed more than ever. Their bedrock principles of social inclusion, universal access to public services, and global cooperation are the guideposts for fighting COVID-19 as well as for the investment-led recovery the world should adopt to overcome the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. As the report shows, there was clear SDG progress before this year’s pandemic. With sound policies and strong global cooperation, we can restore that progress in the coming decade,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and first author of the report.
The report outlines the likely short-term impacts of COVID-19 on SDGs and describes how the SDGs can frame the recovery. The report also tracks progress by countries towards the SDGs. Since its launch in 2016, this annual report has provided the most up-to-date data to track and rank the performance of all UN member states on the SDGs.
The report analyses how governments have responded to the immediate health crisis and describes emerging lessons for public health authorities, governments at large, and the public. ‘The crisis has shown profound weaknesses in public health systems, including in many of the richest countries that were deemed to be well prepared for such a pandemic.’
Meanwhile, some countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, have (so far) been successful in containing COVID-19 and minimising the damage to their economies. The report presents a novel approach and pilot Index for the effectiveness of countries early response to COVID-19 in 33 OECD countries which integrates health and economic considerations.
COVID-19 is likely to have severe short-term negative impacts on most SDGs, the report stated. ‘In particular, on SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (No hunger), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth). COVID-19 gravely amplifies income inequalities and other forms of inequalities. The bright spots in a foreboding picture are the reduced environmental impacts as a result of the decline in economic activity.’
The SDGs and the Six SDG Transformations should guide the recovery from COVID-19 and help build back better, it said. ‘No country will be safe from the pandemic unless all countries bring the virus under control. The report presents a detailed framework for how countries can build back better using the SDGs,’ it added.
SDG Index top ten countries
8 Czech Republic