The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders at the United Nations on 25 September 2015, is a broad and ambitious plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, with the overarching objective of leaving no one behind. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.

The OECD is fully committed to supporting the achievement of the SDGs. This commitment is underscored by the OECD Action Plan on the SDGs, endorsed by the OECD Council in December 2016. The Action Plan describes how the OECD will support the 2030 Agenda through its legal instruments, its expertise in policy analysis and its know-how on statistics, indicators and systems for monitoring performance. As part of this extensive plan, the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate developed a unique methodology for measuring the distance that OECD countries would need to travel in order to meet the SDG targets.

This Study, Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019: An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand is closely aligned with the UN Global Indicator List for the SDGs, and, wherever possible, reflects the level of ambition agreed by Member States when setting the 2030 Agenda. It was first released as a pilot study in 2016; following feedback from OECD member countries and work to expand indicator and country coverage, a revised and expanded version was published in June 2017.

This 2019 edition of the Study further expands the indicator, target and country coverage. It also presents some preliminary evidence on how these indicators have changed over time as well as on the transboundary aspects embodied in the Agenda. An earlier version of this Study was presented to the OECD Council on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in March 2019.

The SDGs are our promise and our responsibility to future generations. They present a unique opportunity for countries to work together to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable future for all. In this respect, the OECD, through its expertise on policy and data, is assisting several countries in their efforts to implement the SDGs. This Study aims to further support member countries in their priority setting, assessment and monitoring towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.


Angel Gurría

OECD Secretary-General

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