Cyprus faces a dire situation as the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) released its 2023 edition of the "Sustainable Development Report."
This annual report evaluates the progress of 166 countries in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015. Unfortunately, the report reveals that Cyprus is seriously lagging behind, with all SDGs off track and no single goal projected to be met by 2030.
The disappointing results have raised concerns, prompting UN Secretary-General António Guterres to call for world leaders to come together at the 2023 SDG Summit in September and devise a "Rescue Plan for People and Planet."
Among the countries assessed, Cyprus has experienced a steady decline in its sustainable development performance. In 2020, it was ranked 34th, but it has since fallen to the 40th position in 2021, dropped further to 43rd in 2022, and now has drastically plummeted to the 59th position in 2023. Notably, Cyprus now ranks last among all European Union countries, performing worse than its closest under-performing peer, Bulgaria, which stands at the 44th position. In contrast, Greece has shown continuous improvement, rising from 43rd in 2020 to an impressive 28th in 2023.
Cyprus' deteriorating performance is particularly evident in the SDGs of 'Climate action' and 'Peace, justice, and strong institutions,' with corruption being a significant concern. On a positive note, Cyprus has shown improvement in the area of 'Reduced inequalities.'
These concerning findings come alongside the news that Cyprus has also experienced a decline in its competitiveness rankings. The IMD World Competitiveness Center reported that Cyprus dropped five positions, falling from 40th to 45th out of 64 evaluated countries. Economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure were identified as areas where Cyprus's performance has declined.
The combination of poor sustainable development and decreasing competitiveness raises alarm bells for Cyprus. The country's performance, especially within the European context, is far from satisfactory and calls for urgent action.
While successive governments have highlighted their achievements, these independent assessments provide a different perspective. To reverse this downward spiral, Cyprus must acknowledge its serious shortcomings and take effective measures to address them. The country possesses the necessary human capital, resources, and potential for improvement. Leveraging its entrepreneurial spirit and determination, Cyprus can make significant progress if concrete actions are taken.
Moving forward, it is crucial for Cyprus to move beyond mere rhetoric and prioritize tangible actions. Recognizing the challenges at hand and addressing them with dedication and determination is essential for Cyprus to reverse its decline and pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future.
By fLEXI tEAM