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Only 17% of targets to improve life around the world are likely to be reached by 2030, UN reports

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations warned Friday that only 17% of its 169 targets to improve life for the world’s more than 7 billion people are on track to be reached by the 2030 deadline.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the annual report saying, “It shows the world is getting a failing grade.”

World leaders adopted the 17 wide-ranging development goals from ending global poverty to achieving gender equality in 2015, and set 169 specific targets to be reached by the end of the decade.

According to the report, nearly half the targets show minimal or moderate progress and over one-third are stalled or regressing — with just 17% are on track to be achieved.

“The takeaway is simple,” Guterres said. “Our failure to secure peace, to confront climate change, and to boost international finance is undermining development.”

The report also cited the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and said an additional 23 million people were pushed into extreme poverty and over 100 million more were suffering from hunger in 2022 compared to 2019.

“In a world of unprecedented wealth, knowledge and technologies, the denial of basic needs for so many is outrageous and unacceptable,” Guterres said.

On the downside, the U.N. reported that for the first time this century, per-capita GDP growth in half of the world’s most vulnerable nations is slower than that of advanced economies, threatening improvements in equality. And in 2022, it said, nearly 60% of countries faced moderate to abnormally high food prices.

The goal of quality education is far offtrack. Only 58% of students worldwide achieved minimum proficiency in reading by the end of primary school, and “recent assessments reveal a significant decline in math and