Finland has ranked at the top of the SDG Index, Source: Finnish Government

Finland ranks first in the Sustainable Development Report 2021

Finland ranks first in the Sustainable Development Report 2021

It is the first time that the Nordic country has ranked at the top of the SDG Index

This year, Finland has ranked highest in the annual Sustainable Development Report. Prepared by experts from the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, this report compares how countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

How Finland earned first place

It must be noted that this is the first time the Nordic country has ranked at the top of the SDG Index. According to the Finnish government, its ranking is owed to the fact that the country has achieved (or come close to achieving) goals relating to poverty reduction, health, education, water, energy, reduction of inequality, peace, and rule of law.

Commenting on the country’s accomplishment, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Finnish Commission for Sustainable Development Sanna Marin shared: “Credit for this recognition is due to all Finns, who work persistently to build a more sustainable society. We are proud of our ranking, but we still have a lot to do in order to achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

COVID-19 has slowed down sustainable development worldwide

The nation’s biggest challenges reportedly relate to fighting climate change, sustainable consumption, production methods, and eliminating the loss of biodiversity. Moreover, the events of the past year have also had a significant impact on sustainable development.  

Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari further explained: “The pandemic has led to a global increase in extreme poverty and inequality and has weakened gender equality. We need to make sure that everyone stays on board with the development and that we are able to close the gap between the most successful and worst-performing countries.”

Taking this further, it is important to clarify that the 2030 Agenda sets out to support the most vulnerable groups around the world. As such, its primary goal is to ensure that no one is left behind. It is Finland’s efforts in this field that have been recognised and praised.

Which countries ranked highest?

The Sustainable Development Report looks at the actions and initiatives of 193 countries. This year, the top 10 countries which have ranked highest are:

  1. Finland
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Germany
  5. Belgium
  6. Austria
  7. Norway
  8. France
  9. Slovenia
  10. Estonia

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