SDGs by theme

With 17 Goals, 169 targets and 231 indicators, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a comprehensive coverage of the economic, social and environmental aspects of development. SDG Pulse covers those areas of the Agenda that intersect with UNCTAD’s mandated role in topics such as trade, investment, finance, technology and development.

SDG Pulse is organized along four of the broad cross-cutting themes identified in the Bridgetown Covenant adopted by UNCTAD’s 195 member States. It outlines a roadmap for transforming economies through economic diversification; addressing unsustainable debt burdens in developing countries; making economies more sustainable and resilient; improving how development is financed; and reimaging how multilateralism will function in the future.

The four main themes are:


We live in an inter-connected world where goods and services and produced and traded globally. This has brought an unprecedented level of prosperity and has contributed to lifting many out of poverty. However, barriers of trade remain and new threats to the multilateral trading system are constantly emerging. It is essential to address impediments and promote a broader participation that could continue to benefit all countries and the global economy. Read more

Development finance

The world’s ability to effectively mobilize and deploy necessary resources is crucial for a more sustainable and resilient recovery from the ongoing crises, including building on peer-to-peer partnership and in-kind support. Developing countries have long faced persistent challenges in mobilizing domestic resources, exacerbated by volatile capital flows, soaring debt levels, and the detrimental effects of illicit financial flows. Read more


Sustainable long-term growth that provides economies opportunities for everyone can only be achieved through a shift to higher value-added productive activities. This requires investment, technological advancements, and a better prepared workforce. In an era of ecological degradation and climate change, this also means a shift to more efficient and less environmentally damaging economic activities. Read more

Sustainability and resilience

In 1964, when UNCTAD was created, the risk of ecological disaster was hardly on the international agenda. Today, as we celebrate UNCTAD’s 60 years anniversary, the persisting increase in greenhouse gas emissions threatens development progress and future generations’ opportunities to live in a sustainable world. We must change course. Continuing the trajectory of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and ecosystems degradation will unravel progress on the SDGs. Read more