Virtual launch for bilingual report on sustainable goals

Mustapa holding the SDG Indicators Malaysia 2019 report at the virtual launch event organised by DOSM.

THE Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) in its role to coordinate and compile Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators from various ministries and agencies, successfully released its second report titled SDGs Indicators Malaysia 2019.

DOSM is entrusted the responsibility as the focal point in the collection of data and to work out indicators on the SDG.

The report was launched virtually by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Containing 128 indicators, the report highlights the national progress of SDG towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

2030 Agenda is a global commitment towards a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive development with 17 Goals and 169 Targets.

The global indicator framework adopted by the United Nations General Assembly comprises 247 global indicators designed to measure these goals and targets.

In his speech, Mustapa congratulated DOSM for its efforts in publishing the bilingual Bahasa Malaysia and English report, and making the indicator availability up to the district administration level.

“Overall, the country’s SDGs achievement in 2019 has improved based on the 17 Goals which has been set although this year’s performance may be affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic as experienced by other countries, ” he said at the virtual launch organised by DOSM.

SDGs integrates and balances the five focus areas, namely people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

Citing an example on the “people” focus area in Malaysia, Mustapa shared that households living below the national poverty level had improved from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2019.

“Prosperity” focus area showed the GDP per capita at constant prices in 2019 growing by 3.9% compared to 3.6% in 2018, he said.

“In line with the digital economy growth, especially in the new normal due to Covid-19, the percentage of individuals who use the Internet has increased to 84.2% in 2019, compared to 81.2% the previous year, ” he pointed out.

Among others, Mustapa said the government also encouraged all parties to carry out various activities such as research and seminars on SDG, not only to achieve its goals but to form a sustainable country.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin delivered his presentation entitled “Towards Agenda 2020: Where are we? which explained the 2019 report and achievement of the country’s SDGs.

“SDGs relates to the country and the people. We want it to be extended to all stakeholders, including community leaders and non-governmental organisations, ” said Mohd Uzir.

He added, “With just 10 years left to implement the 2030 Agenda, close monitoring is essential to ensure Malaysia is on the right track to achieve the goals.

“SDG Indicators are crucial to help monitor the progress towards sustainable development, develop implementation strategies, allocate resources accordingly and ensure the accountability of all stakeholders to achieve the SDGs.

“This report will provide evidence on SDG progress and thus, become an evaluation tool towards 2030 Agenda.”

Commenting on the report, Mohd Uzir said, “For the first time, this report is published in Bahasa Malaysia and English as we need to explain the importance of SDGs and its relation to the country’s development. It consists of 128 indicators.

“Malaysia has achieved a better level of indicator availability with the addition of 37 new indicators and 18 indicators at the district level.

“This in turn can help in the measurement and monitoring of the SDG in the smallest area, ” he said.

Over 72% of the data was from other ministries and agencies while 28% data was from DOSM, he said.

Previously, DOSM had published the Initial Assessment of the SDG Indicators for Malaysia, 2018 which presented a preliminary assessment of the availability of data for 244 SDG indicators in Malaysia.

For the purpose of disseminating and sharing data related to SDG, DOSM also launched the National SDG Progress Monitoring System (SDG Dashboard) in March 2019 consisting of 81 statistical indicators.

In terms of indicator assessment, 128 indicators (52%) are available, 73 indicators (29%) need to be developed, 31 indicators (13%) not available and 15 indicators (6%) not relevant to Malaysia.

DOSM aims to continue with its indicator development efforts to reduce the data gaps for an inclusive SDG monitoring with the commitment from the relevant ministries and agencies.

It also aims to engage with civil society organisations (CSO), non-governmental organisations (NGO) and academia related to SDG data sharing.

“We will conduct the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey in 2021 to complete SDG indicators which are not available, ” Mohd Uzir added.

In the context of data availability, nine goals have reached the level of data availability which exceeds 50%.

They are — Goal 1: No Poverty; Goal 2: Zero Hunger; Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 4: Quality Education; Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 13: Climate Action; and Goal 17: Partnerships To Achieve The Goal.

Meanwhile, goals that record data availability lower than 30% are Goal 11: Sustainable Cities And Communities and Goal 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions.

The three goals that achieved the highest data availability are Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being (86%), Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (83%) and Goal 4: Quality Education (75%).

In conjunction with the event, the SDG Webinar 2020 was also held involving a panel of local and overseas experts who discussed SDG-related issues and future hopes as well as the continuity of SDG goals and actions globally and nationally.

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