States that have shown progress in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, also known as SDGs, are often states that have strong national foundations and secure relations with international organizations. Nations that have shown less progress are often those who have failed on a national level to implement adequate measures to meet their SDGs, and on an international level, either fail to develop strong footings in organizations that would offer aid in their efforts or have lacked in international connections as a whole.
Some examples of this can be seen in states such as Botswana, a state which has made some progress in its efforts to meet SDG 15: Life on Land, by joining international organizations such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) as well as implementing a National Action Plan (NAP) to aid in their progress of mitigating desertification and land degradation. However, also on the national level, Botswana’s Meat Commission (BMC) is a large influence on their economy, despite accelerating the effects of desertification, and consequently lessens the impact of the UNCCD and the NAP. The interaction between international factors and national factors facilitates the amount of progress that can be made in a particular SDG–when both factors are working together, progress appears promising, however conflicting efforts at the national level can slow this progress tremendously.
Another example is Bangladesh’s efforts in meeting SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions which have been very poor as a result of their government’s weak implementation of anti-corrupt measures. Having a politically unstable government results in highly limited progress at the national level. On the opposite end, Chile acts as an example of the immense progress that can be made in an SDG as a result of strong international relations paired with diligent work from the national level. Chile’s commitment to SDG 7: affordable and clean energy has shown significant progress as a result of its bilateral agreements with other powers internationally and the national devotion to implementing renewable energy. This is also made possible by the nation’s comparative advantage in converting to renewable energy due to the state’s natural environment fostering ideal conditions for renewable energy. The nation uses this natural advantage to its benefit and furthers its progress in SDG 7.
The combined national and international factors can either accelerate or hinder a state’s progress in its SDGs. Some states serve as examples of how progress can successfully be made while others still struggle to curate an effective balance between their national and international efforts.