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In 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Following their adoption, we are now committed to supporting the implementation of the SDGs at local, national, and global scales.
We aim to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
The organization and governance of the SDSN aims to enable a large number of leaders from all regions and a diverse backgrounds to participate in the development of the network, while at the same time ensuring effective structures for decision making and accountability. The SDSN Leadership Council acts as the board of the SDSN. A smaller Executive Committee oversees financial, programmatic, and other operational matters. Twelve Thematic Networks involving experts from around the world lead the technical work of the SDSN. Members of the SDSN are part of the SDSN Assembly and can participate in National or Regional SDSNs. A small Academic Advisory Committee works on issues relating to education and curriculum design. The SDSN Secretariat is hosted by the SDSN Association and has offices in Paris and New York.
The 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards report presents a revised and updated assessment of countries’ distance to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes detailed SDG Dashboards to help identify implementation priorities for the SDGs. The report also provides a ranking of countries by the aggregate SDG Index of overall performance.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The World Happiness Report 2018, ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.
The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and between countries.
The overall rankings of country happiness are based on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2015-2017, and show both change and stability. There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places. Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports- Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.
All the top countries tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. Among the top countries, differences are small enough that that year-to-year changes in the rankings are to be expected.
The analysis of happiness changes from 2008-2010 to 2015-2015 shows Togo as the biggest gainer, moving up 17 places in the overall rankings from the last place position it held as recently as in the 2015 rankings. The biggest loser is Venezuela, down 2.2 points on the 0 to 10 scale.
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