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Background Notes

Background Notes

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

The CSO, through Ireland's Institute for SDGs (IIS), supports reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals.


The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are a set of global development targets, adopted by the United Nations (UN) member countries in September 2015, to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The UN SDGs are driving the global development agenda towards Agenda 2030. They address global challenges including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, the aim is to achieve them all by 2030. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and help economic growth, while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

EU Sustainable Development Indicators

This report presents data for Ireland based on the official EU SDG indicator set (SDI) published on Eurostat’s SDG database. SDI data published by Eurostat for Ireland, may differ slightly from Ireland’s official data (e.g. measures of poverty in the CSO SILC data). This is due to Eurostat’s harmonisation of statistics across all EU member states.

Since 2017, Eurostat has been preparing annual reports monitoring the progress towards the SDGs in the EU context. Information here is taken from the 2023 edition of the annual Eurostat SDG monitoring reports.

Eurostat provides data used to monitor the progress of the EU towards reaching the SDGs and is based on a set of around 100 indicators selected according to their policy relevance for the EU as well as their statistical quality. The EU SDG indicator set is aligned with - but not identical to - the UN list of global SDG indicators. Many of the selected indicators are already used to monitor existing policies, such as the European Pillar of Social Rights or the 8th Environment Action Programme (PDF 1,181KB). This allows the EU SDG indicators to monitor policies and phenomena particularly relevant in the EU context.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs, adopted by the UN in September 2015, is the world’s roadmap for achieving sustainable development in this decade. The EU has fully committed itself to delivering on the 2030 Agenda, and the SDGs form an intrinsic part of the European Commission’s work programme and the Political Guidelines of Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen.

Monitoring is an essential component in realising the 2030 Agenda’s vision, both globally and in the EU, by assessing and visualising the progress made so far towards the 17 SDGs. Since 2017, Eurostat has been preparing annual reports monitoring the progress towards the SDGs in the EU context. This 2023 edition of Eurostat SDG monitoring reports is the seventh report in this series, analysing the EU’s progress towards the goals based on the official EU SDG indicator set.

CSO UN SDG Publications

The CSO publishes data for Ireland under each of the 17 UN SDGs in a series titled ‘Ireland’s UN Sustainable Development Goals’. These publications monitor and report on how Ireland is progressing towards meeting its targets under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

The CSO and government departments and organisations collaborate to bring together data required in these reports for Ireland’s SDGs. This collaboration is formalised under the SDG Data Governance Board, which meets on a quarterly basis.

Ireland’s SDG Data Hub

The CSO, Ordnance Survey Ireland (now Tailte Eireann*) and Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri-Ireland) established a project team in April 2017 to engage with a combined UN Statistics Division (UNSD)/Esri research exercise with a goal to develop and deploy a new approach for monitoring the UN SDG Indicators using geographic information systems. The result of this exercise is a new website (Ireland's SDG Data Hub), hosted on OSi's Geohive platform, which is Ireland’s Central Portal for all SDGs and contains indicators data on the 17 UN SDGs for Ireland. All the indicators in this publication will be available on the Geohive. This work has been formalised through the creation of Ireland’s Institute for SDGs (IIS) - an initiative between the CSO, OSi and Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). The membership of the IIS is expected to expand with ongoing monitoring and reporting of Ireland's progress towards meeting UN SDGs.

*Tailte Eireann is an independent government agency formed by the merger of the Property Registration Authority (PRA), the Valuation Office and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI), on 1st March 2023.