Leading party proposals for the 2021 Elections according to the SDGs
Maria Alejandra Meza
Since their conception in the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, the Sustainable Development Goals have been worldwide pillars in politics for development and cooperation among countries. According to a United Nations report on the SDGs (2020), the SDG index which measures the implementation of the Goals in a scale from 0 to a 100, shows that Scandinavian countries are leading the chart: Sweden (84.5) and Denmark (83.9). In Latin America, the countries leading the chart for applying these Goals are Chile (73.68), followed by Uruguay (71), and Costa Rica (69). Peru occupies the sixth place in this chart with a score of 66.81 (CODS, 2020). There is room for improvement for Latin America and the Caribbean to comply with the implementation of the. For now, it seems unlikely that the SDGs will be reached by 2030.
Being placed at sixth position in the chart, Peru has been showing slow progress in the implementations of SDGs. According to the report about the SDG index developed by the Centre for Goals for Sustainable Development for Latin America (2020), up to 2019, Peru has not achieved any goal. The 1, 4, and 11 are moderately lagging; the 5, 8, 9, 14 and 16 are critically lagging; the rest of are significantly lagging. These data have been collected before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 11, 2021, Peru will hold general elections to choose a new President and Government. Therefore, it is crucial that voters are informed on presidential proposals and government plans for the next 5 years. In this regard, this article will present an analysis of government plans from the five political parties that are currently leading the voting intention list. These parties are: Acción Popular, Renovación Popular, Victoria Nacional, Fuerza Popular y Juntos por el Perú. Their proposals regarding the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 16, and 17 have been compared, contrasted, and commented. Peru has a commitment to the 2030 Agenda, and it is our duty as voters and citizens to elect a government that will work towards achieving this.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some sub-goals than have been prioritized over others. For example, ending not only the current pandemic, but also diseases that relate to transmissible diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, etc. Nevertheless, only 2 parties (VN, JP) have considered this. On the other hand, other diseases such as cancer or other cardiovascular diseases have only been considered by one party (VN). This is not a good indicator since 39.4% of the population has reported a chronic health issue (INEI, 2019). Mental health has been heavily impacted during the pandemic, yet it has only been considered in the government plan of Victoria Nacional.
All parties have proposed achieving universal health insurance. This is a great step forward since only 47.7% of the population has Seguro Integral de Salud and 25% has Seguro Social de Salud (INEI, 2019). Both health insurances. Regarding research, only Victoria Nacional has proposed research and development of vaccines and medications.
After reviewing the government plans of the five parties with the highest voting intention, we note that SDGs 1: End of poverty and 2: Zero hunger, are topics that are developed by most of them. The challenge is pressing, because as mentioned, still 20.5% of the Peruvian population is in a situation of poverty (INEI, 2019). Likewise, although there was an improvement in the fight against child malnutrition and anemia, still 40.1% of children under 3 years old have anemia.
Regarding SDG 3: Health and Well-being, the little initiative that most of these parties show is alarming. Due to the current situation, it is necessary to have plans and strategies to face the health crisis in the short term. Along these lines, it highlights that only the Victoria Nacional party mentions the 5 health issues analyzed, including the importance of mental health and research and development of vaccines.
About SDG 4: Quality education. Only 3 political parties propose guidelines to address some improvement-oriented goals.. It is important to highlight the urgency of plans or strategies that aim to improve the current situation, in which more than 370 thousand girls, boys and adolescents were forced to abandon their studies due to the pandemic (INEI, 2021). This represents a clear crisis in this population’s education due to the discontinuity of studies and a latent need for quality educators.
Regarding SDG 5: Gender equality. Only one party (Juntos por el Perú) covers the 4 goals analyzed, in which access to sexual and reproductive health and the intention to reduce teen pregnancies stand out. These issues are important to address considering Peru is one of the countries with the highest rates of gender inequality.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, was covered almost entirely by all parties. This may be due to the fact that Peru has recently experienced a series of corruption scandals that have led the parties to determine that both justice and solid institutions are urgent issues on the agenda of our country.
Finally, SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, research shows that the parties do not see the need for interconnection, coordination and exchange of ideas that should exist at the levels of government responsible for the creation and implementation of public policies. This SDG is relevant for the exchange of ideas or the generation of spaces for dialogue for a better understanding and generation of improvements at the different levels of government.
Despite the fact that the 5 parties with the highest voting intention have proposed strategies for various relevant issues, there is still a long way to go in terms of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, posing a strenuous challenge for those who finally become elected this April 11.
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