“More than half the world’s children live in countries where we either can’t track their SDG progress, or where we can and they are woefully off-track,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director for the Division of Data, Research and Policy.The 17 Goals, set by the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are the framework for creating a future of peace, dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet, by 2030.Early assessment of progress toward achieving the SDGs confirms an alarming lack of data in 64 countries, as well as insufficient progress in 37 countries where the data can be tracked. “The world must renew its commitment to attaining the SDGs, starting with renewing its commitment to measuring them,” Mr. Chandy asserted.UNICEF’s Progress for Children in the SDG Era, is the first thematic performance assessment report toward achieving the global targets that concern children and youth.The report raises the alarm that 520 million children live in countries that lack data on at least two-thirds of child-related SDG indicators, or lack sufficient data to assess their progress – rendering those children effectively “uncounted.”Where sufficient data is available, the scale of SDG target challenges remains daunting.The report warns that without accelerated progress, 650 million children live in countries where at least two-thirds of the SDGs are either out of reach or whose lives could actually be worse by 2030.The report tracks five fields of progress – health; learning; protection from violence and exploitation; a safe environment; and equal opportunity – and quantifies in human costs how far the world is currently expected to fall short of the global goals.Projections show that between now and 2030 ten million additional children would die of preventable causes before their fifth birthday and 31 million would be stunted, due to lack of adequate nutrition.Moreover, 22 million children would miss out on pre-primary education; 150 million girls would marry before their 18th birthday; and 670 million people, many of them children, will still be without basic drinking water.“Two years ago, the world agreed on an ambitious agenda to give every child the best chance in life, with cutting-edge data analysis to guide the way,” said Mr. Chandy. “And yet, what our comprehensive report on SDG progress for children reveals plainly is an abject lack of data,” he added.While renewing efforts to address the global data-deficiency, the report calls for recognizing that strong national data institutions and capacity take time and investment to develop.Three principles underpinning this work are to build strong measurement into service delivery systems; systematic and coordinated efforts to ensure all countries have minimum data coverage for children; stronger shared norms on data concerning children, including more effectively identifying vulnerable children while protecting their privacy.While each government is ultimately accountable to generate the data that will guide and measure achievement of the goals, the international community has an obligation to partner with them to make sure the SDG targets are met.“Most countries do not have the information even to assess whether they are on track or not. Children around the world are counting on us – and we can’t even count all of them,” he concluded.
“The events at Westminster took place in less than 90 seconds and were able to be brought to an end because hundreds of officers were in the vicinity. Calum Steele said Scottish officers were not equipped to respond to a fast-moving terrorist attackCredit:PA The emergency motion conference whether the fight against terrorism risked being undermined by cuts to the policing budget and whether officers have enough personal equipment – including firearms – to be able to protect themselves in the event of a terrorist incident.Calum Steele, head of the SPF, claimed officers did not have the equipment to protect themselves or the public.Speaking afterwards he added: “We know that batons don’t work, we know that in 40 per cent of cases spray doesn’t work, we know that unarmed police officers are not only sent to incidents of knives but also to reports of firearms. That’s a disgraceful position to find ourselves in and it’s unforgivable. Police patrolling outside the Scottish Parliament are to carry Tasers in the wake of the Westminster terror attack.However, calls for all officers to be armed with Tasers have been rejected, amid claims that Police Scotland is not equipped to respond to a fast-moving attack such as last week’s terrorist incident in London.MSPs and Holyrood staff were told about the move in advance of an announcement from the force.The change, which is not based on any known intelligence threat, follows the attack by the terrorist Khalid Masood, who killed four people in an 82-second rampage in London last week.The calls for all officers to have Tasers, and for more armed officers, came from rank and file members at the Scottish Police Federation conference.They were rejected by Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne, who told BBC Scotland the police response to terrorism and organised crime needed to be more nuanced and depended, to a large extent, on community co-operation. The use of Tasers at Holyrood was not linked to intelligence informationCredit:PA “No police force in the world can stop those kind of events, but police should be given the equipment they need to protect themselves and the public if events unfold quickly.”We don’t have anything that would allow us to deal with the immediacy of a very quick attack such as that which unfolded in London.”During the discussion, delegate Chris Thomson called for a complete review of how officers deal with threats from weapons, saying: “Now is the time for all officers to have at least a Taser and more divisional firearms officers carrying a handgun.”It won’t stop all attacks but it will be a better defence than we currently have.”We don’t have all the tools to deal with two neds stabbing each other, never mind a terrorist attack like we saw. Our tactics are wrong and out of date.”David Hamilton, vice-chair of the SPF, suggested looking to the Norwegian policing model where all officers are firearms trained and have a gun safely locked away in their car.He said: “We need to be able to stand up our response quickly and we’re totally ill-equipped for that. We need to have more in the bank.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.