HLPF 2017 Review: Report on inclusion of regional governments & improved modalities

From 10-19 July, nrg4SD participated in the meetings of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), at the UN Headquarters in New York City. During the event, nrg4SD and member regional governments shared the progress made on the subnational implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and advocated for further inclusion and support, also in the process of monitoring and follow-up of this ambitious agenda.

The HLPF is the main United Nations central platform to follow-up and review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring the effective participation of all state members, specialized agencies, as well as major groups and other stakeholders. In 2017, the HLPF theme was “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.

The HLPF concluded after the 5-day thematic reviews, which paid a closer attention to a specific set of goals, as well as a 3-day ministerial level segment, with the presentations of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). As an outcome, it was adopted a ministerial declaration, emphasizing relevant findings on the implementation of the SDGs worldwide, and it including recognizes the need to work on the localization of the SDGs, in close collaboration with local authorities.

The general atmosphere of the event was positive, especially when it came to realize how much is already being done around the SDGs; a huge number of initiatives are being developed, not only by governments, but also by civil society and other stakeholders. Nevertheless, there were discussion about the need to make these conversations more meaningful, to dedicate more time for the VNRs presentations, which should build on and enable a solid national and global dialogues. In this direction, it is important to note that the experience of the HLPF should foresee further mechanisms, as to ensure the learning and exchanges witnessed during Forum can actually result in improved actions on the ground.

Engagement of nrg4SD

nrg4SD is fully committed to the implementation of the SDGs, building on its active participation in this process, since the stage of defining the SDGs. Most recently, the network is working to compile experiences and challenges of members in addressing the SDGs, facilitating exchanges and mutual support towards improved modalities of implementation, follow-up and review. The network’s participation in this years’ HLPF builds on consultations held with members, which allowed the preparation of the report SDGs at the Subnational Level: Regional Governments in the Voluntary National Reviews, and on an initial webinar with interesting experiences around the topic.

During the almost two weeks of event, including in parallel meetings and activities, nrg4SD facilitated the participation of members as the regional governments of Catalonia, Flanders and Goias, as well as the Council of Governors of Kenya. Besides, the network also organized a side-event, contributed to different activities, as members of the Global Task Force and as coordinators of the Local Authorities Major Group, in the Steering Group of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) Coordination Mechanism, among others it is highlighted:

  • Already on the 9 July, nrg4SD supported the preparatory meeting for MGoS, an interesting opportunity to connect with other constituencies and get ready for the Forum;
  • On the 11 July, an official plenary session discussed the perspective of MGoS on the theme of the HLPF. On behalf of the Local Authorities, Mayor of Utretcht, Jan van Zanen emphasized the importance of subnational governments to enable the localization of the SDGs;
  • On the 17-18 July, nrg4SD joined the meetings of the Local 2030 Hub, which envisages to become a multistakeholder platform to discuss the local implementation of the SDGs.

nrg4SD side-event & Report on the SDGs at the subnational level

At the Flanders House in NYC, nrg4SD organized the parallel event Regional Governments in the 2030 Agenda, on the 13 July, in collaboration with the delegations of Flanders and Catalonia in the USA.

During the opportunity, nrg4SD presented the report SDGs at the Subnational Level: Regional Governments in the Voluntary National Reviews, which assess the level of participation and inclusion of regional governments in the VNRs. The report elaborated in collaboration with ORU-Fogar produced relevant recommendations on how to improve the national process, as well as to accelerate implementation of the SDGs in subnational territories.

The side-event also counted with a presentation from the Flemish Government, represented by Mr. Peter Wollaert, Managing Director of CIFAL, who shared the efforts in Flanders to pursue the SDGs, such as through the incorporation in the strategy “Vision 2050”, training cycles to ensure the mainstreaming of the goals into the administration and partner local governments. Besides, it was also announced that Flanders is working on a new mid-term strategy, aiming the year 2030, to coincide with the SDGs deadline.

The government of Catalonia was represented by Mr. Arnau Queralt, Director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS), Government of Catalonia. Mr. Queralt explained the process of internal assessment and coordination to identify the gaps and define the priority actions for the government to work towards a Catalan plan for the SDGs.

Closing the line of speakers, Mr. João Bertoldi, representing the government of Goias, shared the interesting strategy adopted by the Brazilian territory, developing a pilot-project and a participatory process to define a SDGs implementation plan in one of the cities of their territory.

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