13 July, 2017

Parallel Event in HLPF: Regional Governments in the 2030 Agenda

Starts: 13 July, 2017 - 6:00pm

Ends: 13 July, 2017 - 8:30pm

Location: The Flanders House, The New York Times Building, 620 Eighth Avenue, 44th Floor, New York, NY 10018


The Governments of Flanders, Catalonia, and nrg4SD (organizing partner of the Local Authorities Major Group) are organizing a parallel event during the first week of the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. The event will focus on implementation of the SDGs by regional governments, and especially their involvement and inclusion in national processes, and the creation of regional governments own plans and strategies in others.

In 2015, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda, a document that contains a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. The SDGs cover a broad range of themes aiming to balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions towards sustainable development. With the promise not to leave anyone behind, the SDGs implementation will require action at all levels, and especially at the subnational level, based on the actions of regional governments.

With clear direct competences on planning, legislation and decision-making over their territories, regional governments are fundamental contributors to the success of national efforts to achieve the SDGs. Particularly when it comes to “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”, regional governments’ role in the provision of basic services, such as water and sanitation, health, education and food security, makes them a necessary partner to achieve all the related goals and targets.

Several regional governments have already begun to put in motion actions that pursue the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in their territories. As an example, on one hand the government of Wales took the lead as the first government ever to commit to the implementation of the SDGs through legal enforcement. On the other hand, the government of Catalonia has already started an internal participatory process to agree on the best strategies to contribute to the SDGs and create a National Plan in order to fully implement the 2030 agenda at a subnational level.

During the HLPF, volunteering Member States take the floor to present a review of national efforts on the SDGs. In this framework, it is important to understand to what extent they are including regional governments in their implementation initiatives, as well as in the elaboration of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

For that purpose, nrg4SD has carried a survey with regional governments in several VNR countries, as to understand the extent of their participation and contribution to the national process of review. Based on those, a report of this consultation will be presented during the side-event and, as an outcome, a series of recommendations on how VNR countries could include and collaborate with subnational governments will be shared.

The case of Flanders and Belgium, for instance, can be considered as a unique case of vertical integration, since the national report was fully inclusive of the three regional governments that form the country. Delivering a thorough revision of their own efforts to implement the SDGs, Flanders has directly contributed to the elaboration of Belgium’s report.

This event will serve as an opportunity to:

1) explore and debate valuable alternatives that ensure the inclusion of sub-national experiences in national reviews on the SDGs;

2) present the creation of National Plans that ensure that regions are implementing the 2030 agenda even when their State is not part of the VNR countries 2017;

3) Compare experiences and share best practices.


The key objective of this parallel event will be to highlight:

  • the launch of a brief report by nrg4SD on the participation of regional governments in VNRs, including recommendations for future VNR countries in terms of engaging regional governments;
  • how the participation and input of regional governments in national efforts for the follow-up and review of SDGs can be shaped and assessed;
  • to what extent the experience of Flanders and Belgium can serve as an example of successful vertical integration and collaboration between national and regional governments, with the common goal of achieving the SDGs;
  • how the UN, its Member States and the international community can support and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the sub-national level;
  • and, finally, the methods, initial mechanisms, and initiatives regional governments have adopted to the localization and implementation of the SDGs in their territories.


For the purpose of the event, representatives from regional governments will be invited to share their experiences with regards to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in their territories.



6:00 pm           Reception

6:30 pm           Welcome remarks, presentations and Q&A

8:00 pm           Networking, reception continues

8:30 pm           End


Line of presentations:

  • Opening remarks Delegation of Flanders to the US


  • nrg4SD – Mr. Rodrigo Messias, Policy Officer

Engagement of regional governments and report of participation in national reviews.


  • Flanders – Mr. Peter Wollaert, Managing Director, CIFAL – UNITAR affiliated International Training Centre for Authorities & Leaders

Partnering up with regional governments for city and multi-stakeholder training on SDGs.

  • Goias – Mrs. Jacqueline Vieira, Executive-Superintendent for Environment and Water Resources – Secretariat of Environment, Water Resources, Infrastructure, Urban Development and Metropolitan Issues of the State of Goias

Development of pilot project to support and enable the SDGs implementation in cities of the Goias territory.

  • Catalonia – Mr. Arnau Queralt, Director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS), Government of Catalonia

Preparation and efforts towards implementation of the SDGs, including thematic assessments to establish the priorities and gaps for each goal in the Catalan territory and creation of the National Plan.

  • Council of Governors of Kenya – Mr. Ken Oluoch, SDGs Programme Officer

The national process of review in Kenya as an encouragement to engage subnational governments in the 2030 Agenda.

  • Q&A

Registration at: http://bit.ly/2ssecVv

DL: Concept Note




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