The 2030 Agenda specifies that Member States should “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven.”
One month after the close of the 2017 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which heard Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) from 43 countries, 35 countries have already informed the UN of their intention to present a VNR at the July 2018 session of the HLPF.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development specifies, in paragraph 79, that Member States should “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven.” These reviews are supposed to draw on contributions from indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, “in line with national circumstances, policies and priorities,” and national parliaments and other institutions “can also support these processes.”
The 2030 Agenda also indicates, in paragraph 84, that when the HLPF is meeting under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it shall carry out regular reviews that are voluntary and state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and involve developed and developing countries. The reviews are also to “provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.”
At HLPF 2016 and HLPF 2017, these reviews have taken place under an agenda item on VNRs. During the first year of VNR presentations, 22 countries addressed the HLPF. In 2017, 43 countries presented their VNRs. Among the countries planning to present VNRs at HLPF 2018 are: Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Mali, Niger, Poland, Republic of Congo, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Viet Nam.
HLPF 2018 will address the theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’
Every four years, the HLPF also meets under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which will be the case in 2019. [HLPF VNR webpage]
(Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development SDG Knowledge Hub 22 August 2017)