On 28 February, the CIB Working Group secretariat hosted a call on the national voluntary reporting process on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in which several CIB members are engaged. 2017 will see the second round of voluntary reviews, which includes 40 countries.* Main topic of discussion was how to include a local voice and perspective in the national reports.
Voluntary National Reviews (VNR)
As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the UN's high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. Regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders. In 2016. 22 countries participated in the first round of voluntary reporting. In that round, the reviews of Norway and Colombia clearly included a local perspective as well.
The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
CIB members exchange on how to include local actions
SALAR, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, initiated the call, which was met with great enthusiasm from FCM, VNG International, UCLG, UCLG-MEWA, CUF, UMT and LGA. VNG and SALAR presented the state of affairs of the reporting process in The Netherlands and Sweden respectively, and also touched upon methods to raise awareness amongst municipalities. Furthermore, UCLG proposed to collaboratively create guidelines for local and regional governments on how to report within the VNR-process, to which the participants reacted positively.
A report of the call will be shared shortly on the CIB online community. Follow-up actions include:
1. Provide feedback to UCLG on proposed guidelines for Local and Regional governments' guidelines concerning VNR-process
2. Share toolkits and other materials developed to raise awareness on SDGs among municipalities
3. Reach out to associations and local governments in countries which are reporting this year, to see if they can provide local input to the country reports.
*Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Monaco, Nepal, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.