Four Countries Share Summaries of 2016 National Reviews
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Egypt, Estonia, the Republic of Korea and Samoa have submitted inputs ahead of their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Their summaries outline initiatives taken to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the national level, as well as next steps, challenges and lessons learned.

The documents are available on the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) platform for inputs to the 2016 HLPF.

hlpf15 June 2016: Egypt, Estonia, the Republic of Korea and Samoa have submitted inputs ahead of their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Their summaries outline initiatives taken to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the national level, as well as next steps, challenges and lessons learned. The documents are available on the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) platform for inputs to the 2016 HLPF.

According to its executive summary, Egypt launched its National Strategy for Sustainable Development, ‘Egypt Vision 2030,’ in March 2015, which was drafted through an inclusive and integrative process, was endorsed by the Parliament in February 2016, and serves as an umbrella of all development strategies in the country. At the institutional level, Egypt notes the establishment of a national inter-ministerial committee in December 2015 to follow up on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to ensure the proper alignment and integration of the SDGs with the country’s sustainable development strategies and priorities. It also announces that monitoring and evaluation units have been established in line ministries to support the monitoring of relevant programs and policies, and that a Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) has been created within the National Statistical Agency (CAPMAS) to lead the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the SDGs and ‘Egypt Vision 2030′.

Per Egypt’s summary, a number of programs for achieving the SDGs have been launched or are in the process of being initiated, such as social protection programs. The summary reports that activities have been initiated at the regional level, including the organization in Cairo, in May 2016, of a high-level meeting for national reviews of six countries who will present VNRs at the 2016 HLPF.

Finally, Egypt outlines a series of challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve the SDGs. Those include: high birth rate; water scarcity; issues related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change; energy needs; barriers impeding women and girls from realizing their potential for social and economic progress; and instability in neighboring states, especially Libya and Syria. It also points to the need to: leverage environmental-fiscal reform initiatives; embed the SDGs within the national budgeting process; and enhance coordination with sub-national and local levels.

Estonia’s summary indicates that the Estonian Sustainable Development Commission launched a review of the existing Estonian National Sustainable Development Strategy, based on the 2030 Agenda and global trends. This review will be completed in the fall of 2016 and will give recommendations regarding the renewal of the strategy and its implementation mechanisms. The summary also notes that the new Strategy for Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid 2016-2020 is based on general international development agreements and goals, including the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), and EU development policy decisions and guidelines. The summary reports that a mapping and a preliminary gap analysis of government policies and SDGs was initiated in spring 2016, and shows that both the Government and non-governmental sectors are already implementing measures and taking actions in all of the 17 SDGs.

On monitoring and review, approximately 14% of the 231 proposed global SDG indicators are currently measurable in the country, according to the Estonian Statistics Office, the summary says. Consequently, a list of indicators will be defined by an inter-ministerial working group, the Estonian Statistics Office and the Estonian Sustainable Development Commission starting in 2016 to help measure all the SDGs. According to the summary, ownership and awareness of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs need further attention, and a conference that sought to introduce the Agenda to the wider public was organized in November 2015, and brought together high-level officials, including from the Ministry of the Environment and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, representatives from companies and the civil society.

In its summary, the Republic of Korea outlines several policies and plans at the national level that are linked to the SDGs, including: the Third National Basic Plan for Sustainable Development, which is updated every five years and was established by consultations with 26 government ministries and agencies in January 2016; the Three Year Plan for Economic Innovation; and the Framework Act on Gender Equality (2015). The Republic of Korea reports that its Office for Government Policy Coordination (OGPC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and Ministry of Environment, together with Statistics Korea, are playing “a main role” in mainstreaming the SDGs and have recently started a mapping exercises to identify existing laws, rules, regulations and policies conducive to achieving the SDGs. It also states that the Government will identify relevant SDG targets for the national context, and that Statistics Korea is conducting an SDG indicator analysis so as to have “solid, disaggregated data” for monitoring and evaluating the progress on SDG implementation in the country.

On concrete initiatives for SDG implementation, the Republic of Korea announces that the Seoul Metropolitan Government will organize the International Forum on Urban Policy for the SDGs (2016) to discuss SDGs related to urban issues and provide a platform to support policy actions for the implementation of the SDGs at the local level. In addition, it notes that from 2016, each ministry and agency carrying out Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects will be requested to specify the SDGs and targets that are relevant to each project. Finally, it reports that the Government has been encouraging education institutions to include the SDGs in textbooks for primary and secondary school students, and has carried out nation-wide campaigns on implementing the SDGs.

The Government of Samoa’s summary announces that it conducted a preliminary integrated assessment of the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS 2012-2016), as part of its Mid Term Review, so as to provides an indicative overview of the level of alignment between it and the SDG targets. It notes that this process included a consultative processes that covered the whole country, and its findings formed the basis for the development of a new SDS 2016-2020, which considers the theme ‘accelerating sustainable development and creating opportunities for all.’ The summary highlights the possibility that the Government will set its own national targets and indicators to take into account national particularities, and that sectors and lead ministries are encouraged to propose a series of indicators deemed important in Samoa’s context. It reports that a preliminary framework of indicators for the SDGs was issued by the Bureau of the Statistics. It also outlines key challenges and lessons learned including: early and wide consultations to raise understanding and commitment; attention to proper planning and budgeting to support SDG implementation; and building and sustaining capacity in data collection, analyses and utilization.

Out of the 22 countries who will present voluntary national reviews this year, 15 have submitted summaries or other preliminary documents: Colombia, Germany, Georgia, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela. [Input Platform] [Egypt Input] [Estonia Input] [Republic of Korea Input] [Samoa Input] [IISD RS Story on African Inputs] [IISD RS Story on EEG Inputs] [IISD RS Story on WEOG Inputs] [IISD RS Story on LAC Inputs]


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