The first-ever Forum of the Countries of LAC on Sustainable Development convened in Mexico City.
The outcome document calls for transparent measurement of progress on sustainable development, and highlights other areas of statistics, indicators and measurement of the SDGs, as well as the importance of aligning with civil society and the private sector.
Eleven countries who will present VNRs to the 2017 session of the HLPF discussed their experiences.
1 May 2017: Latin American and Caribbean countries reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the first Forum of the Countries of LAC on Sustainable Development. Governments from the region emphasized their primary responsibility for fulfilling the Agenda, while stressing the importance of multilateralism and the need for participation in the process by all relevant stakeholders.
The Forum was established to follow up on and review implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to provide peer-learning opportunities through voluntary reviews, exchange of good practices and discussion of common goals in the region. ECLAC decided to establish the Forum in May 2016, and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) endorsed its establishment in ECOSOC resolution 2016/12. The first-ever Forum session convened in Mexico City, Mexico, from 26-28 April 2017.
The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, opened the Forum and announced the launch of Mexico’s National Council for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which he said will coordinate Mexico’s efforts relating to implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said regional contributions to the 2030 Agenda will require “reviving multilateral cooperation and regional integration,” and praised the multi-stakeholder nature of the Forum. She also called to “convert the 2030 Agenda into a state policy and align the SDGs with national plans and budgets,” with active participation of civil society and the private sector.
During the Forum, 11 countries presented their experiences regarding voluntary national reviews on implementing the 2030 Agenda.
During the Forum, 11 countries (Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Uruguay) presented their experiences regarding voluntary national reviews (VNRs) on implementing the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing that institution strengthening and the provision of financing must be “urgently addressed” in order to achieve the SDGs. Governments emphasized the importance of information management, incorporating the SDGs into national development plans, involving all sectors of society, inter-institutional coordination, and international cooperation among countries and UN bodies. Participants also called for: aligning measurement indicators with the aspirations of civil society; organizing a special session on financing the 2030 Agenda; and innovative financing instruments, including public-private collaboration. These 11 LAC countries are among the 44 UN Member States that will present VNRs at the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
Bárcena presented ECLAC’s ‘Annual report on regional progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda for Sustainable Development in LAC.’ The report calls for pursuing and broadening multilateral international cooperation in order to achieve the SDGs at the national level, and contends that stronger national statistical systems are necessary to determine progress or “backsliding” regarding specific SDG targets. It describes challenges and opportunities involved in building and measuring SDG indicators, and databases required to produce them in a “standard and comparable manner” throughout the LAC region. The report is the first in a series leading up to 2030.
Another ECLAC report, titled ‘Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: the Challenges of Resource Mobilization,’ describes the emergence of new funding sources in the region, calls for a coherent regional development financing architecture supported by national policies, and underlines effective tax systems as critical for financing sustainable development.
In the Forum’s outcome document, ministers and high-level representatives: call on the UN, in consultation with international financial institutions, to develop transparent measurements of progress on sustainable development that go beyond per capita income; recommend that ECLAC, through the Statistical Coordination Group for the 2030 Agenda in LAC, help produce regionally relevant indicators and strengthen national statistical capacities; recommend further streamlining a gender approach into national sustainable development policies and strategies; recommend an increase in regional cooperation, including in the development of endogenous science and technology; emphasized the importance of official development assistance (ODA), climate financing and South-South cooperation; recommend that ECLAC produce a concept note on potential impacts of exponential technological change and automation in the region, with recommendations for consideration at the Ministerial Conference on Information Society in LAC, to be held in Santiago, Chile, in August 2017; recommend the development of policies and strengthening of regulatory frameworks to better align private sector incentives with public goals; and recommend redoubling efforts to reduce illicit financial flows by 2030. [Forum Website] [Annual report on regional process and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in LAC] [Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in LAC] [Intergovernmentally Agreed Conclusions and Recommendations of the First Meeting of the Forum of LAC Countries on Sustainable Development] [ECLAC Press Release on Opening of the Forum] [ECLAC Press Release Following Conclusion of Conference] [ECLAC Press Release on Mainstreaming Gender] [ECLAC Press Release on Resource Mobilization] [ECLAC Press Release on the Annual Report] [ECLAC Press Release on Emerging Technologies] [Alicia Bárcena Op-Ed on Multilateralism as Key in Promoting the 2030 Agenda] [Infographic on International Cooperation] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on the Launch of Mexico’s National Council for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] [2017 VNRs]