Secretary-General Reports on SDG Implementation Efforts in UN System
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Drawing from a survey administered by DESA to UN system entities, a report of the UN Secretary-General notes a growing emphasis on moving away from silos to interlinkages, to working in partnership and to seeking synergies.

Findings from the survey were consolidated into the UN System SDGs Action Database, a “user-friendly, searchable online database” that serves as a repository of UN actions, initiatives and plans on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

26 April 2018: A report from the UN Secretary-General on mainstreaming sustainable development throughout the UN system finds that “a new institutional mindset is gradually taking shape.” Drawing on a survey administered to UN entities, the report notes a growing emphasis on moving away from silos, in favor of interlinkage, working in partnership and seeking synergies across the Organization.

The survey was conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and 36 UN system entities provided updates on their efforts to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The findings will be used, the report notes, to analyze the UN system’s “response to the implementation requirements” for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The survey’s findings were consolidated into the UN System SDGs Action Database, a “user-friendly, searchable online database” that serves as a repository of the UN system’s actions, initiatives and plans on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The report titled, ‘Mainstreaming of the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development throughout the United Nations System,’ finds that since 2015, the governing bodies of UN system entities have taken forward-looking, strategic decisions to guide concrete action to expedite implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. For example, the Executive Committee of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) approved a strategy and plan of action regarding the 2030 Agenda in December 2015, and implementation started in January 2016 with the establishment of a unit dedicated to ensure coherence of action on the Agenda within the Commission.

According to the report, many UN system entities have formulated SDG-specific work programmes. For instance, in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the SDGs are guiding the implementation of the 2017-2019 business plan, and a reporting tool is being rolled out to capture progress on the implementation of the plan as it contributes to the SDGs. The UN Environment Programme has integrated SDG implementation into its medium-term strategy for 2018-2022 and its programme of work for 2018-2019. The Office of the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) has prepared an action plan to enhance synergies with the 2030 Agenda at every stage of the Office’s planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting cycle, and it has integrated the 2030 Agenda into its programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019.

The report also indicates that:

  • the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) strategic framework for 2016-2025 is based on enabling the organization to play a larger role in helping countries fulfill their priorities relating to the 2030 Agenda, and the Fund has revamped its results management framework around its contribution to the Agenda;
  • the World Food Programme’s (WFP) strategic plan for 2017-2021 aligns the organization’s work with the 2030 Agenda, and will use results-based country portfolios to maximize WFP’s contribution to governments’ efforts towards achieving the SDGs; and
  • the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established an in-house, inter-divisional task force, chaired by the WTO Deputy Director General, to deal with coordinating and monitoring the achievement of the trade-related targets in the 2030 Agenda.

On supporting UN Member States to accelerate SDG implementation, the report says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has started collaborating with national governments on the alignment of the SDGs with relevant regional development strategies and national sectoral strategies. It reports that the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has linked SDG implementation with EU accession, as it is currently assisting six Western Balkan countries and UN system entities in strengthening the mainstreaming of the SDGs in the context of accession.

On moving away from silos, seeking interlinkages among the Goals and enhancing collaboration, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has partnered with the World Bank Group in a number of areas to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, the report notes. FAO, IFAD and WFP developed a joint strategy on collaboration among the Rome-based agencies for delivering on the 2030 Agenda, which involves joint servicing initiatives and support for project design, supervision and implementation. Also, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women have included a common chapter in their strategic plans to jointly contribute to the implementation of the SDGs in a collaborative manner, in accordance with their respective mandates. [Publication: Mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development throughout the United Nations system: Report of the Secretary-General] [UN System SDGs Action Database]

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