Symposium Discusses 2030 Agenda Implementation in SIDS
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Government of the Bahamas, with the support of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), organized a Symposium on the theme, 'Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Equipping public institutions and mobilizing partnerships'.

Agenda items included: Integrated plans and policies for realizing the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA pathway; Effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to realize commitments; Effective Partnerships for implementing the SDGs; Mobilizing ICTs for delivering on the SDGs and SAMOA Pathway; and Building statistical capacities and review.

Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council, reported that two countries have already signed-up for the 2018 country-level reviews, and encouraged more SIDS to volunteer to do so.

23 February 2017: The Government of the Bahamas, with the support of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), organized a Symposium on the theme, ‘Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Equipping public institutions and mobilizing partnerships.’

Participants at this Symposium considered how SIDS can integrate the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway into their national planning processes, policies, strategies and public institutions, along with other recent UN agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the New Urban Agenda.

The Symposium took place from 21-23 February 2017. In his opening remarks, Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the event would reflect on four key building blocks of implementation: rethinking policies while ensuring integration and coherence; public institutions; means of implementation including finance, technology and partnerships; and statistical capacities.

Agenda items included: Integrated plans and policies for realizing the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA pathway; Effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to realize our commitments; Effective Partnerships for implementing the SDGs; Mobilizing ICTs for delivering on the SDGs and the SAMOA Pathway; and Building statistical capacities and review. Participants were also encouraged to launch partnerships at the event.

On regional and global policy coherence, Ebba Dohlman, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said that, “Policy coherence is a tool and approach to help break out of sectoral silos and ensure more integrated policies in implementing the SDGs.” She added that a first step towards achieving policy coherence, “may be to carry out a mapping of all the agreements and strategies at the national and international level and identify the actors and processes associated with each one.” She noted that the OECD has developed recommendations for enhancing the development prospects of emerging ocean industries and their contribution to growth and employment, and is mapping the entirety of concessional finance to SIDS as well as exploring innovative ways to deploy it.

On building statistical capacities and review, Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council, noted that the 2030 Agenda encourages countries to conduct regular reviews of progress towards the SDGs at the national level, and that the country-level reviews are to be conducted in the manner a country chooses. He highlighted that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can also be engaged, and noted that the International Organization of SAIs (INTOSAI) has launched a major process to help SAIs audit SDG implementation. He also recalled that the reviews must respect a number of principles defined in the 2030 Agenda, including that they should be inclusive and transparent, evidence-based and geared to the furthest behind. He encouraged SIDS to engage in this kind of regular country-level review of SDG implementation as a routine part of delivering on their development responsibilities. He reported that two countries have already signed-up for the 2018 reviews, including Singapore, and encouraged more SIDS to volunteer for the 2018 reviews. [Symposium webpage with links to presentations] [DESA Press Release] [Partnerships recorded during the Symposium]


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