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Louis Meuleman, Member, UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA); Leuven University, Wageningen University & Research, University of Massachusetts Boston
Why We Need ‘Real-time’ Multi-level Governance for the SDGs
Louis Meuleman, Member, UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA); Leuven University, Wageningen University & Research, University of Massachusetts Boston
The Goals and visions of the 2030 Agenda are agreed at global level, but a large part of their implementation takes place locally. To make things work, we need all levels: the bold decisions required to achieve the SDGs can only be carried through when those who are governed feel included and understood by those who govern. SDG 16 calls for effective institutions at all levels, and progress towards this Goal will be reviewed during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). One determinant of effectiveness is the way institutions work together across levels. This article explains three approaches to this “multilevel governance,” and indicates how they can be combined to serve the SDGs.
Guillaume Baggio Ferla, Research Associate, UNU-INWEH Manzoor Qadir, Assistant Director, UNU-INWEH
Strengthening the Enabling Environment to Achieve SDG 6 Through Data and Evidence
Guillaume Baggio Ferla, Research Associate, UNU-INWEH; and Manzoor Qadir, Assistant Director, UNU-INWEH
According to the latest assessment of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), the world at large is not on track to reach the Goal by 2030. Indeed, it is unlikely that relying on enabling environments developed before the SDG era will lead to successful achievement of SDG 6. In the language of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthening and realigning enabling environments to drive successful implementation is a critical step for many countries. Yet data and evidence for policymakers and development actors to make this happen may still be missing, overlapping or fragmented while the urgency for actions is set to grow in the next years.

Photo by Lynn Wagner Major Groups Share Positions on Empowerment, Inclusion Ahead of HLPF 2019
June 2019: Major Groups and other stakeholders submitted a series of position papers on the theme of the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.’ The executive summaries of the position papers are consolidated into a note by the UN Secretariat, which is available in an advance, unedited edition.
ENVIRONMENT-AIR POLLUTION Report Presents Methodology for Measuring Fossil Fuel Subsidies
May 2019: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has published a report that details the first internationally agreed methodology to help countries increase transparency on fossil fuel subsidies.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner Governments Exchange Views on Details of SDG Summit Outcome
7 June 2019: During a standing-room only informal-informal consultation on Friday afternoon, 7 June, UN Member States offered detailed suggestions on the political declaration to be adopted at the SDG Summit in September 2019. This first consultation covered all three sections of the zero draft of the declaration. A new draft is expected on 10 June.

Photo credit: TAP Network Survey Explores National-level Stakeholder Engagement in 2030 Agenda
11 June 2019: Together 2030 and Newcastle University are conducting a survey of stakeholders' perceptions regarding national processes to follow up on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The online survey aims to contribute to discussions on ways to strengthen stakeholder engagement in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda.
Featured Image -240 Speakers at World Circular Economy Forum Call for Shift to “Living Instead of Consuming”
4 June 2019: “Living instead of consuming” was a popular refrain heard during the 2019 World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF2019), a two-day event attended by more than 2,000 “doers and thinkers” who considered ideas to reduce the overuse of raw materials, stem overconsumption, and move from ownership to sharing, among other goals that fall under the circular economy framework.
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner Report Identifies Opportunities for NDC-NAP Alignment
4 June 2019: A report from the NAP Global Network outlines opportunities to improve alignment between countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and their national adaptation plans (NAPs). NDCs and NAPs are complementary processes, both representing elements of countries’ responses to climate change in line with the Paris Agreement. As of November 2018, 131 of the 183 submitted NDCs included adaptation information.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth OECD Reviews Sweden’s ODA Performance for Sustainable Development
June 2019: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a peer review of Sweden’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), which highlights Sweden’s ambition to be a leader in implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
UN Photo/Amanda Voisard UN Note Outlines HLPF Lessons Learned Since 2016
June 2019: The UN Secretariat has issued a background note on lessons learned from the first four-year cycle of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), during which the HLPF will have reviewed progress on all 17 SDGs (2016-2019). The note outlines suggestions for improvement on the voluntary national reviews (VNRs), the reviews of specific SDGs, and the reviews of the yearly theme of the session, among other topics.
Featured Image -179 UN Opens Platform to Collect SDG 'Acceleration Actions' Ahead of Summit
30 May 2019: In preparation for the SDG Summit in September 2019, the UN has set up an ‘SDG Acceleration Action’ platform, where countries and other actors can register voluntary initiatives that contribute to accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The platform was announced in an information note circulated by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, ahead of a 14 June briefing on the scope and format of Summit activities.
Photo by IISD/ENB GEF Council and CSOs Discuss Partnership Model, Plastic Pollution Solutions
10 June 2019: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) discussed a proposed paradigm for GEF-CSO partnership as an effective tool for more meaningful engagement of civil society and community-based organizations within the GEF architecture. Participants also considered practical experiences and lessons learned regarding the production, consumption and waste management of plastics.
Featured Image -241 Co-facilitators Issue Zero Draft on International Migration Review Forum
7 June 2019: The co-facilitators for consultations on the modalities and organizational aspects of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) issued the zero draft of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution. The first consultation on the zero draft will take place on 11 June 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, with further consultations planned for 20 and 26 June.
Photo credit: TAP Network UN Shares Stakeholder Input on HLPF Theme, SDGs Under Review
6 June 2019: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released a summary report consolidating messages from stakeholders on the SDGs that will be reviewed during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17. The UN also released an advance unedited version of a report on major groups and other relevant stakeholders’ positions on the theme of this year's HLPF, ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.'
Photo by IISD/Lynn Wagner More Countries Advancing SDG 12 through Tourism Policies, UNWTO Finds
5 June 2019: Countries are increasingly integrating sustainability into their tourism policies, according to a report that provides the first-ever global assessment of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) factors within national tourism policies. SDG target 12.b calls for developing and implementing tools to monitor sustainable development impacts of tourism.
Featured Image -305 UNECE Review of Kazakhstan’s Environmental Performance Recommends Mainstreaming SDGs
June 2019: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has reviewed Kazakhstan’s environmental performance and recommended actions for achieving the SDGs. The review welcomes the steps Kazakhstan has taken to enshrine the SDGs in its national institutions and policy, and its achievement of some health, energy and waste collection targets. However, the review cautions that large regional variations remain, and no systematic effort has been made to explicitly integrate the SDGs into sectoral programmes and plans.
Featured Image -240 Who is Investing in the Technology Transition to a Low Carbon Economy, and Where?
June 2019: A clear upward trend in the global market of green and sustainable bonds is underway. These bonds help mobilize private capital for climate and sustainability friendly projects and activities. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) notes annual issuances have increased from USD 13 billion in 2013 to more than USD 150 billion in 2018. The Climate Bonds Initiative saw green bond issuance reaching USD 47.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 alone, surpassing Q1 2018 volume of USD 33.8 billion by 42%. This update informs on developments seen over the last month in green, climate sustainability and social bonds, as well as corporate reporting on climate risks and opportunities and climate technology deployment initiatives.
Photo by Ivetta Gerasimchuk | IISD OECD Review Urges Norway to Show How Development Aid Contributes to SDGs
May 2019: Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a peer review of Norway’s humanitarian and development aid system, and provided recommendations for improvement. The review finds much to praise, including Norway’s support for multilateral solutions, its increase of funding to 1% of gross national income (GNI) for official development assistance (ODA), its 2017-2024 research strategy, and its improved approach to working in fragile contexts. Recommendations focus on the need for comparability of reporting, demonstration of impacts beyond the project level, including contribution of projects to the SDGs, and adoption of risk management approaches, especially in fragile contexts.
Photo by IISD/ENB SDG 16 Expert Group Meeting Elicits Experiences, Recommendations for Accelerated Implementation
29 May 2019: Participants discussed how to achieve peaceful, just and inclusive societies at an expert group meeting (EGM) on SDG 16. The EGM was the last in a series taking place in preparation for the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is carrying out an in-depth review of Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17. The EGM was preceded by a civil society pre-conference, which resulted in the ‘Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG 16+.’
Featured Image -200 UNCTAD Launches Resources on Sustainable Foreign Direct Investment
May 2019: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has developed an online platform to promote and facilitate investment for the SDGs. The platform brings together an array of resources on sustainable foreign direct investment (FDI), presents investment opportunities, and gives investment promotion agencies "a platform to network."
Featured Image - 293 UNDP Reports on Human Impact of Stockholm Convention Implementation Projects
April 2019: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has published a report that highlights the results, lessons learned and human impact from eight GEF-funded UNDP projects to implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

18th Session of the WMO Congress
3-14 June 2019 | Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea
10-14 June 2019 | New York City, US
XIII UNESCO Creative Cities Conference
10-15 June 2019 | Italy
Global NDC Conference 2019
11-14 June 2019 | Berlin, Germany
First Meeting of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response ...
13-14 June 2019 | Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
First Meeting of the LCIPP Facilitative Working Group
14-16 June 2019 | Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth
15-16 June 2019 | Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan
Expert Dialogue on Technologies for Averting, Minimizing and Addressing Loss and Damage in Coastal Z...
17 June 2019 | Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
World Day to Combat Desertification 2019
17 June 2019 | Ankara, Turkey (worldwide)
29th Meeting of States Parties to UNCLOS
17-19 June 2019 | New York City, US
ALTER-Net and EKLIPSE Conference: The EU Biodiversity Strategy Beyond 2020
17-19 June 2019 | Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
International Soil Congress 2019
17-19 June 2019 | Ankara, Turkey
Ecosystem Services Partnership Regional Conference Africa 2019
17-20 June 2019 | Togo
Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission
17-21 June 2019 | Incheon, Republic of Korea
Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019
17-21 June 2019 | Incheon, Republic of Korea
EU Sustainable Energy Week 2019
17-21 June 2019 | Brussels, Belgium