The 2023 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will feature voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of SDG implementation from ten governments, as of 23 March 2022. No first-time reporters have signed up.

Panama will present its third VNR. The other presenters on the list are all preparing their second report. These countries are: Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Fiji, France, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Mongolia, and Singapore. 

Countries that have not yet conducted and presented a VNR since the process began in 2016 include Haiti, Myanmar, South Sudan, the US, and Yemen.

In March 2022, the Brookings Institution released a policy brief with several recommendations for strengthening the US government’s leadership on the SDGs, beginning with conducting a VNR. The VNR process and report could build on the extensive local and subnational work already underway to implement the SDGs and track progress, including in New York, Los Angeles, and Hawai’i. The brief also calls for: engaging civil society to establish a “shadow” VNR; creating a national SDG roadmap and committing to regular SDG reporting at both the domestic and global levels; and establishing an open data platform. The authors also observe that the US is the only country out of 20 principal OECD-DAC donors that has not incorporated the SDGs into policies guiding their international development investments and strategy.

The July 2023 session of the HLPF will have the theme, ‘Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.’ The SDGs that will be reviewed in-depth are:

  • SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation);
  • SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy);
  • SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure);
  • SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities); and
  • SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

Following the July 2023 HLPF, the UN General Assembly will hold another session of the HLPF at the level of heads of state and government in September 2023. These meetings take place every four years and known as SDG Summits, with the purpose of evaluating progress towards the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. [UN database on VNRs