Forty-eight VNRs Anticipated in Revised HLPF Schedule
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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Of the 48 scheduled VNRs, 26 countries will be presenting for the first-time and 21 countries will be presenting for the second-time.

Benin will be the only country presenting a third VNR.

The UN is exploring technological solutions for virtual sessions and interaction, including for the VNR presentations, due to the fact that any potential physical participation will be limited to New York-based delegates only.

Forty-eight countries are expected to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during the July 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). 

The presentation of VNRs are a central focus of the annual global “check in” on implementation of the SDGs – the HLPF. VNRs present each country’s experiences, policies, and institutions for the implementation of the SDGs.

In mid-February 2020, 51 countries were listed for presenting VNRs during the 2020 HLPF. Since then, two first-time presenters (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Bolivia) have rescheduled their presentation to the 2021 HLPF session. Belize was expected to present a second VNR at HLPF 2020, but is no longer on the schedule.

Three fewer countries will present VNRs than anticipated, and the updated programme provides for presentations on “building back better after COVID.”

The overarching theme for HLPF 2020 is, ‘Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.’ An updated schedule for HLPF 2020, released on 14 May, anticipates that the first three days will consist of presentations on themes related to “building back better after COVID.” VNR presentations will begin on the fourth day of the HLPF, 10 July, and will continue until the final day, 16 July. 

The Bureau of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is making adjustments to the format and programme of the 2020 session light of the COVID-19 pandemic and expected limitations on in-person meetings and international travel. The UN is exploring technological solutions for virtual sessions and interaction, including for the VNR presentations, due to the fact that any potential physical participation will be limited to New York-based delegates only. All side events will be virtual

Of the 48 scheduled VNRs, 26 countries will be presenting for the first-time and 21 countries will be presenting for the second-time. Benin will be the only country presenting a third VNR. 

The 26 first-time presenters are: Austria, Barbados, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Micronesia, Mozambique, North Macedonia, Papua New Guinea, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.

The 21 second-time presenters are: Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Honduras, India, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Samoa, Slovenia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

In 2021, the Marshall Islands will join the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Bolivia as first-time presenters. Bhutan, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Laos, Slovakia, Spain, and Thailand are also scheduled to present second VNRs. [VNR database]


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