27 June 2017
VNR Main Messages Highlight Diverse SDG Approaches
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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Most of the 44 countries that are participating in the 2017 VNRshave issued "main messages".

The documents from Kenya, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Denmark show that countries are adopting various approaches and measures to implement and follow up on SDG implementation.

27 June 2017: The countries participating in the 2017 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) have adopted various measures related to SDG implementation, related to institutional arrangements, monitoring, financing, accountability, integration in planning and legislative documents, localization and inclusion. Those measures are outlined in the participating countries’ “main messages,” which have been posted on the website for the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The VNRs are a component of the 2030 Agenda’s follow-up and review process at the global level, and are presented during the annual session of the HLPF under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This year, the 44 VNR presentations will take place from 17-19 July 2017, during the HLPF Ministerial Meeting and ECOSOC High-level Segment. Some countries have already made available their full VNR report.

In its main messages, Kenya says that it launched the SDGs nationally on 14 September 2016, and has used social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to disseminate SDG messages to the public. It reports that it: prepared an SDGs roadmap; has mapped the 17 SDGs with its Vision 2030 Second Medium Term Plan (MTP) objectives; and plans to integrate the SDGs into its third MTP, for 2018-2022. Kenya also notes that the Government has directed all ministries, departments and agencies to mainstream the SDGs into policy, planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation systems and processes, and that officials for planning and budgeting have been trained.

At the institutional level, SDG implementation and monitoring is coordinated by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The SDGs focal point within the Ministry offers technical backstopping for SDGs within government and among stakeholders. Kenya’s main messages also note that an Inter-Agency Technical Committee has also been set up, including members from line ministries, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the National Council for Population and Development, representatives from civil society organizations, and the private sector. On monitoring and reporting, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has undertaken an indicator mapping, and identified 128 indicators out of the 230 global SDG indicators that can be measured with available data or data that can be produced within one to two years with minimum effort. The Government is in the process of integrating climate change into the curriculum for primary and secondary levels of education, and has placed a total ban on plastic bags with effect from August 2017. The other countries of the African Group that are participating in the 2017 VNRs are Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Togo and Zimbabwe.

Indonesia’s main messages note that its Ministry of National Development Planning (“Bappenas”) is assigned to coordinate the entire process of planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the SDGs, and that the government seeks to involve stakeholders in the implementing team and working group within the SDGs National Coordinating Team. Indonesia plans to incorporate the SDGs into the fourth phase of its National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2025, and into its Long Term Development Plan (RPJPN) 2025-2045.

Indonesia reports that it has developed 87 SDG indicators, and is establishing a “One data portal” that is coordinated by Bappenas, the Office of the Presidential Staff (KSP) and Statistics Indonesia (BPS). On financing, Indonesia intends to include in its SDGs Indonesia Action Plan contributions and commitments from non-state actors (philanthropy, businesses and social organizations), and to document these contributions so as to measure, monitor and evaluate them. Indonesia notes that the country has guidelines for green banking and green financing, a sustainable finance program to provide financing to institutions that apply sustainable finance principles, and is initiating the implementation of circular economy by improving resource efficiency and reducing waste. The other countries from the Asia-Pacific Group that are participating in the 2017 VNRs are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cyprus, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Qatar, Tajikistan, Thailand.

Within the four countries from the Eastern European Group that have volunteered for the 2017 VNRs, the Czech Republic reports in its main messages that it has adopted Czech Republic 2030, which will serve as the main implementation platform for the SDGs in the country. The document sets 97 specific goals aimed at improving people’s well being, while respecting sustainable development principles, and will serve as an overarching framework for sectoral, regional and local strategies.

According to the Czech Republic’s main messages, its Government Council on Sustainable Development (GCSD), chaired by the Prime Minister, is coordinating the sustainable development agenda at the national level. The document notes that preparing for the VNR has provided an “important opportunity” to re-assess national sustainable development priorities in relation to the SDGs, and to critically evaluate the current state of implementation. In this regard, the Government in consultation with relevant stakeholders prepared a ‘National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Czech Republic’ as an input to the HLPF. It notes that poverty reduction, the unemployment rate and the fight against communicable diseases are already close to the 2030 target levels, but gender equality, non-medical determinants of health (emissions of hazardous substances, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco) and quality of earnings and lifelong learning opportunities are still far from the 2030 aspirations.

On accountability, the Czech Republic states that compliance of sectoral and regional strategic documents, programs and measures with Czech Republic 2030 and progress on national goals will be monitored by a biannual analytical report on quality of life and its sustainability, prepared by the GCSD. In addition, Czech Republic 2030 will be supported by a voluntary commitments framework, to allow civil society, private sector and other actors and individuals to participate in implementation and encourage partnerships. The three other countries from Eastern Europe that are participating in the 2017 VNRs are Azerbaijan, Belarus and Slovenia.

As one of the 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries volunteering for the 2017 VNRs, Brazil’s main messages note that it has established the National Commission for the SDGs, which is an advisory and parity body composed of 16 representatives from Federal, State, District, Municipal governments and civil society. The Commission is tasked with proposing and monitoring initiatives for SDG implementation at the state, district and municipal levels. In addition, the Brazilian National Congress has created the Joint Parliamentary Front to Support the SDGs, a non-partisan action that brings together more than 200 house representatives and senators, equivalent to a third of its parliamentarians.

On accountability, the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) created the SDGs Project and carried out a pilot audit to evaluate how the Brazilian Federal Government is preparing to implement the 2030 Agenda, in terms of institutionalization and internalization of the Agenda, and alignment of its national strategy with the SDGs, monitoring, evaluation and transparency. It also developed a training course on the role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Brazil reports that 86% of the SDG targets and 78% of the SDG indicators show convergence with the attributes of its current Multi-Year Plan (Plano Plurianual – PPA) 2016-2019.

At the local level, Brazil’s National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) developed a guide for localizing the SDGs in municipalities, and a guide for incorporating the SDGs into Municipal Multi-Year Plans for the period 2018-2021. Brazil outlines tools that will support the planning and dissemination of the SDGs, such as SDGs Strategy, an electronic website aiming to broaden the SDG debate and propose means of implementation for the SDGs, and SDG networks including civil society, private sector, governments and academia at the national and subnational levels. These networks include the Civil Society Working Group for the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs Brazil Network, and the Nós Podemos (We Can) National SDGs Movement. Argentina, Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Uruguay also will be part of the 2017 VNRs.

According to its main messages, Denmark’s government has formulated an action plan for the 2030 Agenda centered on the five “P’s” of the 2030 Agenda (prosperity, people, planet, peace, and partnerships), accompanied by 37 targets that each include one or two national indicators. Denmark states that its Ministry of Finance is responsible for coordinating SDG implementation at the national level, but line ministries are responsible for designing policies compatible with the SDGs “when relevant.” It adds that the Ministry of Finance maintains close coordination of efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for SDGs in the context of the UN and other international fora.

Denmark reports that the government already assesses the economic, environmental and gender consequences of new legislation, and will assess the consequences of new legislation and of major initiatives on the SDGs, when considered relevant in the Danish context and where the impact is significant. It adds that the government will present an annual progress report and a “quadrennial status report” on its action plan to the Parliament, and is reflecting on possible modalities for a partnership platform in Denmark.

The other countries from the Group of Western European and Other States (WEOG) that are participating in the 2017 VNRs are: Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. [VNRs 2017 Online Platform] [HLPF 2017 Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Main Messages of Countries in Special Situations] [Policy Brief: What to Expect at HLPF 2017]

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