Southern Voice and the UN Foundation host events on delivering the 2030 Agenda at the National Level

Participants of the meetings on SDG implementation2

During the Integration Segment 2017, Southern Voice and the United Nations Foundation hosted two events to highlight the main challenges and opportunities of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national level from the perspective of experts in diverse contexts in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The first event, a breakfast roundtable, brought together representatives from 20 different Country Missions who were eager to explore in detail the main insights from in-country research. The diverse group of representatives had an enriching conversation on the progress made thus far, and ideas to strengthen the upcoming High Level Political Forum (HLPF). Mustafizur Rahman from the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) shared the experience of Bangladesh while Donald Mmari from REPOA focused on the example of Tanzania. Andrea Ordonez from the Southern Voice Secretariat synthesised the findings of the initiative’s research programme in eleven countries. The event was moderated by Minh-Thu Pham from the United Nations Foundation.

Participants of the meetings on SDG implementation1

An official side-event at the ECOSOC Integration Segment captioned “Delivering the 2030 Agenda at the National Level: Early Experience regarding Potential and Pitfalls” was the second gathering to discuss implementation of the Agenda 2030, engaging representatives from country missions, UN agencies and the civil society. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair of Southern Voice, gave an overview of emerging issues across the Global South, which were complemented by the experience of Sri Lanka, presented by Karin Fernando from the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), and the experience from Bolivia, presented by Lykke Andersen from Instituto de Estudios Avanzados en Desarrollo (INESAD). The discussion was moderated by Eric Porterfield from the United Nations Foundation.

From the events, five cross-cutting challenges of implementation emerged as particularly important for countries to succeed in the implementation of the SDGs,

  • Policy Integration. Successful implementation begins with a well-crafted integration of the vision of the 2030 Agenda to national plans. Countries already have in place development plans that reflect, to different degrees, the new development agenda. These experiences will have a positive impact on the countries’ abilities to start implementing policies relatively quickly.
  • Leadership and participation. Countries require strong leadership to succeed in the SDG era. While governments play an important role in leading the process, the leadership for accomplishing sustainable development must be shared among different stakeholders. Civil Society, the Private Sector and others can engage more actively in leading the implementation of the SDGs.
  • The persistent question in the following years will be how to finance the necessary policies. In the spirit of revitalizing the global partnership, the international community must support in country policies that support the SDGs. It must do so, however, through mechanisms that uphold countries’ priorities and plans instead of undermining them.
  • Gathering evidence and knowledge about implementation should not be an afterthought. Data that is representative of different groups and regions in different countries must be a critical first step in any plan to implement the SDGs.

Participants in both events shared their perspectives on the importance of the HLPF to maintain the international support to a universal agenda for sustainable development.

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