Southern Voice at the High Level Political Forum 2017

This July, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) brought together various stakeholders to discuss progress on the implementation of the Agenda 2030. Forty-four countries presented their progress on the Agenda through their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Furthermore, progress of specific goals was also analysed. Southern Voice, along with its partners, was actively involved in the discussion.

Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair of Southern Voice, spoke at the session on “Leveraging Interlinkages for Effective Delivery of SDGs.” He highlighted the importance of the Global Partnership to facilitate the implementation of the SDGs in an integrated way. He called representatives to update the guidelines of the VNRs, and ensure that there are appropriate spaces for the review of the global partnership accomplishments.

Along with its partners, the United Nations Foundation, Save the Children, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Overseas Development Institute – the Southern Voice network co-hosted a series of dialogues with representatives from the countries that were participating in the VNR process this year. The dialogues focused on the policy options as well as the institutional arrangements required for accomplishing the SDGs. Southern Voice’s Research and Partnership Coordinator, Andrea Ordóñez highlighted that developing countries have the capacity to put forward plans, and programmes required to achieve the SDGs. However, she cautioned country representatives of the need for the arrangements to allow for the integration of traditionally unarticulated policy streams (the environmental, social, and economic dimensions).

Southern Voice also participated in the NeST-UNDP event, deliberating on “Data for SDG17: how to measure contributions towards Agenda 2030”.

Debapriya Bhattacharya was also a panelist at the side event on “Policy coherence, as a means for addressing dilemmas in SDG implementation”, co-organised by the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the OECD. In his presentation, the Chair of Southern Voice emphasised three areas that require attention to achieve policy coherence in this phase of the SDGs. First, attention must be given to having conceptual clarity of the different concepts currently used in the SDG debates, such as “coherence”, “coordination”, “interlinkages”. As a second point, coordination among ministries must be encouraged, and reviewed in the VNR processes. Finally, accountability processes should promote reporting both from countries, as well as the global community to assure that there is also alignment between what countries do and the support given by the Global Partnership.

Southern Voice will continue to produce research and analysis to inform the follow-up and review process in the following years. To strengthen the Agenda 2030, it will continue to increase the engagement of researchers from the Global South in the international development debates.

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