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Governments and other actors pressing ahead with SDG implementation in UNECE region

The UNECE region has taken promising first steps to implement the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Coming together at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region in Geneva on 25 April, about 45 governments and numerous other actors exchanged experiences and took stock of SDG progress. 

“There is a lot of good progress on SDGs in our region”, UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach said at the opening. Some one and a half years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, many countries have strong national strategies for sustainable development, anchored at the highest political level. Countries are aligning legislation and policies with the SDGs, and strengthen financial instruments and investments as well as data and monitoring to support SDG implementation.

Serving as an open platform that connects governmental and non-governmental actors in the region, the Regional Forum benefitted from strong engagement of numerous UN entities, in particular from the regional UN system, other international organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia.

The UN development system needs to reposition itself to help countries deliver on the 2030 Agenda, the Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, pointed out in the opening. Civil society, which held a well-attended preparatory consultation the day before the Regional Forum, called for meaningful involvement of civil society in SDG implementation and follow-up at all levels. For the private sector, the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Mr. John Danilovich, stressed that the awareness among business leaders is growing that there is a good business case for the SDGs.

Participants were reminded by local pupils sharing their expectations and concrete examples of engagement that youth is a powerful force for making the SDGs a reality in our societies.  

The outcomes of the Regional Forum will be submitted to the global High-level Political Forum (New York, 10-19 July 2017). The discussion will continue through various channels, including the UNOG SDG Lab and the SDG Stories platform. Regional Forums on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region will also be convened in 2018 and 2019, as decided at the UNECE Anniversary session following the Regional Forum.               


RFSD Website: www.unece.org/rfsd2017

RFSD page on SDG Stories platform: www.sdgstories.com/en/whess1980

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Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98046700@N04/albums