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UNECE region moving to action on SDGs

A few months after the ground-breaking 2030 Agenda entered into effect, governments and other actors across the region are gearing up to turn the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality. It became clear at this week’s Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, held in the framework of the UNECE Executive Committee in the morning of 10 May 2016, that many countries have started reviewing their national policies, strategies and structures as a first step towards SDG implementation. There is also an increasing awareness that the new agenda requires a much more intense inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral cooperation.

Looking at ways to track SDG progress, governments generally supported a regional review mechanism that focuses on voluntary learning among regional peers, exchange of best SDG practices and transboundary issues. This mechanism should be based on existing mechanisms and could act as a "docking station" to integrate various partners. It should also be anchored in national monitoring and reporting and feed into the global High-level Political Forum. In addition, significant efforts as well as UN support are required on data and SDG indicators, including in countries with UN presence.  

Many governments stressed that the UNECE region should set an example in terms of including partners and stakeholders such as the UN system, other regional and international organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia and others in SDG implementation and follow-up. At the Regional Forum, several groups of stakeholders were engaged as observers. Almost 20 UN entities were present. The views of civil society and the private sector were heard, including through a pre-meeting of non-state actors with the moderator of the Regional Forum, Ambassador Jan Kara, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, and government delegations.

Going forward, the Executive Committee decided to continue consultations on the shape of a possible future regional review mechanism, taking into account the ongoing global negotiations.