Source: Small Island Developing States
21 May 2019: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Presidents will expand a Group of Friends to consider two issues related to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the yearly Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of national-level progress, and the intergovernmental review of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is mandated to take place during the UNGA’s 74th session (2019-2020).
A Group of Friends on the VNRs was established by ECOSOC President Inga Rhonda King, and was expected to meet in April. The Group was intended to review reports on the VNRs, prepare the HLPF’s interactions on the VNRs, and support peer learning. The Group will now be jointly convened with the UNGA President, it will be led by one Member State, and it will address both the VNRs and the HLPF review. It is expected to consider these issues “on a phased basis.”
VNRs are presented during the HLPF session that takes place each July under the auspices of the ECOSOC. These reviews were called for by the 2030 Agenda to facilitate the sharing of national experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, in order to accelerate SDG implementation around the world.
The HLPF was established in 2013, through UNGA resolution 67/290, and its follow-up and review functions were clarified in UNGA resolution 70/299, which also sets out the specific themes of the Forum for 2017, 2018 and 2019, and the set of SDGs to be reviewed in depth in those years. By that resolution, the UNGA decides to review progress on the two resolutions’ implementation during the 74th session “to benefit from lessons learned in the first cycle” of the HLPF. An expert group meeting on lessons learned during the HLPF’s first four-year cycle took place in April 2019 to foster an initial exchange of views about the Forum.
In 2019, the HLPF will take place from 9-18 July, and VNR presentations are scheduled from 15-18 July. Approximately 400 applications have been received for side events during the Forum. [UNGA President Letter, Memo on 16 May meeting]