Source: Small Island Developing States
While 47 countries are now turning to the task of implementing the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented during the July 2020 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), other countries are preparing to present a VNR to the July 2021 session of the HLPF.
As of 21 July 2020, 15 countries have already signaled their interest in presenting a VNR at the 2021 HLPF session. Of these 15 countries, four countries – Angola, Bolivia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Marshall Islands – will be presenting their first VNR. Eleven countries – Bhutan, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Laos, Madagascar, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and Zimbabwe – intend to present second VNRs. [VNR database]
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development specifies, in paragraph 79, that Member States should “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven.” These reviews are supposed to draw on contributions from Indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, “in line with national circumstances, policies and priorities.” National parliaments and other institutions “can also support these processes.”
The 2030 Agenda also indicates, in paragraph 84, that when the HLPF is meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC, it shall carry out regular reviews that are voluntary and state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and involve developed and developing countries. The reviews are also to “provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.”
Of the 47 VNRs presented during HLPF 2020, 26 countries presented for the first-time and 20 countries presented for the second-time. Benin was the only country presenting a third VNR.
The 26 first-time presenters were: Austria, Barbados, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Micronesia, Mozambique, North Macedonia, Papua New Guinea, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.
The 20 second-time presenters were: Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Honduras, India, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Samoa, Slovenia, and Uganda.