Workshops to Support VNR Countries in 2022 on a Global and Regional Scale

A series of seminars is currently taking place to assist the 45 countries that are conducting voluntary national reviews of SDG implementation. Other resources include regional seminars scheduled for March and April, the VNR handbook’s 2022 version, and an informal group of government peers. 

The first of three global workshops for VNR countries was hosted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Netherlands. It took place in a hybrid style from October 25 to 29, 2021, and covered the planning phase as well as sharing ideas from countries that have already conducted VNRs. 

Collen Kelapile, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), noted that countries’ interest in implementing VNRs demonstrates their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its importance as a path for greater recovery from COVID-19. 

The VNR process can serve as a “catalyzer to accelerate recovery from the pandemic, with governments encouraged to use it to identify and address barriers to SDG progress, strengthen institutions, align budgets with SDG implementation, and engage all branches of government and all stakeholders.  

In April 2022, the second worldwide workshop for VNR countries in 2022 will be held. It will concentrate on the lessons learned and problems experienced thus far in the process, as well as report preparation and presentation of the VNR at the HLPF. The third workshop, which will take place in July 2022, will focus on the final preparations for the HLPF presentation as well as the anticipated follow-up. 

The five regional commissions will convene their yearly fora for sustainable development in March and April 2022. Each event will likely include a workshop for countries preparing VNRs this year to share their regional experiences. 

The Permanent Representatives of Morocco and the Philippines are leading the informal Group of Friends of the Voluntary National Reviews, Follow-up, and Review of the HLPF to assist countries in delivering VNRs at the 2022 HLPF. Mexico has previously served as the Group’s chairman. 

DESA launched the 2022 edition of the manual in October 2021 for nations preparing Voluntary National Reviews of SDG implementation. The handbook includes a checklist as well as step-by-step instructions for starting the review, engaging stakeholders, and delivering the findings at the HLPF. 

The UN Secretariat must receive the “main messages” of each country’s VNR by 3 May 2022. This allows other countries and stakeholders to prepare for the HLPF by sharing emerging conclusions, key discoveries, and areas where the country could benefit from outside advice. By June 10, 2022, the full written national report will be due. 

As of 3 January 2022, 45 countries are on the list to present their VNR results. Togo and Uruguay are among these countries, and they will be the first to report for the fourth time. There are also twelve first-time presenters on the list. 

Comoros had expressed interest in hosting a VNR in the past, but it is no longer on the list for 2022, while St. Kitts and Nevis has been added. Comoros is one of the countries set to receive VNRs in 2023. 

Normally, the VNRs are presented in the second half of the annual HLPF meetings. The HLPF will be held from July 5 to 15, 2022. 

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