The event, presented by the governments of UAE, Colombia and Romania, UNDP, and OECD, launched the Global Hub on Governance for the SDGs, a joint OECD-UNDP initiative, which aims to facilitate targeted support to interested countries tackling the specific governance challenges of SDG implementation. The Hub will provide a space for national experts and practitioners to interact and learn from each other, and will align with other existing and planned SDG initiatives to leverage SDGs 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) as key enablers of the entire 2030 Agenda.
Opening the event, Angel Gurría, Secretary General, OECD, said inclusive, strong, and accountable institutions are key to achieving the SDGs, adding that the Hub will address the governance bottlenecks that make achieving the SDGs challenging. He noted that challenges persist everywhere, including in advanced economies. Gurría highlighted that a whole-of-government approach to SDG implementation is paramount, adding that the Hub will strengthen governance mechanisms at all levels by enabling governments to develop tailor-made solutions to their specific needs.
Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP, noted that good governance systems enable the predictability of rule of law, and thus attract investments and economic growth. He explained that the Hub aims to help governments navigate the complexity that the SDGs bring to development planning. Noting that the internet exacerbates current global challenges such as enabling and expanding human trafficking and hate speech, he underscored that international cooperation, including through the Hub, will be essential to address them. Steiner added that the Hub will help harness “the extraordinary level of experimentation and innovation” taking place in the internet and governance fields.
Eugen Teodorovici, Minister of Public Finance, Romania, highlighted the need to involve ministers of finance in discussing governance for the SDGs. He expressed Romania’s readiness to share knowledge and best practices acquired in SDG implementation through the Hub, including on stakeholders and mobilization of local governments. He announced that starting in 2020 Romania will integrate the SDGs in its national budget.
Noting the need to establish platforms for meaningful government cooperation in support of the SDGs, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, United Arab Emirates (UAE), said that UAE will host some of the Hub’s activities and will create an accelerator to advance its development and utilization.
Andres Rugeles Pineda, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, highlighted the value of learning lessons through peer exchange and tailored support and said Colombia would lead on the monitoring and evidence pillar.
During a panel discussion, Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Uganda, discussed the preparation of Uganda’s national SDG framework, including through a consultative process and integrating the SDGs into national governmental processes.
Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime Minister, Aruba, noted special governance challenges that small-scale societies face and highlighted national efforts to implement e-governance.
Gabriela Agosto, Executive Secretary of the National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies, Argentina, noted challenges with increasing protectionism and difficulties in accessing the global trade system, and said an exchange of ideas and experiences with other countries would be beneficial.
Ruairí de Búrca, Director General, Irish Aid, said Ireland has used the climate agenda to drive a whole of government approach, but noted that existing frameworks for development and delivery need to be adjusted to deliver this agenda.
André Weidenhaupt, Director General, Department of the Environment, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg, noted national initiatives that would fit into the Hub: a toolbox for municipalities to help put the 2030 Agenda into practice at the local level; a sustainability check process, through which all legislative proposals will be reviewed with regard to their compatibility with the SDGs; and a toolbox that addresses policy coherence for sustainable development.
Eddy Maloka, CEO, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), said the APRM promotes good governance through experience sharing at the highest level, and added that the Hub will be an important resource for the Mechanism.
Ahmed Kamaly, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform for Planning Affairs, Egypt, reviewed Egypt’s Voluntary National Review and said governance was one of the challenges it identified.
In conclusion, Marcos Bonturi, Director, Public Governance, OECD, highlighted that the next steps will include engaging with member countries, UNDP partners, and others who have expressed an interest in the Governance Hub. Haoliang Xu, Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP, said that while we know that global challenges include addressing climate change, deforestation, poverty, and inequality, the solutions need to become more sophisticated. He noted that the partnership will seek to help governments address these challenges and achieve the development outcomes that the global community has set for itself.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) meeting coverage, provided web coverage from the Launch of Global Hub on Governance for the SDGs.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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Ricardo Sánchez Torres, OECD | [email protected]