Highlights and images for 14 July 2021

Regional reflection of SDGs

On the penultimate day of HLPF 2020, the Forum heard messages from the regions about progress towards achieving the SDGs.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stresses the importance of the regional and sub-regional dimensions in follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the creation of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN Regional Commissions have organized forums for regional follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. On Wednesday, the first session focused on messages from the regions on how to improve recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while injecting momentum into the attainment of the SDGs.

Impact of COVID-19 across the regions

The Chairs of the five 2021 Regional Forums on Sustainable Development reported on the recommendations from their meetings.

Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Minister of Tourism and Environment, Republic of the Congo


Mereseini Rakuita Vuniwaqa, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji

The Executive Secretaries of the five UN Regional Commissions also presented messages.

In the interactive dialogue “Voices from the regions,” regional representatives from civil society and the private sector discussed COVID-19 recovery efforts and how they are working to achieve and implement the SDGs.

Christoph Steck, Telefonica S.A., Spain

The remainder of the day focused on ten presentations of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). China, Afghanistan, Denmark, Thailand, Chad, Norway, the Bahamas, Tunisia, and the Dominican Republic presented their second VNRs, and Sierra Leone presented its third.

All of the VNR presentations stressed the multi-stakeholder nature of the VNR process. Denmark noted that all new legislation in its country is linked to the SDGs. Norway emphasized that youth are at the heart of its strategy.

Isa Maline Isene, President, Norwegian Children and Youth Council

China cited its success with eradication of absolute poverty, achieving its goal 10 years ahead of schedule. Afghanistan described how it is integrating the 2030 Agenda into its national peace and development framework. Thailand underlined its focus on a Bio-Circular-Green economic model. 

Tunisia noted the need to improve women’s equality, violence against women, and engage more women in policymaking. The Bahamas recalled the dual challenge of managing a Category 5 hurricane in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, while maintaining its commitment to the SDGs. 

Chad and the Dominican Republic described their countries’ focus on education and digital connectivity. Sierra Leone described its education programme, which provides free primary education, free school meals and textbooks to children.

Sierra Leone's VNR

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