At the online launch of the 6th edition of the Progressing National SDGs Implementation report, 13 civil society organisations (CSOs) from around the world, including the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), called on governments and other global development stakeholders to “redouble their efforts to address gaps and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda,” amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report is an annual, independent review and analysis of how governments are implementing the 2030 Agenda. It examines the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) reports submitted to the United Nations HLPF every year, as well as a sample of related civil society reports. Moreover, it provides an assessment of progress on SDGs implementation, identifies best practices, and suggests improvements to VNR reports and processes.
Specific findings on civic space include the following:
An enabling environment and open civic space are essential conditions for the effective engagement of non-state actors, including civil society, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Consistent with previous years, the 2021 Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports were largely silent on the issue of shrinking civic space for civil society, although this is now a clearly established global trend.
Civil society parallel reports provide important information on how civic space is being closed in different countries, but these reports have no status in official VNR processes at national, regional or international levels.
You may access the Policy Brief on civic space here.
Some recommendations towards Leaving No One Behind as the world recovers from Covid-19 were:
Future VNRs should include reference to international and global commitments on COVID-19 and outline how multiple stakeholders can be involved to address crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
There must be report on how it affected the means of implementation of the SDGs, highlighting actions taken to address the crisis and reduce its impact. For countries presenting a subsequent VNR report to the HLPF, identify where progress has been made since initial policy and data assessments and provide information on changes between reporting years at national and subnational levels and for the furthest behind.
Ensure that stakeholders continue to be engaged even in light of challenging situations (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic) by promoting resilience and finding alternative ways through which to secure participation.
You may access the Policy Brief on Leaving no one behind here.