NEWS RELEASE: It’s a race against time and tide – CPDE at the UN HLPF, on achieving the SDGs by 2030


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Meg Yarcia, Communications Manager


It’s a race against time and tide – CPDE at the UN HLPF, on achieving the SDGs by 2030

New York, New YorkGlobal civil society platform CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) has called the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 “a race against time and tide,” and urged stakeholders to abide by effective development co-operation principles of country ownership, inclusive partnerships, transparency and accountability, and focus on results, to accelerate the achievement.

The statement comes after CPDE launched its annual study on the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and the SDG implementation, in time for the 2023 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, where leaders were expected to talk about attaining an inclusive recovery aligned with the 2030 Agenda following the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, the worsening inflation, and other socio-economic crises.

“Our platform finds the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda to be marked by half measures, spent promises, and a world in peril. We wish to highlight the urgent need for change and effective strategies, in order to achieve the SDGs,” said Matthew Simonds, CPDE Senior Policy Liaison.

The sixth in a series, which has consistently upheld the importance of institutionalised spaces for civil society to contribute to development, this year’s report reveals persisting barriers and gaps to CSO inclusion in the VNR and SDG processes. These include limited participation in CSO consultation structures, lack of information regarding SDG implementation, lack of resources devoted towards CSO participation, and bureaucratic challenges and red tape in governmental processes.

Moreover, the study points to the need to “continue to enhance the degree and quality of the integration of SDG strategies in national development planning.” Using the EDC as lens, the report finds that: 1) Regarding country ownership, integration of SDG strategies into national planning, implementation hurdles persist; 2) Developing and sustaining inclusive partnerships face the same issues, with limited involvement of CSOs even as more engagement mechanisms exist; 3) While there is progress in transparency and accountability, governments must enhance the quality of their information and data provision, and 4) a focus on results reveal that the impact on the ground remains largely unchanged.

To respond to these gaps, the study shares the following main messages: 1) Utilise the Effective Development Co-operation principles to ensure that development finance, especially ODA, contributes to the SDGs; 2) Donors must meet the 0.7% GNI target for ODA, and protect ODA’s core mandate to poverty eradication, to help build sustainable development pathways of partner countries; 3) More attention should be placed on achieving results that deliver the pledge to Leave No One Behind; and 4) Improve the quality of institutionalised spaces for CSOs participation in SDG implementation.

The 2023 CPDE study on the VNRs and SDG implementation engaged a diverse range of CSOs participants, with a total of 109 respondents from 64 countries. Out of this number, 19 countries conducted VNRs in 2023. The full report is available here, along with the other studies since 2018.

About CPDE. The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) is an open platform that unites CSOs from around the world on issues of effective development cooperation (EDC). Visit to know more.


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