The side event "SDG Implementation at National Level: What’s the Point of National Reports?" focused on voluntary national reports (VNRs) and parallel “shadow” or “spotlight” reports generated by civil society organizations (CSOs) on progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Moderator Roberto Bissio, Social Watch, asked presenters to address whether the shadow reports lead to changes and what can be learned from each other’s experiences.

The annual UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) has a unique role to review progress, define policies and flag priorities at national, regional and global levels for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieving the SDGs. This agenda has also become the premier driver and justification for institutional, financial and data reforms and capacity development.

A number  of decisions have been adopted during the twelve months since the last HLPF that are central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, particularly the measurement of progress towards the SDGs and strategies to finance them. They are complemented by or responsive to proposals of the UN Secretary-General on the funding and institutional architecture of the UN system.

The experience of Voluntary National Reviews and of Civil Society shadow (or spotlight) reporting.

How it is key for meaningful participation and accountability

The national voluntary reporting to the High Level Political Forum of ECOSOC is a practice that has gained traction, as dozens of governments are volunteering each year to participate and contribute their VNRs. A number of CSOs have prepared their own shadow or spotlight reports to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda. Rising inequalities and the need to substantially change policies to achieve the SDGs is a common theme in many of them. Is there a meaningful dialogue between the official and the alternative reports? What is the value of the whole exercise.

The High-level Political Forum, United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

You will find here the information of Social Watch participation in the framework of the HLPF 2018.

Exploring new policy pathways: How to overcome obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Jointly organized by Arab NGO Network for Development, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, Public Services International, Global Policy Forum, Society for International Development, Social Watch, Third World Network with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development. Fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs. In particular, there is a need for more coherent fiscal and regulatory policies and a whole-of-government approach towards sustainability.

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