UN DESA and UNSSC host the Second Global Workshop in Bonn for national delegates from countries preparing their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to be presented at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)

Around 70 delegates from 37 countries are in Bonn to attend the Second Global Workshop for countries conducting a Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the July 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) taking place at the UN Bonn’s Langer Eugen building from 19th-20th February. Jointly organised by the Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development at UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, this is the second preparatory workshop in a series of three. The workshop is a crucial platform for member states to exchange experiences from their ongoing VNR preparation processes and, in turn, learn from each other. Made possible through the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the workshop is being chaired by the President of ECOSOC, Her Excellency Ms. Inga Rhonda King.

Recognising the role of VNRs as instrumental for the review and follow-up process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 51 member states have volunteered to present their VNRs at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in July 2019. National delegates from over 37 countries are currently attending the workshop in Bonn, alongside observers from 4 UN Regional Commissions, other UN entities, and the European Commission.

Platforms such as the one provided by this workshop are key towards reviewing the current state of implementation of the 2030 Agenda at national level, as well as strengthening the review and follow-up framework of the agenda. By ensuring more rigorous, evidence-based and inclusive VNRs being presented at the HLPF, the workshop aims to maximize the usefulness of the VNRs and the HLPF for all countries. The workshop began with member states engaging in a lively discussion about where they stand in their preparation of the VNRs, their areas of greatest progress as well as the challenges they have faced so far. Sessions chaired by different member states throughout the day, focused on topics such as ensuring ownership of the VNRs and ensuring engagement by governments and public institutions, discussing the scope and content of the VNR reports, leveraging data for the national implementation of the SDGs and the VNRs, among others. Day two of the workshop will focus on discussions sessions built around engaging non-state actors in the VNRs process, as well as leveraging VNRs in mobilizing resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Member states delegates will also receive inputs on how the VNRs will be presented and discussed at the HLPF is July. The workshop will close with member state delegates discussing next steps in their VNR preparation process.

Besides informing the continuous improvement of the follow-up and review process at the global level, general lessons learned from the various exchanges among countries at the two-day workshop will also contribute to preparing the review of the resolutions on the HLPF by the General Assembly at its 74th session, which will provide an opportunity to improve the VNR process.

The UNSSC is the learning organization of the United Nations system, headquartered in Turin, Italy. The UNSSC designs and delivers learning programmes for UN staff and their partners. The Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in Bonn has been established by the UNSSC to respond to the learning, training, and knowledge management needs of UN Staff and UN partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Knowledge Centre facilitates the implementation of these global agreements by offering joint learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities to all stakeholders. The Knowledge Centre offers customised training, workshops, and collaborative spaces and actively engages in the successful implementation of the global plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.

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