African countries reviewing their sustainable development progress met to share stories, best practices and lessons learned at the annual ECA Regional Workshop on Voluntary National (VNRs) and Local Reviews.
In her opening remarks, Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary of the ECA, commended these countries, noting that this represents “continuing follow-through by Africa on its global commitments to sustainable development”.
Participants stressed the urgency of moving from plans to action and implementation while ensuring that the frameworks in place foster inclusive growth.
Liberia is among the countries pursuing VNRs. The country’s Deputy Minister of Economic Management, Augustus J. Flomo, underscored that the VNR represents a means to align national development policies with the SDGs while taking national priorities into account. He highlighted the need for stakeholder involvement to ensure the review helps build towards the developmental needs of the people.
Discussions shed light on how to ensure that the inputs and voices of youth and civil society groups are well reflected in the VNR process, and how this can be closely linked to the localization of SDG initiatives at municipal and district levels.
Specific sessions focused on the unique issues facing countries undertaking their first VNR, how to link across pre-and post-covid reviews of SDG progress, and regional and global partnerships to support implementation.
The outcomes of this workshop will help the 21 countries improve and finalize their VNRs ahead of their presentation at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York in July.