Comparative analysis of the Voluntary National Reviews presented by LAC countries to the HLPF 2021

“Unsurprisingly, all countries have included information about the effects of COVID-19 and the measures taken to face them. When considering the immediate future, countries almost unanimously agreed on the need to link post-COVID-19 recovery plans with the implementation efforts of the 2030 Agenda, but the Secretary-General’s call for Building Forward Better has not been integrated into the policies of countries presenting their reports”. 

Javier Surasky

October 12, 2021

This document prepared by Cepei’s Governance area makes a comparative analysis of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) submitted by 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2021.

The central theme of the 2021 HLPF was “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: forging an inclusive and effective pathway for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the Decade of Action”.

Working in a predominantly virtual format, the 2021 HLPF had under special review SDGs 1. End poverty; 2. Zero hunger; 3. Health and well-being; 8. Decent work and economic growth; 10. Reducing inequalities; 12. Responsible production and consumption; 13. 

42 countries presented their VNRs, including eleven from Latin America and the Caribbean, and the focus of the analysis in this report: the sixth in an annual series aimed at generating evidence from the comparative study of the implementation efforts of the 2030 Agenda reported each year by their countries to the HLPF.

Main messages

Although there have been reforms to institutional systems and the broad consideration of multi-stakeholder efforts, there is still a clear imbalance between their place as direct implementers of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs and their place in the institutions leading the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.

International cooperation and external financing, especially on concessional terms, are the two most mentioned means of implementation.

The issues of data availability and strengthening statistical capacity receive less attention each passing year. Demands for external support are repeated but expressed in broad terms.

About the author

Javier Surasky

Ph.D. in International Relations (La Plata National University, Argentina) Master in International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action (International University of Andalucia). He has taught international cooperation courses at different postgraduate careers in Latin America and European universities.