The Sustainable Development Transition Forum (SDTF), hosted by the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Division for Sustainable Development of UN DESA (DFD) and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), was held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from October 30th to November 1st, 2017. Javier Surasky, Governance for Development Coordinator, represented Cepei at the Forum.
The Forum builded on the results and views of its 2016 version and helped bridge the thematic focus of the 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), “Eradicate Poverty and Promote Prosperity in a Changing World,” and the thematic focus of 2018 HLPF, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”, including SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), which are the Objectives prioritized by the HLPF next year.
The SDTF 2017 objectives were to achieve a better understanding of the specific successes, lessons and mechanisms to foster the profound transformation our societies need on the road to sustainability and resilience, as expressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In discussing the specific thematic approaches and selected SDGs of the 2017 and 2018 HLPF, the 2017 Transition Forum aimed to strike the right balance between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development throughout its different sessions. The event brought together more than 100 participants from governments, UN agencies, Think Tanks, development banks and academic institutions around the world.
To achieve the Forum´s objectives, the following six sessions were convened:
- Transformation towards sustainable societies
- Integration and monitoring of SDGs
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDGs and finance
- Transformation towards resilient societies
- Exploring the SDG Nexus
The meeting was joined by distinguished personalities: Dr. Jong Soo Yoon, UNOSD Director; The Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Dr. Kim Eunkyung; Dr. Guenther Bachmann, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development; and Marie Chatardová, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Javier Surasky, the Governance for Development Coordinator of Cepei, participated in session 1, “Transformation towards sustainable societies”, with a presentation on multilateral projects, which took take place on October 30th.
“If we want the changes we are experiencing in the field of development to be beneficial, we must act in a coordinated and coherent manner”.
“Only through holistic schemes and integrated approaches is it possible to address the changes required by the 2030 Agenda for its implementation”.
“Data is essential for decisions to be coherent and informed, which is why it has become a global public good”.Javier Surasky, Governance for Development Coordinator, Cepei
“The Expert group meeting on the update of the Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines” was also held in Korea on November 1st.
The General Assembly of the United Nations requests the Secretary General to update, as appropriate, the guidelines for the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented by the countries each year at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The guidelines are voluntary, and countries are free to depart from them or apply them at their convenience. However, the reason for having guidelines is to promote consistency and comparability between the reports from one year to the next. The VNRs voluntary guidelines establish what could be contained in a review.
Cepei also participated in this meeting which focused on discussing recommendations for the VNR’s Guidelines, as the only Latin American civil society actor.
“None of the 14 Latin American countries that submitted their Voluntary Reviews fully applied the Voluntary Guidelines proposed by the Secretary General of the UN”.
“The Voluntary Guidelines create a common language among the countries when presenting their progress to the global community”.
“The Voluntary Guidelines should not be considered a set of titles to be filled, but a proposal of common work standards to inform”.
“Voluntary Reviews are being presented as photographs of specific moments when they should be considered part of a moving movie.”
“We have to work on reports that subscribe to the review cycle logic, abandoning linear approaches.”Javier Surasky, Governance for Development Coordinator, Cepei