Since they were first adopted, regional forums on sustainable development have played a significant role in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the regions. However, their contribution at a global level has had limited visibility.
Cepei, under the leadership of its director, Philipp Schönrock, will participate in the five regional forums on sustainable development between March 3 and April 7, in Kigali (Rwanda), San Jose (Costa Rica), Beirut (Lebanon), Bangkok (Thailand), and Geneva (Switzerland).
During his mission, Schönrock seeks to share with the international community a series of recommendations on the future of the forums, based on Cepei’s analysis, supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The study demonstrates the need to strengthen this regional mechanism in the interest of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum, the most important global forum for monitoring the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to Schönrock, “regional forums should be considered an opportunity to promote transparency and accountability. In particular, the forums could act as articulators of the UN reform process at the regional level”. In this sense, the analysis conducted by Cepei makes recommendations on how to improve the efficiency and timeliness of the forums in the new international context and the United Nations regional reform, led by the Secretary-General since 2017.
What is the future of the regional forums on sustainable development?
This year, the forums will focus on recovering from the pandemic while implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The UN regional commissions —Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Asia, Asia-Pacific, and Europe—, will share good practices in the progress towards sustainable development.
“Cross-regional work helps identify common challenges and find collaborative solutions. The contribution of regions is decisive to meet the 2030 Agenda”, stated Cepei’s director.
Analyzing the future of regional forums on sustainable development also means looking at:
- Strengthening the forums as platforms to promote transparency towards meeting the 2030 Agenda and the UN regional reform.
- The Forums capacity to support cities in preparing their Voluntary Local Reports the 2030 Agenda monitoring mechanism at the territory level.
- The need to count on a systematization mechanism that contributes to making the outcomes of the forums well-known to make visible their contributions to the 2030 Agenda.
- Existing weaknesses in terms of cross-regional work could help identify common challenges and find joint solutions.