In the context of the UN work to monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ATD Fourth World convened a breakfast dialogue on the theme ‘Strengthening Accountability through Collaboration in National Voluntary Reviews: Partners for Review’, organized together with the Bahá’í International Community, Regions Refocus, and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations on January the 26th 2017.
A diverse group of stakeholders attended the working breakfast to discuss key issues related to the challenges of national voluntary reviews to monitor Agenda 2030. In contrast to the 22 national voluntary presentations last year, this year there will be 44. The event kicked off with opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Jürgen Schulz the Deputy PermanentRepresentative of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations and Ms. Anita Nayar, Director of Regions Refocus. It was moderated by ATD Fourth World’s main representative to the UN, Ms. Cristina Diez.
Some key highlights of the discussion include:
- Every country has unique challenges, and National Voluntary Reviews could serve as a space to address these challenges and share best practices.
- National ownership is crucial. National voluntary presentations provide an opportunity to deepen national commitment. With it comes accountability and transparency. Ownership, engagement, and participatory approaches are important to implementation of SDGs.
- The 10 minute presentation of national voluntary reviews at the HLPF should be one step in a year long process of participatory monitoring and review.
- Given the need to squeeze 44 national voluntary review presentations into three days at the HLPF, innovative approaches are required. Space for peer learning, informal conversations, and small working groups is needed.
- A key challenge will be in inclusion of civil society in this process.The participation of traditionally impoverished, excluded and marginalized people in reviewing progress at national and local level should be integral to an open and inclusive process.
- Germany has launched “Partners for Review” – a transnational multi-stakeholder network for a robust review process . The inaugural meeting took place in November in Germany. A second meeting will likely take place this spring in Colombia.
The dialogue ended with affinity and agreement that collaboration is the best approach to make the National Voluntary Reviews a success.