The voluntary national review (VNR) is a process through which countries assess and present national progress made in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda encourages member States to "conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven".
National reviews serve as a basis for the regular global reviews by the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) held every year in July in New York. The VNR aims to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNR also seeks to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multistakeholder support and partnerships for SDG acceleration. VNRs are not only a reporting mechanism to periodically take stock, but also a tool to continuously reflect and improve on the SDG implementation process itself.
Achieving the SDGs requires multistakeholder efforts and VNRs provide a great opportunity to lead and mobilize support for an open, transparent, participatory, and multistakeholder approach to SDG implementation. Multistakeholder engagement for the VNRs promotes ownership and raises public knowledge of national initiatives to achieve the SDGs. By forging new partnerships, it increases the accessibility of resources like funding, technical know-how, analytical tools, and data. Furthermore, it makes VNRs more cohesive and comprehensive, promoting integrated approaches to sustainable development.
All countries in South and South-West Asia (SSWA) have completed and reported two VNRs, whereas Nepal is preparing their third report to be presented in 2024. While reporting on the specific context of each country, the VNR also outline challenges, many of which are similar across countries, especially within the same region.
This VNR Clinic aims to facilitate the exchange of good practices in preparing VNRs and present ESCAP’s support for the VNR process. It will provide an opportunity to discuss the role of VNRs as enablers for multistakeholder partnerships and improve policy frameworks to accelerate SDG implementation.
The clinic seeks to:
- Offer a space to discuss VNR preparation.
- Foster capacity building and peer learning by providing advice on VNR preparation processes and key challenges encountered in 2nd and 3rd VNRs.
- Provide an overview of ESCAP’s VNR support and tools.
- Promote south-south cooperation on the VNRs and SDG acceleration.