Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region Geneva

There are only 10 years to go until the year 2030 and although the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has triggered progress in many areas, the speed and scale of implementation is not enough to achieve the required sustainability transformation. Last year, in September 2019 at the UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), World Leaders marked the year 2020 as the beginning of the “Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development” 2020-2030. Ambitious action is therefore needed to accelerate progress and to bring about deep transformative change. 

The UNECE Regional Forum invited key stakeholders from governments, civil society, academia and the private sector to be informed on recent developments. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Regional Forum 2020 was held as a virtual meeting. It was the first time ever that a UNECE Forum took place in this exceptional format and the UNECE Geneva team managed to organize the Forum in an innovative way. The online exchange was a promising start, but unfortunately, all presentations were very much shortened and little time was left for discussion. More than 300 participants connected virtually. Prior to the Forum, a virtual civil society meeting was held on 18 March. 

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Vaqif Sadiqov, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN in Geneva, chaired the Forum and high-level speakers were Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Ms. Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General. They both stressed the importance of the process of follow up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. Policies on climate change should be more ambitious and game changing solutions must be found. The SDGs should be brought to schools, classes and households. Young people must be better equipped to prepare for the future. 

The Regional Forum addressed SDGs actions around four main subjects: 

  1. Accelerating action and delivery for sustainable development in the UNECE region
  2. Accelerating SDG progress through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs)
  3. Actions for green and inclusive change
  4. Economic transformation, finance and technology for SDG acceleration.

Gender issues were not addressed as a specific item but were mentioned under each of the four subjects. UNECE contributes to the achievement of SDG 5 on gender equality by mainstreaming gender equality in all its activities.

Click below to read the full report from Els Van Winckel, main representative of the Zonta International United Nations Committee, Geneva. 

Full report in English

Full report in French