2020 Voluntary National Reviews Synthesis Report
Despite the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impacts, 47 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during the first virtual high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) held under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council from 7 to 16 July 2020. Since 2016, when the first reviews were presented, a total of 168 countries have reported on their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the launch this year of the Decade of Action and Delivery for sustainable development, some countries reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the 2030 Agenda and expressed the urgent need to a strengthened and accelerated implementation of the SDGs over the next ten years. As in previous years, this synthesis report provides an overview of the approaches and actions taken by all countries reporting in 2020, and showcases best practices, lessons learned, gaps and challenges encountered in working towards the achievement of the SDGs. Drawing from the VNR reports, key elements pertaining to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda are examined, including institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms, the principle of leaving no one behind and its application in national contexts, monitoring and data, stakeholder engagement and awareness raising, as well as the means of implementation. In addition, the report outlines actions taken on each of the SDGs. The report is not exhaustive; all examples chosen are illustrative, and their selection does not imply that the collection of 2020 VNRs do not also contain other equally valid and useful examples of country practices.