High-level political forum: reflecting population data and migration trends in the VNRs

09 July 2020


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides for a comprehensive process to review progress made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets at national, regional and global levels. Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) allow Member States to present the progress made at the national level during the annual High-level Political Forum. These reviews, prepared through a country-led process supported by UN system entities, aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences — both successes and challenges — among Member States, with a view towards accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated data on population trends, including migration trends, are required to measure progress in implementing the SDGs and to ensure that no one is left behind (A/RES/70/1). Indeed, population data are crucial for the compilation of a large number of indicators contained in the global
indicator framework for monitoring the SDGs and targets (A/RES/71/313).

This VNR lab aims to bring together national policymakers and experts from countries that have recently prepared VNRs, as well as representatives of international organizations and other stakeholders, with a view to exchanging knowledge and sharing good practices on the use of population data, including data on migration, for VNRs and national SDG monitoring.

The lab will provide a forum for countries to discuss their experiences in integrating population-related data and indicators into their VNRs. Participants will review good practices and lessons learned in collecting, compiling and disseminating population and related data and indicators. The lab will facilitate a discussion of recommended actions to accelerate the availability, quality and comparability of such information over the next decade.



Organization of work

Thursday, 9 July 2020


12:00 - 12:05




12:05 - 12:40

Presentations by panelists (7-8 minutes each)

  • Panelists

    • Ms. Reiko Hayashi, Deputy Director-General, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan
    • Ms. Gabriela Rodriguez Ramirez, Secretary-General, National Population Council, Mexico
    • Ms. Aurelia Spataru, Deputy Director-General, National Bureau of Statistics, Republic of Moldova
    • Mr. Jacques Van Zuydam, Chief Director, National Population Unit, Republic of South Africa
  • Questions (Each panelist should address the following question):
    • What are the policy priorities for your country in the area of population and how were these reflected in your country’s most recent VNR? Each panelist should consider two of the following questions:
    • What have been the practices in including population data, including migration data, in your VNR?
    • What are some key challenges that your country faced in incorporating demographic data in the VNR?
    • What were some lessons learned in collecting, compiling and disseminating population data and related indicators and in applying those to the VNR?
    • How can countries enhance the use of quality, disaggregated demographic data and indicators in their future VNRs?


12:40 - 12:55



12:55 - 13:00

Conclusion remarks and closing

For additional information about this VNR lab, please contact: Victor Gaigbe-Togbe (gaigbe-togbe@un.org), Population Division / UN DESA

  • Panelists

Reiko Hayashi
Dr. Reiko Hayashi is Deputy Director-General of Japan’s National
Institute of Population and Social Security Research (IPSS). Prior to joining IPSS in 2012, she served in Senegal as technical advisor to the Minister of Health (2008–2011) and was engaged in other projects concerning population and health in various countries. Her research covers health and population development, and her current focus is on global ageing and measurement of health, morbidity and mortality. She holds a PhD in policy studies from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan.

Gabriela Rodríguez Ramírez
Gabriela Rodríguez Ramírez is Secretary-General of the National
Population Council of Mexico. She has focused her work in various sectors, including the academia, Civil Society organizations and government. In her current function she is working on educational planning and the study and policy making of gender and sexuality of adolescents. She has a B.A. in Educational Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Anthropology; with a Diploma in Public Policy Assessment and Population Leadership.

Aurelia Spataru
Aurelia Spataru is acting as Deputy General Director at the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova. She is responsible for the management, among others, of the departments responsible for social and population statistics. At UNDP Moldova she has led the work on the national implementation of the SDGs and currently, on behalf of the National Bureau of Statistics, she is the national focal point for the SDGs data production. She holds a B.A. in economics.

Jacques van Zuydam
Jacques van Zuydam is Chief Director of the National Population Unit of the government of South Africa. His work entails integrating population concerns into the programs of national government departments, provinces and local governments in South Africa. His responsibilities also include population and development research, and to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the country’s population policy. He has a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Sociology and is a Fellow of the international Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Programme.

  • Moderator

Frank Swiaczny
Frank Swiaczny is Chief of the Population Trends and Analysis Branch of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. Prior to joining the United Nations, he served as a senior research fellow at the Federal Institute for Population Research in Germany. He earned a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Mannheim, Germany, and has worked for more than 20 years in both academia and government, working on national and international issues in the area of population and development.