Ms. Maria Francesca Spatolisano Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

Side Event on the 2030 Agenda under the Japanese Presidency of the G20

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past four years, progress has been made in a number of Sustainable Development Goals and targets. However, that progress has been slow on many Goals, and the most vulnerable people and countries continue to suffer the most.

As the Secretary-General pointed out, a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and economic transformation needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This is a collective endeavor, and the G20 has assumed a special responsibility.
At the Antalya Summit (2015), G20 leaders committed to developing an action plan to further align the G20´s actions with the 2030 Agenda.

This came into reality at the G20 Hangzhou Summit under the Chinese Presidency with the adoption of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda. For the first time, the G20 mainstreamed sustainable development into its macro policy frameworks.

The updates on the Action Plan developed under German, Argentine and Japanese G20 Presidencies helped concretize the Action Plan into tangible deliverables and action.

For example, the Osaka Update brings critical development issues more visibly into the realm of the G20. This includes ambitious initiatives on health, education, quality infrastructure investment, gender equality, climate change and the marine environment.

The regular updates have helped maintain the momentum and ensure transparency and accountability to the agreed action. G20 countries continue to share their experiences among themselves and with the international community.

As of now, most of the G20 members have completed their voluntary national reviews at the HLPF.

The Voluntary Peer Learning Mechanism on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda among the G20 members, has reached its second round with four peer learning exercises conducted. These exercises focused on the alignment of national sustainability strategies, with:

  • the 2030 Agenda;
  • policy coherence;
  • SDGs-based budgeting;
  • engaging the private sector; and
  • monitoring and evaluation.

These are also areas where many countries face major challenges.


Across different peer learning exercises, there is broad-based recognition of the importance of accountability and engagement of stakeholders. Aligning private sector action with the SDGs is another key take-way. Regulations and incentives to facilitate better integration of sustainable development in companies’ core objectives, have been identified as a priority for many.

The increasing wealth of knowledge generated in this process is thus invaluable. I encourage G20 members to widely disseminate their lessons learned with the broader UN membership.

While looking at domestic processes, it will also be important to build into the peer learning mechanism, a stronger focus on how G20 members are supporting developing countries – in particular the LDCs – to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Dear colleagues,

The decisions taken by the G20 have much broader impact beyond the Group. Its lead in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires much closer engagement with non-G20 countries, particularly developing countries.

United Nations processes and forums provide a platform for the G20 to share its work and interact with these countries. The regular briefings by G20 Presidencies to the General Assembly, before and after G20 Summits, have been an important vehicle to facilitate interaction and were welcomed by Member States.

In this regard, I commend Japan for its proactive outreach to the UN membership. I look forward to the high-level engagement of Japan in September at the SDG Summit, the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development and the midterm review of the SAMOA Pathway.

I thank you.

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