ECLAC Regional VNR Workshop

Mr. Vice-President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Sandoval
Madam Executive Secretary, dear Alicia
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me first thank you, Madam Executive Secretary, for the continuing cooperation of ECLAC with DESA on supporting countries in their preparations of the voluntary national reviews.  

This collaboration is critical. It helps countries to connect different levels from subnational, to national, to regional, to global.  This helps to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

And thank you also for your support to the ever more successful regional forum for sustainable development.  It has become a hallmark for preparations for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. 

I wish to commend the eleven countries from this region that will be presenting the VNRs at this year’s HLPF. This is a great success. It shows important commitment, ownership, and political will.  

It is also encouraging to see already seven countries from your region coming to present for the second and third times. Their VNRs, over time, show emerging development trends, which are a great source for sharing of lessons learned. This is why it is important when presenting for second and subsequent times, to build on previous VNRs. 

It would also be important to show progress made based on data, noting specific efforts to address findings of the VNR and overcome the challenges it identified. 

Looking ahead, it could also be useful to prepare a national roadmap of presentations of VNRs until 2030. And, to link them to your most important national policy milestones in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Let me briefly refer to the voluntary local reviews (VLRs) conducted by many cities and regions.  Those are not directly mandated by the 2030 Agenda, but we believe that they can be a very useful tool for localization of the SDGs, as well as for VNR preparations.

We all know that COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses of the health and other socio-economic and governance systems. It has halted or reversed the progress on many SDG areas.  It has also exacerbated the inequalities that exist within and among countries.  And it has shown how our imbalanced attitude towards nature has given rise to zoonotic diseases. 

We have a development framework for recovering from the pandemic.  It is the 2030 Agenda and its principle to leave no one behind. We now need to accelerate its implementation as part of our response to COVID-19.

Your VNRs this year are especially important. They can show which policies you are undertaking to recover from COVID-19, and how these policies are conducive to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. You can showcase what kind of impact your policies are having on its implementation, and how they assist the recovery from the pandemic.  Indeed, you all have valuable experiences to share.

We understand the challenges of combatting the pandemic. And that gathering the necessary data to assess its impacts is certainly a challenge for you. But even initial findings are helpful.  We will do our utmost to use this workshop to facilitate your preparations of your VNRs., working closely with ECLAC.  

 I wish you a successful workshop, and good luck with your presentations at the 2021 HLPF.

I thank you.

File date: 
Monday, March 15, 2021

Mr. Liu