Opening Remarks at opening of the VNR Labs

Ms. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Vice-Chair of the Committee for Development Policy,
Colleagues and participants.

Good morning and welcome to the first in our series of VNR Labs for 2022. 

These VNR Labs are being held for the fifth year in a row to serve as short informal discussions on key aspects of the Voluntary National Reviews. 

This year’s overarching theme, “Keeping the Compass on the SDGs” reflects the main messages emerging from this year's VNRs.  The theme is particularly fitting as we face the combined challenges of pandemic recovery, geopolitical tensions and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The SDGs are our only way forward towards a more sustainable and equitable world.

I commend all 44 countries that will be presenting their VNRs in days to come. It is an important and useful endeavor for countries to assess where they are and what kind of policies work to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs. It is also an excellent way for other countries to learn from their peers on effective pathways and policy responses in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda at the time when the pandemic has set us back. 

These VNRs labs provide an additional platform for sharing experience and for reflection. They are meant to delve deeper into some aspects of the VNRs than is possible in official HLPF presentations.  The VNR Labs have been recognized as a useful tool during the HLPF review by the General Assembly last year. I welcome the diverse, inspiring and innovative set of topics to be discussed this year. They will address aspects of VNRs, such as institutional arrangements, local and regional characteristics, data innovation, and engagement of stakeholders among others. We will also have some country-specific Labs to hear more on the findings of their VNRs. 

I am pleased to note that the Labs are organized by my colleagues of the various UN DESA Divisions, but increasingly also with United Nations entities, bilateral partners, as well as Governments of countries that are presenting a VNR this year. I am also grateful for the continuous support of the Committee for Development Policy which is analyzing the VNRs to put forward recommendations on how to improve them. 

I would like to thank you all for attending the Labs and the HLPF in the days ahead as we strive to accelerate the momentum for the Sustainable Development Goals through solid and robust reporting on our common progress.

I wish you a successful meeting!

Thank you.

File date: 
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Mr. Liu