SDGs off-track, under further threat by Covid-19 - civil society survey

A global survey by conducted by civil society platform CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness in time for the UN High-Level Political Forum sounds the alarm on the world being off-track in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
NEW YORK - July 10, 2020 - PRLog -- In time for the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2020, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) raises the alarm on being off-track in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and under further threat amid Covid-19.

The HLPF 2020 is the UN's main platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. For the first time, it is taking place virtually, with the theme "Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the Decade of Action and delivery for sustainable development."

"The 2020 HLPF is happening under extraordinary, once-in-a-generation, circumstances with a pandemic literally grinding the world to halt. The magnitude of its impact on the 2030 Agenda progress is yet to be fully realised, but it is certain to be substantial and as devastating as it had not been since the Second World War. Therefore, the reconstruction should include all of society, and engage the participation especially of civil society," said CPDE Co-Chair Marita Gonzalez.

CPDE draws from the results of its study ( on the implementation of the SDGs and the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs),which presents the perspectives of 43 CSOs from 32 countries. The study uses the lens of effective development cooperation (EDC) to analyse SDG implementation and conduct of VNRs, and the results show that EDC is key to putting the SDGs back on track.

"Respondents acknowledged the integration of SDGs in national development planning, but suggest weak country ownership and institutional stakeholder engagement, as well as poor transparency and inclusivity in the SDG processes," explained CPDE Co-Chair Beverly Longid.

They identified major gaps in implementing SDGs, such as the inadequate engagement of CSOs, and anticipate challenges amid Covid-19. Respondents offer recommendations to improve SDG implementation, especially by embedding meaningful CSO participation. For CPDE's part, it presents the Belgrade Call to Action as a means to achieve the SDGs, particularly to address the trend of shrinking civic space.

CPDE also calls on UN Member States to consider the Covid-19 a wake-up call to rethink the world's socioeconomic model. As CPDE Co-Chair Monica Novillo argues, "Achieving the SDGs was already a daunting challenge prior to the pandemic. The end of this crisis is still a long way off, but it presents the world with the challenge of rebuilding our societies with the furthest behind at the forefront."

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Meg Yarcia
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