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ARFSD Spotlights Critical Role of Voluntary Local Reviews in SDGs and Agenda 2063 Progress

25 April, 2024
ARFSD Spotlights Critical Role of Voluntary Local Reviews in SDGs and Agenda 2063 Progress

Addis Ababa, 25 April 2024 – The 10th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) convened a session focusing on the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), emphasizing the necessity of localized efforts in driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063.

VNRs serve as a platform for countries to assess and showcase their advancements in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This inclusive process underscores the importance of regular reviews at both national and sub-national levels, embodying a nation-led initiative towards sustainable development.

The ARFSD participants stressed the critical role of VLRs, wherein municipalities and local authorities articulate their contributions to the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. These grassroots assessments are important in addressing the distinct challenges faced by communities in their pursuit of sustainability, emphasizing the significance of localized action and governance.

Ms. Rohey Malick Lowe, Mayor of Banjul's city council, emphasized the indispensable role of local initiatives in realizing the SDGs and Agenda 2063. She remarked,"Incorporating global sustainable development indicators into our city's planning is crucial for progress," highlighting the centrality of urban governance in achieving objectives of agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063.

Policy makers were urged to actively engage youth in the SDG process, recognizing their potential to lead initiatives across sectors such as entrepreneurship, job creation, and technology. Ms. Olivia Tutu, Zambian Youth Champion and founder of the African Youth Sustainable Development Goals Summit, advocated for meaningful youth inclusion in these dialogues, stressing, "Engage with us, not just about us. The youth are the custodians of the future."

ECA facilitated the completion of the first five VLRs in African cities in 2020, with over 25 local reviews completed and more than 30 underway or planned, demonstrating a burgeoning commitment to sustainable development across the continent.

The ARFSD participants underscored the indispensability of partnerships in advancing sustainable development agendas, with ECA collaborating with various organizations to bolster VLR production in the region. These alliances aim to fortify reporting mechanisms, enhance governance systems, and address data gaps vital for effective policy interventions.

“ECA remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting member states on their sustainable development journey and encourages continued engagement in VLRs to foster local ownership and drive resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities across Africa.” Ms. Atkeyelsh Persson, Chief of Urbanization and Development Section, of ECA.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826