Preparation for Voluntary National Review (VNR)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for action-oriented innovative approaches to achieve the ambitious global development targets. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by world leaders in September 2015. The countries affirm to implement SDGs for the next fifteen years to improve the quality of life of its population. Countries with strong political-will and institutions would view this transformative agenda as an ‘opportunity.’ Other countries will have to adopt a ‘holistic approach’ by creating spaces for everyone to accelerate the progress on SDGs. Each country will have to ensure inclusivity, equity and sustainability aspects in planning and implementation of SDGs that further broaden its scope and significance. SDGs add qualitative dimensions in the global development framework that demand increment in the number of beneficiaries of an intervention along with “the improvement in quality and effectiveness.” These new dimensions will focus more on addressing rising inequalities and high carbon footprint, and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources, streamlining consumption patterns and building resilient societies.

Pakistan has committed to submit its Voluntary National Review (VNR) by mid-2019 in UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) that will highlight the country’s progress towards implementation of SDGs. The VNR will identify the key challenges confronted in the implementation of SDGs and share success stories to benefit countries for accelerating the progress. The VNR will be a country-led initiative with the government responsibility to steering the process of coordination, multi-stakeholder participation, development of VNR methodology and finalization of the draft along with the presentation to HLPF. To understand and streamline the process of reporting for VNR, a phase-wise approach would help in achieving required tasks within the stipulated timeframe. At the conceptual level, the VNR exercise can be divided into three broad categories: