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UN begins first review of progress on 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Xinhua, July 13, 2016 Adjust font size:

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) kicked off here Monday to review the work of countries' efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, UN officials said.

"There are 22 volunteering countries for the review of their national implementation of the SDGs," said Ambassador Oh Joon of South Korea, this year's president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

"Luckily they are from all regions of the world and varying levels of development. So, in other words, a good mix of 22 volunteering countries."

"Someone described this as hitting the ground running because we started implementation only on the first day of this year that is to go on for the next 15 years," he said. "We already are reviewing how we are doing only after six months after the start of the implementation."

The SDGs, which were agreed by world leaders in September to fight inequality and extreme poverty, were designed to serve as the blueprint for the global development efforts for the next 15 years.

Oh said the initial sessions, leading up to the ministerial meetings on July 18-20, are important to show "We are trying to set the stage for the next 15 years, setting a framework for reviewing and following up on implementation of SDGs."

The theme for this is insuring that "No One is Left Behind," he said, adding that UN member states agreed on it in consideration of the state of the world's economy, "including a low level of growth and of course growing inequalities."

"The theme is timely because we now have the mounting challenges from terrorism and refugee issues," Oh said. "That has a lot to do with the theme of this HLPF, leaving no one behind. If you try to leave no one behind you can address the root causes of terrorism and refugee problems."

In addition to the participation of UN member states, UN specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations and civil society representatives are taking part.

The session will include national reviews shared by 22 countries from across the world. The volunteer reviews will include the challenges and gaps they encountered.

"I firmly believe that exchanging country experiences and best practices not only benefit individual member states, but also the long-term implementation of the 2030 Agenda," said the ECOSOC president.

The forum will also consider UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's annual progress report on the SDGs, compiled in cooperation with the larger UN system, as well as inputs from ECOSOC's functional commissions and other intergovernmental bodies and platforms.