22 December 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – Engaging stakeholders is a tremendously important step to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. If we are to succeed in implementing them, everyone must be on board. UNITAR and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) partnered to develop a facilitated online course for government officials in charge of the mainstreaming and review of the SDGs. The first session of this course took place from 5 to 21 December 2016 and received enthusiastic feedback from participants throughout the world.
Government officials in charge of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda have the essential task to create ownership of the SDGs throughout their country, seek coordination at government level, and reach out to the furthest behind. They can face a series of obstacles in trying to do so: some stakeholder groups might have very low capacity to engage, they can have only little visibility, and people might simply not be aware of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The facilitated online course developed by UNITAR and UN DESA helps government officials to tackle these issues by providing them with tools and guidelines to structure their approach to stakeholder engagement.
Further to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015, a first round of reviews of its implementation took place at the global level in July 2016 in the context of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). 22 countries volunteered to make national reviews during this first year. 27 countries expressed their intention to make a Voluntary National Review at the HLPF to take place in July 2017. The UNITAR-UN DESA e-Learning course was specifically aimed at countries committing to do a Voluntary National review in 2017. However, all UN Member States are expected to put regular and inclusive national reviews of progress on the SDGs and contribute to regional and global reviews. Such reviews should draw on national processes and include contributions from different stakeholders.
The UNITAR-UN DESA e-Learning course is designed in this context as part of an effort to strengthen the capacities of governments to engage in an effective and meaningful way with MGoS (Major Groups and other stakeholders) as they implement and review progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.
This specific course was developed as part of the 2030 Agenda UNITAR project. The learning material of this course will be made available later in 2017.
UNITAR Capacity for the 2030 Agenda: https://www.unitar.org/sustainable-development-goals/accelerating-sdg-implementation
High-Level Political Forum on sustainable Development: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf