The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, represented by the Ministry’s Sustainable Development Unit, participated recently in the virtual workshop on ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ organised by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the League of Arab States.
During the first session of the workshop on ‘Progress, Innovations, and Lessons Learned from Previous Voluntary National Reviews’, Dr Mona Essam, head of the Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, gave a presentation reviewing the lessons learned from the previous voluntary national reporting process for Egypt as a mechanism to develop and accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development goals.
Dr Essam said the third report gives an objective overview of progress towards achieving sustainable development, to achieve the required complementarity between the content of the third report being prepared and the first and second reports that were issued in 2016 and 2018, taking into account developments at the national, regional and international levels.
Dr Essam added that the report includes a focus on the supportive policy environment represented by updating the Egypt Vision 2030’ efforts to localise sustainable development goals at the governorate level, and structural reforms of the Egyptian economy, in the context of relying on evidence-based policies, as well as the importance of monitoring and analyzing the repercussions of the pandemic.
The Ministry’s Sustainable Development Unit team also reviewed the preparation process for the third voluntary national report, and the participation of all concerned national authorities in the process of preparing it, through the work of the technical secretariat of the National Committee to follow up the implementation of sustainable development goals under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, which includes 17 ministries and government agencies in its membership.
The team also emphasised the importance of the participation of all relevant stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, academics, and development partners.
The focus was also on the substantive and coordination challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in this regard, as well as a review of the general messages that the third voluntary national report of Egypt will seek to present at the local and international levels.
It is worth noting that the workshop aimed to provide an opportunity for Arab countries that intend to submit voluntary national reports to the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development for 2021, as a platform to discuss experiences and exchange experiences and best practices in the process of preparing these reports.
Several Arab countries, led by Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Tunisia, have reviewed the most prominent achievements they have achieved concerning preparing the voluntary national reports for their countries, which allowed the exchange of experiences and the presentation of best practices in this regard.
The workshop also discussed some mechanisms and tools that support monitoring data on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda that can be relied upon in the reporting process to ensure that no one is left behind.