Workshop examining Việt Nam's implementation of SDGs opens

October 19, 2022 - 22:12
SDGs have become cross-cutting in Việt Nam's national and sectoral strategies and policies, in which the "leave no one behind" principle is accentuated.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Thị Bích Ngọc speaking at the workshop on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of MPI

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Planning and Investment on Wednesday opened a workshop on the development of Việt Nam's voluntary national review (VNR) on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2023.

In her opening speech, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Thị Bích Ngọc said SDGs had become cross-cutting in Việt Nam's national and sectoral strategies and policies, in which the "leave no one behind" principle is accentuated.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all member states of the United Nations in September 2015, is a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

At the heart of this process, voluntary national review (VNR) is a critical component of reviewing and implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. It is an opportunity for countries to share their results, challenges, and lessons learned in implementing the 2030 Agenda and propose recommendations to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

Việt Nam developed its first VNR in 2018 to share the lessons learned during its implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and its report was praised for its comprehensive preparation. The country is also among 42 globally selected to present their VNR at the High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2023.

At the workshop, Ngọc reviewed some of Việt Nam's notable achievements after seven years of implementing SDGs in sustainable poverty reduction, coverage of essential health services, universal education, access to clean water and sanitation, information technology infrastructure, a guarantee of stable forest coverage and increased renewable energy consumption. Notably, the multidimensional poverty rate halved from 9.2 per cent in 2016 to 4.36 per cent in 2021.

However, she also pointed out five significant challenges in Việt Nam's progress towards the 2030 SDGs.

They include heavy and multi-faceted impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have exhausted national resources for SDGs implementation; an increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the different levels of development among regions; greater pressure on infrastructure development and environmental problems; overlapping and inconsistent legal regulations and weak policy enforcement; and rising geopolitical risks which are affecting the global supply chain, pushing up inflation and energy prices.

Currently, the world is almost halfway through the implementation of the SDGs. However, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, UN reports showed that the world was not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Against that backdrop, the pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, and increasing global conflicts have slowed and even reversed the progress of some SDGs.

"Việt Nam wished to share achievements and progress made in the implementation of the SDGs, especially over the last five years since the 1st VNR, as well as difficulties, challenges, lessons learned in the SDGs implementation, and presented orientations and key activities for the remaining halfway," Ngọc said.

She hoped that central ministries/sectors, provinces, and national and international organisations would accompany Việt Nam and contribute to the VNR process.

Speaking at the workshop, the GIZ Macroeconomic Reforms/Green Growth Programme director in Việt Nam, Dennis Quennet, and UN Resident Coordinator in Việt Nam, Pauline Fatima Tamesis, declared to accompany and support Việt Nam in the VNR 2023 process.

UN representative Tamesis said in addition to technical inputs and advice, the UN is discussing with MPI focal points to prioritise UN support, including SDG financing strategy and data and evidence for SDG Monitoring.

At the workshop, the participants listened to a presentation on Việt Nam's Draft VNR 2023 outline, roles and collaboration of stakeholders in the VNR process, experience and practices from the German VNR process and Việt Nam's VNR 2023 tentative timeline. — VNS