Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and Goal 13 of Cambodia Sustainable Development Goal

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders.

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aimed to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) will prepare the Voluntary National Review (VNR) which will be presented in the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at New York in July 2019. This report aims to monitor and evaluate the implementation of SDG in each country that are the members of the United Nation. The VNR process requires all stakeholders: government, private sectors, academia and Civil Society Organization/NGOs.

To contribution in this effort, the NGO Forum on Cambodia together with 7 NGOs/CSO co-organized the National Consultation Workshop on Engaging CSOs in the Cambodia Voluntary National Review 2019. There were 60 participates (18 women) who were NGOs and Community based organization.

In the opening remark of the workshop; Dr. TEK Vannara, Executive Director of NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) said it is very important for contributing to Voluntary National Review. Evidentially NECA of NGOF organized the pre-consultation workshop with his NECA members which consist of 56 national and international organizations to provide the inputs of CSOs on climate change which response to goal 13 of SDGs. At the same time, CCC has conducted three sub-regional workshops to collect CSOs inputs for discussing in this workshop.

Civil society organization (CSOs) plays a significant role in promoting the approach of the open, inclusive and transparent participatory method on VNR reporting among all relevant stakeholders. CSO expressed a strong commitment to engaging in the public awareness on SDGs and VNR process at both national and sub-national levels. Regarding the VNR process, CSO was actively participated in the HLPF VNR process and learned the best practices from other countries.

The theme for VNR 2019 is empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. The set of goals to be reviewed in depth is the following: 1) Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; 2) Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, 3) Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries; 4) Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; 5) Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; and 6) Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.