July 5th 2017 Paper 2 : Supplemental indicators for Goal 16: UNDP and the Community of Democracies
Paper 2: Supplemental indicators for Goal 16:
UNDP and the Community of Democracies
H.E. Dr. Ion Jinga
Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets are addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. The SDGs cover the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
A core feature of the SDGs is their strong focus on means of implementation—the mobilization of financial resources—capacity-building and technology, as well as data and institutions. Implementation and success relies on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programs, and will be led by countries.
Promoting peaceful and democratic societies is an important pillar of the new development agenda. Nowadays is indisputable that without peace there can be no development and without development peace cannot be ensured and neither can be fulfilled without respect for human rights.
Looking ahead to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, if we truly want to ensure that no one is left behind, we need to make sure that no right is forgotten. The sustainability of the development results and poverty eradication efforts require rule of law and effective institutions, underpinned by human rights.
The UN Development System, especially the UNDP, will continue to support the developing states for the implementation of the SDGs. Romania welcomes the appointment of the new UNDP Administrator and is looking forward to continue working with the UNDP in promoting the achievement of the sustainble development and the SDGs in the world.
Raising awareness to promote and support the implementation of the SDGs is equally important, as much as monitoring and reporting are a prerequisite for keeping governments accountable and on track. Neither can be done in the absence of a good framework of indicators.
Developing a good set of indicators is key
We consider important that efforts within the Community of Democracies are well connected with those of the UN Statistical Commission. The head of the Romanian National Institute of Statistics participated at the Statistical Commission session, in New York, 7-10 March, where the Global indicators have been adopted consensually. The new Global Indicators are an important instrument that will be used by countries when building national and sub-national indicators. It is essential to avoid duplicating sets of indicators and overburden national institutions when reporting on their progress.
The Global indicators provide an adequate framework to start measuring the implementation of the Agenda 2030. It is a flexible framework, open to changes and modifications based on methodological improvements and data availability.
Rule of law and good governance are critically important for monitoring and accountability. Transparency, participation in decision-making, and access to information as well as freedom of speech, association and assembly are crucial elements.
They emphasize that non-discriminatory laws, access to justice and legal identity are essential for advancing gender equality, equitable development and the delivery of basic services, including to the most vulnerable.
Importantly, the targets in Goal 16 aim to deliver improvements for both negative peace (the absence of violence or the fear of violence) and positive peace (the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin peaceful societies).
The SDG 16 Supplemental Indicators Framework initiative
Within the Community of Democracies, the member countries decided upon the opportunity of having a complementary tool to the global indicators framework, adopted by the UNGA. For this purpose, the Secretariat of the CofD appointed Dr. Havard Mokleiv Nygard to lead the technical research to map out the principal indicators and datasets to inform on the development of the supplemental indicator framework started. He started its work in December 2016 and proposed an initial outline for the supplemental indicators for Goal 16 with criteria that was shared with UNDP and OGP project partners and the Group of Experts prior to the first meeting in January 2017. The first consultation was carried out in New York, 2 February 2017, and engaged a Group of Experts from academia, civil society and development practitioners, in a review of the outline and criteria for the supplemental indicators for Goal 16. With input provided by the Group of Experts during the First Global meeting, the technical lead developed a first draft supplemental indicator framework for Goal 16 and presented this to the PSCD and project partners for feedback.
A presentation was made by the technical lead at the 24th Community of Democracies Governing Council meeting in Geneva, 3 March 2017. Advances on the indicator framework were presented to the GC members and they had the opportunity to comment. The technical lead revised the draft supplemental indicator framework based on the previous consultation and feedback received.
A second one-day consultation was carried out in Oslo, 6 April, with the same group of participants for an in-depth review and discussion of a second draft of the proposed indicators. With the feedback from the second consultation in Oslo and additional feedback received from follow-up conference calls with subject matter experts, the technical lead worked on a third draft of the supplemental indicator framework, and a third draft indicator framework was shared with the GC members prior to the 25th GC meeting in May.
A discussion on the proposed indicator framework was carried out at the 25th GC meeting on June 14th. A final one-day meeting with a small group of subject matter experts was carried out in Warsaw, on 19 June. During the meeting a final set of proposed supplemental indicators for Goal 16 was discussed and validated.
With final feedback received from GC members and the subject matter experts, including specific input for metadata for each individual indicator proposed; the Technical Lead is working on the final SDG16 Supplemental Indicators. The PSCD will send out the SDG16 Supplemental Indicators Framework to the GC members by August 11th. Once approved, a publication will be made of the SDG16 Supplemental Framework, and reproduced in time for the CoD Ministerial Meeting. The Secretariat of the Community of Democracies envisages some opportunities to highlight the work carried out on the supplemental indicator framework by the CoD at the HLPF in New York, 10-20 July 2017.
A high-level panel with representatives from UNDP, OGP, and pilot countries will convene a high-level panel at the CoD Ministerial, 13-15 September 2017, to present the SDG16 Supplemental Framework and the results of the national-level monitoring of Goal 16 pilot projects carried out in six countries.
As future chairmanship of the CoD Governing Council (2019-2021), Romania will support the SDG16 Supplemental Indicators Framework, aiming to be a tool to help countries in monitoring the implementation of the SDG 16 in a more accurate way.
What is RO doing in implementing SDGs
President Iohannis announced in September 2015, at the UN Summit adopting the 2030 Agenda, that Romania would be reviewing its 2008 National Sustainable Development Strategy to integrate the SDGs. It is work in progress.
We have initiated a process of reflection to identify the necessary adjustments, including in terms of national coordination of efforts coming from various line ministries. Developing a good set of indicators is part of this process and here the National Statistical Institute plays an important role.
At the national level, the Government of Romania has the primary responsibility for the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs; the civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders should have an integral role in this endeavor.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will be in charge with the coordination of the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The PMO will work closely with all ministries, the National Institute of Statistics, as well as the representatives of the non-governmental organizations. The Department of Sustainable Development was set up within the Office of the Prime Minister. The Head of the Department of Sustainable Development is Mr. László Borbély, State Counsellor.
Nationally owned and country-led sustainable development strategies will require resource mobilization and financing strategies.
Romania adopted in 2008 a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). Its vision is geared towards the 2030 horizon. This is our starting point. It represents the framework that would continue to guide our efforts forward.
The Inter-ministerial Committee (chaired by the Romanian Minister of Environment) that drafted the NSDS in 2008 is called to review whether its objectives are aligned with the 2030 Agenda, to identify gaps and set national goals. It is work in progress which involves all the ministries, national agencies, as well as the National Institute of Statistics and NGOs.
In the case of Romania, social inclusion is identified as a major challenge to the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In the future revised Romanian Sustainable Development Strategy the emphasis will be on supporting the inclusion of disabled people, youth, and women in development policies. Ending poverty also requires decent employment opportunities.
Similarly, disaster risk and environmental degradation present an important challenge to our region. Disaster risk reduction and tackling environmental risks therefore need to be part of the revised Romanian Sustainable Development Strategy and its future Plan of Actions. A Romanian ministerial delegation, led by the Head of the Department for Emergency situations, participated at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Cancun, 22-27 May 2017.
At the global level, the annual July meetings of the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development (UN HQs, New York) will play a central role in reviewing progress towards the SDGs at the global level. The means of implementation of the SDGs will be monitored and reviewed as outlined in the July 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, to ensure that financial resources are effectively mobilized to support the revised National Sustainable Development Strategy which will include the SDGs and the national Plan of Actions. Romania will make the National Voluntary Presentation to the 2018 HLPF.
We find it is extremely important that national institutions, ministries work together. This is essential to ensure that the integrated nature of the SDGs is preserved. The 2030 Agenda would only be successful if all SDGs are implemented together.
In order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implement the recommended regional-level follow-up and review, the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans are encouraged to work in the following areas: (1) aligning the regional objectives/goals/targets with the relevant SDGs and accelerating the implementation of strategic documents through national and regional action; (2) setting up a regionally coordinated mechanism to assist the member states in developing national reports in a coordinated manner, targeting the shared regional seas; (3) regional partnerships under the global multi-stakeholder partnerships; and (4) assist the member states in applying the coordinated set of regional seas indicators, which are aligned with the SDGs indicators. (5) aligning the regional objectives with the SDGs.
As regards the Black Sea Region, the topic of addressing marine pollution is a very complex one because of different conditions of the marine regions. Regional Seas Conventions have an important role in coordinating implementation of Marine Strategies in all oceans and seas. Increased sea levels and impacts on coastal areas are concerns that are requiring actions towards increasing the adaptation capacity. At the national and regional levels, is necessary to plan and manage the various economic activities that occur in the coastal areas, regulate human behavior and integrate the use of coastal waters into land-use planning.
Romania, represented by the Minister of Waters and Forests, pledged to the Ocean Conference (New York, 5 – 9 June 2017), a 10,000 USD to the trust fund of the Conference and a voluntary commitment in order to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – ”Good environmental status in the Black Sea marine region by 2020”. Our actions will allow us to prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The Romanian Parliament and the 2030 Agenda
Parliaments are powerful agents of change. They play a special role in promoting a new generation of environmentally responsible citizens.
The universality of the SDGs requires that parliaments in all countries play a role in translating the goals and their targets into national objectives. This process needs to take account of priorities set by citizens, women and men alike, so that national objectives reflect the real needs and expectations of the population. Every attempt should be made to include the marginalized groups. Outreach programmes are also important in engaging public opinion and the media.
Parliaments have a unique role in establishing platforms to foster multi-stakeholder partnerships and dialogue across thematic issues and interests, across national actors, from institutions, the private sector or the civil society, and thereby help focus and advance the country’s progress on the SDGs.
The Romanian Parliament is strongly committed towards the implementation of the SDGs. On 15 June 2015, in Bucharest took place a regional workshop on the SDGs, with the participation from the Parliaments from the Central and Eastern Europe, organized by the Chamber of Deputies and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
In the occasion of the anniversary of 125 years of Romania’s membership to the IPU, the Romanian Parliament organized the regional workshop on the SDGs, on 18-19 April 2016.
The Romanian Parliament adopted a Declaration on the achievement of the SDGs, in the presence of representatives of parliaments from 27 States, on 18 April 2016.
On 18 October 2016, the Parliament organized the workshop Leaders for sustainable development.
On 12-14 June, the Parliament organized, in collaboration with the IPU and the NGO „Global Rights for Women and Vital Voices”, the regional workshop „Making laws work to end violence against women and girls” for the parliaments from the Eastern and Central Europe.
 The SDG 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, to provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.