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Enhanced global governance for SDGs, regional cooperation and sustainable development

By Gaia Gallotti

Global governance is not fully equipped to meet the SDGs yet; the SDR 2023 has uncovered a list of recommendations to be more prepared:

  1. SDGs should be at the center of UN programs and strategies.

  2. The World Bank and other MDBs (Multilateral Development Banks) should put the SDGs at the center of their strategies and performance reviews.

  3. The IMF should build its national reviews, debt sustainability framework, and country programming around the need to achieve SDGs.

  4. The G20 should focus on reforming the GDA (Global Financial Architecture) to achieve SDGs.

  5. UN Member States should present VNRs (Voluntary National Reviews) at least once every three years.

Voluntary National Reviews are periodic reports that UN Member States submit to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to share their progress and efforts to achieve SDGs. UN agencies, multilateral organizations, and Member States need to invest in and coordinate national and international data and statistics to assess SDG progress and support sustainable development, including disorganized data by region, social stratification, and other criteria.

The SDSN has assessed that SDG success depends on strong regional cooperation, given that neighboring countries share ecosystems and need to cooperate to protect them by creating partnerships. For example, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea are threatened by chemical and plastics pollution, therefore they must be protected by all neighboring countries.

Regional cooperation is also needed for technological and social innovations: the Mediterranean Sea, threatened by climate change, urbanization, and geo-political crises, is also recognized as the birthplace of the “Mediterranean diet” and of a strong agri-food sector which could potentially be specialized in healthy and sustainable food. Neighboring countries of different regions must collaborate to share data and knowledge, and implement sustainable development programs; these regional international policies should be based on scientific knowledge.

The SDSN supports the development of regional sustainability plans and the EU’s efforts to achieve the SDGs, along with the Europea Green Deal, which has great potential to transform the European and Mediterranean regions, and even North Africa. The SDSN is also working with the ASEAN Member States to bring about the ASEAN Green Deal, and it’s supporting the African Development Bank to create a plan for Africa’s sustainable development and help the African Union achieve it by 2063, the 100th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity. The SDSN is collaborating with the Amazon Basin Nations and the Scientific Panel of the Amazon to develop a regional strategy for the conservation of the Amazon, along with supporting new partnerships between the rainforests of the Amazon Basin, the Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia for a financing mechanisms to protect all three rainforests.

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