What was the focus in 2021?

The 2021 Regional Forum was held under the theme “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and action and delivery on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the UNECE Region“, with a specific focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13 and the 2020 targets. The hybrid plenary sessions took place on 17-18 March 2021 and were preceded by virtual peer learning roundtables (10-16 March 2021) clustered around the themes People (SDG 1, 2, 3), Prosperity (SDG 8, 10) and Planet (SDG 12, 13).

What is it all about?

Focusing on practical peer learning, the Regional Forum creates a space to share policy solutions, best practices and challenges in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The outcomes feed both into national and global processes. Discussions at the forums foster mutual learning and help countries accelerate national progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. The Chair’s summary of each Regional Forum provides the region’s official input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

What is the process?

The High-level Political Forum is the UN’s central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the run-up to the 2021 High-level Political Forum (6-15 July 2021), each of the five UN Regional Commissions convenes a multi-stakeholder forum in their respective region to share experience and discuss concrete solutions on how to achieve the SDGs (please find the dates for other 2021 Regional Forums here).

What is the background?

The Regional Forum on Sustainable Development was established by the Economic Commission for Europe at its sixty-seventh session in April 2017, with the aim to create “a regional mechanism to follow- up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (E/ECE/1480, Decision B (67)) by:

  • creating a space for UNECE member States for peer learning and the exchange of policy experiences in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • providing a regional overview of progress and challenges in implementation that would complement reports at the global level;
  • enhancing regional and subregional cooperation and addressing transboundary issues;
  • providing a platform for the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including international and regional organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector.
The mandate for the Regional Forum has been extended by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) at its sixty-eighth session in April 2019 (E/ECE/1488, decision B (68)).