As of 24 August 2021, 11 countries are expected to present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of SDG implementation during the 2022 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Additional countries wishing to present have been asked to express interest by 17 September 2021.
The 11 governments currently listed represent a mix of all five UN regions (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and Others), and include one small island developing State (SIDS) – Tuvalu.
The VNR countries for 2022 also vary in terms of their previous VNR experience. The list includes three first-time presenters (Djibouti, Eritrea, Tuvalu), five second-time presenters (Andorra, Belarus, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Sri Lanka), and three third-time presenters (Argentina, Philippines, and Switzerland).
The President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which convenes the HLPF sessions each year, wrote to UN Member States to encourage as many countries as possible to volunteer. In the letter, dated 29 July 2021, President Collen Vixen Kelapile adds that even countries in post-conflict situations have presented VNRs and benefitted from the process.
However, Kelapile informs Member States that he plans to “suggest an approach that limits the number of VNRs” presented at the 2022 HLPF. He intends to close the list of countries before the end of September 2021. The limit on the number of VNRs, the President explains, aims to ensure more time for interactive discussion with each presenting country and thus “maximize the value of the VNRs.”
His approach also prioritizes first-time presenters. Kelapile encourages countries that have not yet presented a VNR to volunteer for the 2022 HLPF session, along with those who have already presented “some time ago.”
In remarks as he assumed office on 23 July 2021, Kelapile called on countries presenting VNRs in 2022 to conduct “innovative, evidence-based and inclusive” VNR processes.
In addition to the VNRs, the July 2022 session of the HLPF will review in-depth the following SDGs: 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals). [List of VNR countries]