Here we, the civil society group on the High-Level Group on the 2030 Agenda, present recommendations for next steps to be taken by governments in the High-Level Group on the 2030 Agenda. The recommendations are based on the findings in our review in the report "Champions to be?", the national case studies, and our analysis of what needs to be done to make the 2030 Agenda 2030 a reality.
Inclusive civil society participation
- Formalize stakeholder engagement to ensure the effective, inclusive and meaningful participation of all people, including civil society and other stakeholders, in the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda. To make this possible, governments must fully respect civil and political rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, media freedom, full transparency, and the right to access information.
- Give guidance to all stakeholders, including the private sector, and, in line with their responsibilities, hold them accountable for delivering on the 2030 Agenda and upholding international standards and guidelines on human rights and environmental sustainability.
Political leadership and policy coherence for sustainable development
- Make sure that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is led at the highest possible level, and that a “whole of government approach” is ensured, providing a clear allocation of responsibilities, a division of labour and a working system of checks and balances. The approach must ensure sufficient financial and human capacity to enable each sector to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It must also offer opportunities for engagement and enable leadership at the sub-national level, and it indicate a clear division of labour between the national and subnational levels.
- Align all policies to support SDG implementation, balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development. It is essential to put in place coordinating committees, at the level of both government and parliament, with a mandate to check all legislation and policies for their SDG compatibility.
Financing the 2030 Agenda
- Map the financial resources needed to implement the 2030 Agenda in the various national contexts and further its achievement globally. Based on those mappings, develop an ambitious and transparent financing strategy which will allow other stakeholders to review their commitments.
- Take practical steps to strengthen national regulation and international cooperation aimed at combating illicit financial flows, tax evasion and corruption. To this end, HLG members should work jointly to actively push for the establishment of a fully representative institutional arrangement for international tax matters, and support the establishment of a new intergovernmental body for cooperation on tax matters, under UN auspices. Finally, they should commit to increasing financial transparency through public country-by-country reporting of corporate tax information, and public beneficial ownership registries.
Strong institutional structures
- Put in place national institutional mechanisms that draw together and coordinate the three dimensions of sustainability, and that include representatives from government, civil society and other stakeholders.
- Create national parliamentary Agenda 2030 oversight committees, to ensure an effective checks and balances system, and hence stronger accountability mechanisms.
Inclusive, transparent and comprehensive follow-up and review
- In the spirit of “leaving no one behind”, the members of the High-Level Group should ensure that follow-up and review in their respective countries are open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people, and they should support reporting by civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
- All the members of the High-Level Group should commit to regular (at least biannual) reviews of national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which should involve contributions from civil society, national parliaments and other stakeholders.