The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development), on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions” (A/RES/70/1, para. 35). Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda specifically calls for effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The 2030 Agenda also encourages all United Nations Member States to “develop as soon as practicable ambitious national responses to the overall implementation of this Agenda". The SDGs and the commitments contained in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the SAMOA Pathway, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and other agreements made at the UN are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. They need to be implemented in a complementary and synergistic way. Institutions need new capacities and knowledge to provide integrated support to implementation and to “leave no one behind”.
Many governments in Asia and the Pacific have made good progress in implementing the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They have been adapting the SDG targets to their national circumstances and priorities and incorporating them in their policies and development plans where applicable. They are adapting their institutions, engaging local governments, parliaments and other actors in some cases; and identifying follow-up and review structures. The SDGs, as an integrated framework, call for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, and this exercise informs implementation efforts.
Good practices, lessons and challenges are already emerging. These were discussed at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2016 when 22 countries from all regions carried out the first voluntary national reviews. The discussions continued at the HLPF in July 2017 for which 43 countries presented their national follow-up and review. Forty-six countries presented their national review during the 2018 HLPF, which concluded with a Ministerial Declaration. On that occasion, Member States reiterated their commitment to eradicating poverty, expressing concern that poverty remains a principle cause of hunger, and stressed the importance of taking collective measures to make an impact, among other goals.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) has organized several regional Symposiums on the theme of equipping public institutions for implementing the 2030 Agenda, including in Bolivia, Bahamas, Ethiopia and the Republic of Korea.
Against this backdrop, UN-DESA’s Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government, through its Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), is organizing the 2nd Regional Asia-Pacific Symposium in Incheon, Republic of Korea, with support from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety and Incheon City Government of the Republic of Korea.
The Symposium will provide a platform for decision-makers to discuss challenges and share knowledge on how to strengthen public governance and bolster capacities of public institutions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Asia and the Pacific. Selected Eastern Africa countries will also benefit from the discussions.
The event is expected to achieve the following goals:
- Enhanced capacities of public servants to design and establish effective, inclusive and accountable institutions in support of Agenda 2030.
- Enhanced capacity of public servants to engage in North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation among Asian and African countries.
The Regional Symposium will be held at the G -Tower, Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
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