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Further reading from PLATFORMA

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This study is based on a joint survey conducted by CEMR, PLATFORMA and UCLG, which coordinated with all its regional sections to produce a parallel global report. It was sent out in February 2022 to CEMR’s members and PLATFORMA’s partners. The purpose was to collect the most recent information on how and to what extent LRGAs and networks have been involved in the localisation of the SDGs, both in Europe and with their global peers, and in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s survey therefore included questions on the SDGs’ implementation since 2015 and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. In the last two sections, there were also additional questions regarding Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSR) and decentralised cooperation.

We received 63 responses to the survey from 28 countries (37 local and regional government associations from 25 EU and 12 non-EU Member States and 18 individual local/regional governments, 9 of which were from the EU).

Statistics pertaining to CEMR/PLATFORMA member associations have been included in this report. The ones from individual local and regional governments will be covered under the UCLG global analysis. The report will be presented at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022, where the latest Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) from Member States will also be submitted. Local and regional governments continue to make headway at the subnational level in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs, adopted in 2015. This progress will facilitate the work of their associations/networks, both regional and global (UCLG and the Global Taskforce - GTF), as they prepare the joint report “Towards the localisation of the SDGs” to be presented to the UN at the forthcoming HLPF. To date, there has always been a European report that supplements the Global Taskforce report presented annually since 2017 to the HLPF, the central forum for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year’s HLPF will be assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the SDGs and the measures taken to “build back better” to ensure that any recovery and developments are indeed sustainable. It will also be conducting an in-depth review of Sustainable Development Goals 4 on quality education, 5 on gender equality, 14 on life below water, 15 on life on land, and 17 on partnerships for the goals.

This year’s Global Task Force survey set out to ascertain to what extent the 2030 Agenda has supported LRGs and their associations in their recovery and resilience plans. National associations have been instrumental in bolstering their members’ sustainability efforts, from planning to implementation and even monitoring and reporting. Their role in localising the SDGs is more important than ever as they will be the actors making the international framework a reality in Europe and worldwide.

How can we make citizens and municipal officials truly aware of the stakes of SDG implementation?