Localizing the SDGs: Voluntary Local Reviews in the UNECE Region


Side event at the II Forum of Mayors 2022

Find the side event programme at the following link

The side event recording is available at the following link


Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, national governments are developing Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to assess their progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda, but VNRs are tools to create long-term strategies for sustainable development. The latter’s growing role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda has led to increased global attention on localizing SDGs and preparing Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs).

Cities play an important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many cities across the UNECE region have documented their actions towards the SDGs by developing VLRs, which provide an assessment of their progress towards achieving the SDGs and are a potentially important tool to support socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on those practical experiences of cities on their VLRs development, in 2021, UNECE elaborated Guidelines for the Development of Voluntary Local Reviews in the UNECE region which were endorsed by the Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Land Management at its 82nd session, (Geneva, 6-8 October 2021). The aim of these Guidelines is to support local and regional governments in the UNECE region in promoting shared value creation for local communities like cities and rural human settlements for developing VLRs reports. At the beginning of 2022 the Guidelines were updated and the side event participants will be invited to share their proposals for further updates of the Guidelines.

Further, UNECE in cooperation with its centres of excellence in Trondheim, Norway, and Geneva, Switzerland, developed an online training programme on the VLRs and organized subregional workshops. The training programme is being constantly improved and the side event will provide a good opportunity to obtain feedback to the training modules which were created.

Finally, this side event will provide an opportunity to exchange experiences and practices between cities in the UNECE region on the VLR development and international organizations and experts who support local governments in the VLR development.

The side event organized jointly by UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2022 and the Second Forum of Mayors 2022. The side event is co-organized by the UNECE Commite on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management and the University of Geneva in cooperation with UN-Habitat.