Transport and Voluntary National Reviews
The 2030 Agenda encourages member states to submit Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which has been convening annually since 2016 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The VNR process aims to facilitate the sharing of experiences among countries, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Since the first HLPF in 2016, SLOCAT has been assessing transport references in the VNRs submitted each year. The assessment aims to:
- Provide a useful resource for policy-makers to better understand the role of transport in achieving the SDGs;
- Outline recommendations to policy-makers on goal-setting, implementing and reporting on sustainable transport progress;
- Help the transport community (and other relevant sectors e.g. energy, health) better understand the pattern, gaps and opportunities in reporting sustainable transport in the VNR process.
The assessments found that countries have been reporting on transport as a vital sector to implement the SDGs, showcasing on-the-ground implementation and best practices. Through the VNRs, countries have contributed to offering leverage and momentum for the transport sector to move along a more sustainable path.
In 2020, unprecedented challenges emerged which are causing significant setbacks to the achievement of the SDGs in the transport sector. The COVID-19 pandemic is sending a shock wave through societies worldwide and is permanently changing livelihoods as we know it. At the same time, the pandemic has pushed us to reflect on how we move people and goods, as well as what this will mean for the future of transport.
Despite the challenging circumstances, 47 countries succeeded in finalising their VNRs and presenting them virtually at the HLPF 2020. Many VNRs expressed concerns that the pandemic has impacted on and will continue to hinder the implementation of the SDGs and disrupt development efforts in the short-term. While the world grapples with successive pandemic waves and tries to define how recovery should look like, the SLOCAT Partnership seeks to empower change-makers to ensure the economic viability of, the affordable access to, and the right investments in sustainable, low carbon transport and mobility services and infrastructure as a vital piece to green, equitable recovery.