Belgium presents its first evaluation report on the Sustainable Development Goals to the United Nations

Pathways to Sustainable Development

Today, during a United Nations High-Level Political Forum in New York, Belgium presents an evaluation report on the efforts our country is undertaking in order to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals. These seventeen goals aim to exclude extreme poverty worldwide by 2030 and to protect our planet. The report is the result of an intense and inclusive process involving the Federal Government, the federated entities and a large number of civil-society organizations.
Belgium is among the leading UN Member States in presenting a first evaluation report, the so-called National Voluntary Review, to the international community. The Belgian report,  Pathways to Sustainable Development (PDF, 4.32 MB), shows that, not even two years since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were defined, our country can already show initiatives and accomplishments in many areas.
From recycling to women’s rights
During the recent Ocean Conference in New York, Belgium presented 22 clear commitments to protect seas and oceans (SDG14 - Life Below Water). As an important supplier of vaccines, we contribute greatly to SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being).
The various ‘Smart City’ initiatives in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels show our commitment to sustainable cities and communities (SDG11). Furthermore, Belgium is the European leader in recycling packaging and, so, contributes significantly to responsible consumption and production (SDG12). By organizing the “She Decides” conference, Belgium emphasized its commitment to gender equality (SDG5).
Broad involvement
Belgium attaches particular importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. “Pathways to Sustainable Development” is the result of an intense and inclusive process involving the Federal Government and the federated entities, as well as a large number of civil-society organizations and local authorities. The report first takes up Belgium’s institutional structures regarding sustainable development and lists the most important initiatives for each of the 17 SDGs, both within Belgium and in our external policy.
At the same time, the Belgian report also emphasizes civil society’s expectations for further efforts, for example regarding life-long learning, water and air quality, energy intensity and renewable energy. The broad involvement with the report’s drafting has contributed to stronger awareness of our own role in this global agenda among a whole range of actors.
Not an end-point
“Pathways to Sustainable Development” is certainly not an end-point. It is a point of departure, a benchmark that will aid the further implementation of the SDGs in and by Belgium and that will allow us to better identify gaps and commit resources where they have the greatest impact.
Alongside Belgium, a further 43 countries including 9 other European Union Member States, present their National Voluntary Review this week.
Click  here (PDF, 4.32 MB) to consult “Pathways to Sustainable Development.