“Today, the UK will present its first Voluntary National Review to the UN. This should have provided a clear indication of how far the UK has progressed towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, a global agenda which includes the most crucial challenges facing the world today, across the full spectrum of social, economic, political and environmental issues. However, we have found both the preparation and the presentation of the VNR to be gravely flawed.
We fear that the priority and resources committed to the VNR process – and the whole SDGs agenda – reflect a lack of engagement and understanding at the heart of, and throughout, the UK Government.
We do welcome the progress the UK is shown to have made, and signs of some efforts made to incorporate sustainable development across government departments. But this progress has been uneven, and knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals across Government remains limited. Our sincere hope is that the Government has learned important lessons from this first VNR process and that, at today’s presentation at the HLPF, will kickstart a fresh commitment to the SDGs.”