Beirut, 19 April 2018 (Communication and Information Unit) – A two-day regional workshop was recently organized to build the capacities of members of the UN-ESCWA Sub-Committee on the implementation of SDG 5, and to provide them with best practices on the preparation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) which are presented annually at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York.
The meeting was organized on 17 and 18 April by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the League of Arab States (LAS) and UN-Women, in partnership with the Swedish Institute in Alexandria (Swed-Alex) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The workshop was held at the UN House in Beirut and brought together 24 representatives from National Women Machineries and National Statistics Bureaus in the ESCWA region. They were introduced to the different pillars of reporting (developing national indicators, nationalization of strategies to be aligned to 2030 Agenda, etc.), the steps involved in preparing national voluntary reports, the tools available at the regional level to report on SDG 5, and the role of national stakeholders in preparing the voluntary national report.
In their opening statements, Mehrinaz El Awady, Director of the ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) and Maryse Guimond, UN-Women SDG Advisor and Acting Deputy Regional Director, both commended the role of the Sub-Committee on Goal 5 of the SDGs in advancing implementation, reiterating their commitment to support its work and emphasizing the importance of their partnership in advancing the work of the subcommittee.
During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to benefit from global and national experiences on voluntary reporting, such as Sweden’s report which was presented in 2017 and the reports of Egypt and Jordan which were presented in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Other member States, such as Sudan, Palestine, Qatar and Lebanon—scheduled to present their reports this coming July—also had the chance to bring forward their experiences in preparing their VNR reports.
In their closing remarks, Ambassador Inas El Makkawy, Director of the LAS Department of Family, Women and Childhood, Ambassador Peter Weiderud, Director of the Swedish Institute in Alexandria, and Ms. Farah Choucair, Social Cohesion Specialist and Project Coordinator at UNDP’s Regional Office in the Arab States, thanked the participants for their active participation and engagement in the workshop, underlining the continuous commitment of their organizations to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its principles of leaving no one behind and achieving equality and non-discrimination.
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