United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization?

The longer-than-expected effects of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the planned work of the organization and, in 2021, the Commission continued to integrate pandemic-recovery perspectives into planned interventions across all relevant areas of its work, within the overall scope of its mandate and set objectives. The perspective from which we structure our workplans changed to reassess starting positions given the new baselines created by the impacts of the pandemic. Adjustments were made understanding that some government programmes were augmented, and some rolled back due to new priorities and reduced fiscal space. At the same time, we have seen renewed focus on strengthening the social compact due to vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and the challenges faced in adopting informed and structured response policies.  

Some changes in our programme included:  the agenda for the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) in 2021 was adjusted to enable member States to discuss and agree on a set of policy recommendations aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic (subprogramme 5); a set of 14 policy briefs was published including for example one on multidimensional poverty that considered the compounding effects of the pandemic (subprogramme 2) and one on the impact of COVID-19 on the elderly (subprogramme 4); the developed technical materials on enhancing measurement of human development incorporated approaches to assess direct consequences and root causes of shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic (subprogramme 6); a capacity-building workshop on undertaking census under COVID-19 was held (subprogramme 4). As demonstrated by these few concrete examples, ESCWA fully mainstreamed pandemic-recovery activities into its existing and planned activities throughout the past year.

It shall also be noted that the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic required deployment of adaptive approaches with respect to the modes of programme delivery. Specifically, considering that online modes of programme delivery are in some instances less effective, or simply non-viable, as far as policy influence, confidence- and consensus-building, and multilateral collaboration are concerned, the Commission redeployed resources towards knowledge production and dissemination, and capacity building.  

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?

Name: "COVID-19 Stimulus Tracker: Global Observatory on Social protection and Economic Policy Responses"
Partners: (please list all partners) ECA is the main partner who contributed to the content of the Tracker by reviewing and endorsing the content related to Africa. The Tracker also builds on the input provided by ESCAP & ECLAC
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17 
Member States benefiting from the initiative: All 193 UN Member States 
Description: The COVID-19 Stimulus Tracker serves as a global observatory for social protection and economic policy responses launched by United Nations Member States in response to the pandemic crisis. The Tracker includes social protection and economic policy responses announced by Governments (government fiscal support) and central banks (central bank liquidity support). It also includes the measures taken by other entities (e.g., international financial institutions and United Nations entities) in the case of conflict-affected countries. It enables comparison of national policy support vis-à-vis global, regional, and income-group levels. Information in the Stimulus Tracker is presented using a state-of-the-art dynamic visualization platform to facilitate user-friendly navigation. It is a living database, benefiting from periodic updates. It is a hands-on tool for policymakers, practitioners and researchers for situation assessment and determination of social protection system profiles through country and regional comparison. 
Website: https://tracker.unescwa.org/ 

 

Name:

"Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19: Policy Briefs "
Partners: (please list all partners)  
Relevant SDGs All SDGs
Member States benefiting from the initiative: All Arab states: Algeria, Comoros, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 
Description: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, ESCWA has published 14 policy briefs analyzing the impact of the pandemic on different socioeconomic dimensions, with the aim of supporting Arab governments in their recovery efforts. In addition to analysing the impact ofCOVID-19, the policy briefs highlight government responses with examples and case studies and present recommendations for action. Topics were chosen based on how they were affected by the pandemic and the priority they hold in the Arab region, including economic cost, poverty, food security, gender equality, water, trade, foreign direct investment, financial systems, young people, older persons, transport, and financing.
Website: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/socioeconomic-impact-covid-19-poli…;

 

3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs.

ESCWA has mainstreamed COVID-19 into its publications, including those on SDG implementation. Major initiatives that have dealt with the impact ofCOVID-19 on the attainment of the SDGs in the Arab region include a series of policy briefs examining the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 in the region and the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development Background Note series, which examines the effects of the pandemic on the attainment of specific SDGs in countries throughout the region. 

Name: Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19: Policy Briefs 
Publishing entity: ESCWA 
Relevant SDGs All SDGs
Target audience: Mainly governments but also other relevant stakeholders such as civil society and academia
Resource description: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, ESCWA has published 14 policy briefs analyzing the impact of the pandemic on different socioeconomic dimensions, with the aim of supporting Arab governments in their recovery efforts. In addition to analysing the impact ofCOVID-19, the policy briefs highlight government responses with examples and case studies and present recommendations for action. Topics were chosen based on how they were affected by the pandemic and the priority they hold in the Arab region, including economic cost, poverty, food security, gender equality, water, trade, foreign direct investment, financial systems, young people, older persons, transport, and financing. 
Website: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/socioeconomic-impact-covid-19-policy-briefs 
Language: English and Arabic 

 

Name: Background Notes on the SDGs under Review for 2021 
Publishing entity: ESCWA 
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17 
Target audience: Mainly Arab governments but also other stakeholder groups engaged in AFSD 
Resource description: In preparation for the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 2021, a set of Background Notes was developed for SDGs under review (1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13,16 and 17), as well as for SDG 5. The Background Notes served as input to AFSD plenary sessions and steered discussions towards forward-looking, actionable outcomes. Each Background Note analyses the impact of COVID on the SDG, identifies trends in how Arab governments responded, highlights groups most at risk of being left behind because of the pandemic, and proposes a set of policy recommendations. The Background Notes were jointly developed by ESCWA, the League of Arab States, and UN entities operating in the Arab region - members of the AFSD-2021Interagency Task Force. Additional background notes(for SDGs 4, 14, and 15), and updates to existing background notes for SDGs under review in 2022 are planned in preparation for AFSD-2022 
Website: http://afsd-2021.unescwa.org/ 
Language: English and Arabic 

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

ESCWA has conducted several activities that strengthen stakeholder engagement in support of SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery. In 2021, main highlights included:

Name: Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 2021 (AFSD-2021)
Partners: League of Arab States and UN entities operating in the Arab region. Representatives from these partner organizations were members of the AFSD-2021 Interagency Task Force. Other partners from outside the Interagency Task Force included the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutes (ARABOSAI), INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
Relevant SDGs All SDGs with focus on SDGs under review for 2021 (1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17) as well as SDG 5
Member States benefiting from the initiative: All Arab states: Algeria, Comoros, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Description: The Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) is the primary regional mechanism for the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab region. AFSD’s outcome formally delivers the voice of the region to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held annually in New York. The AFSD outcome report communicates key messages emanating from the regional dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda and reports progress on key sustainable development priorities. AFSD is multi-stakeholder in nature. It brings together representatives from government, civil society, youth groups, parliaments, academia, research centres, think tanks, the private sector, and the media. AFSD-2021 was held virtually from 29 to 31 March 2021 as the region grappled with and strived to recover from the pandemic, which has severely affected the lives and livelihoods of people from all social and economic backgrounds. It was thus organized around the theme of “Accelerating Progress on the 2030 Agenda post-COVID”.
Website: http://afsd-2021.unescwa.org/

 

Name: Arab Regional Parliamentary Forum on the 2030 Agenda
Partners: Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Relevant SDGs All SDGs 
Member States benefiting from the initiative: All Arab states: Algeria, Comoros, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Description: The Parliamentary Forum is held annually to provide members of parliament and parliamentary staff with the opportunity to exchange experiences, discuss common challenges, and identify strategies that they could implement to contribute to the realization of the SDGs by 2030. The Parliamentary Forum provides parliaments with up-to-date information on the status of SDG implementation in the Arab region and concludes with recommendations to accelerate transformative change in the region. The Parliamentary Forum is thus designed to engage parliaments in key regional follow-up and review processes. It results in key messages that feed into the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD), thus encouraging parliamentarians to make their voices heard at AFSD and HLPF and ensuring that their needs and interests are adequately reflected. The latest Forum in 2021 focused on what parliaments did in response to COVID-19 and what is needed to enhance the capacity of parliaments to ensure that crises response and recovery efforts are more inclusive and aligned with the SDGs.
Website: https://www.unescwa.org/2030-partnerships/parliaments

 

Name: Engaging Supreme Audit Institutions in a coherent and integrated follow up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the Arab region
Partners: Arab Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI)
Relevant SDGs All SDGs 
Member States benefiting from the initiative: All Arab states: Algeria, Comoros, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Description: To engage audit institutions as a stakeholder group, this partnership with ARABOSAI aims to raise awareness and build the capacity of supreme audit institutions (SAI) in the Arab region on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Activities included the engagement of SAIs in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 2021 and the regional workshop on Voluntary National Reviews held in October 2021, as well as workshops to build SAIs’ capacity to audit specific SDG targets.
Website: https://www.unescwa.org/2030-partnerships/audit

 

5. Following the adoption of the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA resolution 74/4), where Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation, please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in the following areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind;

Aging and older persons ESCWA has been growing its work on ageing and older persons in response to the fast-paced ageing transition that the Arab region is witnessing. To this end, ESCWA has developed some groundbreaking knowledge products including the Policy Toolkit on Mainstreaming Ageing in Policy Making, an innovative online tool that targets policy makers and supports them in their efforts to respond to older persons’ priorities and issues. ESCWA has benefited from the evidence provided by the knowledge to intensify its efforts to support Member States to develop older persons’ policies including national strategies and action plans, and is currently supporting eight Arab countries. ESCWA has also focused on building policy makers’ capacities to respond to ageing and older persons’ issues through a series of national and regional workshops. To ensure regional collaboration and cooperation, ESCWA has fostered regional dialogue, and is currently conducting the 4th regional review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in the Arab region. The findings of this review will highlight key regional trends, challenges and emerging issues in the area of ageing in the region. Finally, ESCWA is fortifying its partnerships with sister UN agencies, regional and non-governmental organizations  to ensure optimal response to ageing in the region. Persons with disability: In the Arab region, people with disabilities are still among the most marginalized population groups, facing multiple barriers hindering their ability to participate on an equal basis in society. This situation is unfortunately accentuated when it comes to Arab women with disabilities living in rural areas. In this context, ESCWA has deployed the Arab Digital Inclusion Platform (ADIP) in 2020 to support policy and decision makers in the Arab countries in developing or improving their national policies and to devise related action plans and guidelines for enhanced e-Accessibility, which will contribute to bridging the digital divide and enable equal access for all. ESCWA developed two templates namely: - National E-accessibility Policy Template for the Arab Region (https://www.unescwa.org/publications/national-e-accessibility-policy-te…), providing a general framework for a national policy in order to enable access of persons with disabilities to ICT and public services. - National Technical Guidelines on E-Accessibility for the Arab Region (https://www.unescwa.org/publications/national-technical-guidelines-e-ac…), prepared based on sound and practical international standards. ESCWA also developed the first version of the ADIP online platform (https://e-inclusion.unescwa.org/home-page) to assist Arab policy makers in using those templates in an interactive way. Several workshops and a regional training of trainers were organized in 2021 to discuss with concerned stakeholders and experts.

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing;

Climate / SDGs Debt Swap - Donor Nexus Initiative Sovereign debt burden in the Arab region reached a historic high of $1.4 trillion by 2020.1 The debt burdens in low- and middle-income Member States of the region is particularly high, given their limited fiscal space and liquidity shortages, which threatens financing inclusive recovery from the pandemic. Weak fiscal positions are also severely constraining the ability of many economies in the region to address growing climate challenges and manage a green transition. Pursuant to the United Nations High-level Meeting on Financing for Development that set out a menu of options for consideration by Heads of State and Government, ESCWA launched the Climate / SDGs Debt Swap - Donor Nexus Initiative to assist countries toward improving fiscal space for financing SDGs and climate action, while also contributing to reducing their debt burdens. The climate/SDGs debt swap can be an effective instrument, especially for countries that do not have unsustainable debt burdens, and that are not benefitting from the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The Initiative is an innovative, long-term swap mechanism that takes into consideration issues of scalability of swap amount, donor support and a key-performance-indictors (KPI) framework to maximize the impact of the swap. The new initiative addresses the limitations of traditional type of debt swaps that were mainly implemented on an ad-hoc basis and had limited impact on development objectives. Several ESCWA member states have shown interest in implementing the initiative. ESCWA took concrete steps toward supporting member states to operationalize this initiative in 2021, including the establishment of an Advisory Committee of reputed experts in the cross-cutting area of debt swap and climate finance. ESCWA has also assisted Jordan to establish a national inter-agency taskforce that supports the implementation of the initiative by developing concrete proposals with linkage to climate change projects/pipeline of projects of national priorities, to be discussed with creditors. Learning lessons from Jordan, ESCWA is initiating technical assistance for other interested member States such as Egypt and Tunisia in operationalizing the initiative.

5.3 enhancing national implementation;

Since 2019, ESCWA in cooperation with UN DESA, and the League of Arab States have been organizing a series of regional workshops focused on Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). The workshops provide a platform for dialogue and peer learning to enhance VNR processes in Arab states. Each workshop takes stock of the experiences of Arab countries that presented VNRs in the earlier cycle and inform the preparatory process for countries planning to present a VNR in the following cycle. Each workshop also focuses on an area of priority to the Arab states that is relevant to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and follow-up and review processes. The March 2021 workshop occurred in the context of five Arab countries (Tunisia, Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) preparing to present VNRs in 2021. The October 2021 workshop was an opportunity to take stock of the experiences of Arab states that presented a VNR in 2021 and inform the preparatory process for countries planning to present a VNR in 2022. It also discussed approaches for driving evidence-based, inclusive, and actionable VNRs in the region by focusing on the issues of SDG data, evaluation for more effective VNRs, and the engagement of Supreme Audit Institutes. A Community of Practice (CoP) on VNRs in the Arab region was established during the 1st regional workshop and serves as an informal platform to engage members in continuous and focused knowledge sharing and experience exchange on various VNR topics.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions;

Tools to develop the capacities of public institutions: ESCWA, in cooperation with member states, has developed several tools to develop the capacities and resources of public institutions and to enhance the competencies of their employees. The aim is to enhance the resilience of member states’ institutions in facing various challenges at the national and local levels, and to meet national priorities in line with the SDGs. These tools are: The Common Arab Framework of Job Competencies for Senior Civil Servants from the Perspective of the Agenda 2030 and Public Policy: With the participation of eleven Arab countries (Palestine, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait and Yemen) represented by 26 civil servants (in charge of administrative reforms, human resource development, and job competencies development), and after a series of technical workshops, this process resulted in a Standing Group of Experts (from member states), a research agenda, and a drafting committee. The Common Framework was adopted by the 11 countries and launched in a meeting attended by several ministers on 16 December 2020. The next phase of the process, which will take place in 2022, will focus on training civil servants on the competencies identified in the framework. The institutional gaps assessment methodology: this program was applied at the level of central and decentralized institutions in Iraq, Yemen and Palestine to assess different institutional capacities and competencies that fall within the development priorities of these countries and in order to meet national priorities as identified by ESCWA’s interlocutors. This process resulted, in addition to identifying the gaps and assigning (response) programs, in the training of trainers and the adoption of the methodology among the assessment and training tools applied by the concerned national institutions. Strategic planning in fragile settings: This program aims to raise strategic planning capacities related to conditions of fragility among planning officials, through an approach that combines strengthening the capacity to manage emergency aid (urgent humanitarian aid) and laying the foundations of knowledge and application for sustainable development programs for transitions to recovery peace. The program was implemented with the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Coordination in 2021 and will be implemented in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Planning at the level of national and local institutions in 2022.

5.5 bolstering local action;

ESCWA is implementing two major projects: The Interregional Cooperation for the Implementation of the NUA (2020-2023) project is being implemented in nine cities, two of which are from the Arab region, namely, Amman (Jordan) and Agadir (Morocco). It aims to improve policy coherence amongst member states for the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda and the NUA. Throughout this project, ESCWA has generated localized knowledge on the New Urban Agenda in the form of manuals and e-learning material in support of strengthening capacities of national and local authorities and relevant stakeholders. Also, through this project, ESCWA, in close coordination with UN-Habitat, is supporting two Arab cities in developing their Voluntary Local Review (VLR), making them the first cities in the Arab region to undertake their VLRs. The project on “Building Urban Economic Resilience During and after Covid-19” (2020-2022) is being implemented in 16 cities including 3 from the Arab region namely, Alexandria (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon) and Kuwait (Kuwait). It assists cities and their local governments in becoming more economically resilient by drawing a baseline for their performance about urban economic resilience and designing recovery plans that tackle the challenges and gaps identified in these resiliency areas. The project generates knowledge products and tools to assist global, national, sub-national and local communities in achieving urban economic resilience. It advocates for core concepts in the NUA including building resilience through an inclusive process that leaves no one behind and using smart digital solutions as means of implementation. It focuses on the role of local governments as active players in achieving sustainable urban development and calls for local level reviews in support of monitoring and following up on the progress made in implementing the NUA. At the normative level, ESCWA and partners developed the following: The global compendium of practices on local economic and financial recovery, Urban economic recovery and resilience: Diagnostic and Planning Tool Technical paper on “Smart Sustainable Cities and Smart Digital Technologies for Urban Resilience: Lessons from the Pandemic.”

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience;

ESCWA has been supporting disaster risk reduction (DDR) activities in the region through several platforms and mechanisms, with a focus on addressing linkages between DRR and climate change. ESCWA participates in several mechanisms and platforms on DRR such as the Arab Partnership Meetings for DRR and the Arab Coordination Mechanism on DRR under the League of Arab States (LAS). Substantive inputs and contributions were also made to the Regional Assessment Report on DRR in the Arab region that was published in November 2021 by UNDRR. One contribution is the assessment of vulnerability of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to floods in both Yemen and Syria using projected extreme precipitation indices developed by RICCAR in coordination with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Risk Assessment Framework for the Arab region that was developed by ESCWA with support of RICCAR is foundational to developing risk-informed policies and will be utilized in studies related to DRR and climate forecasting. ESCWA, LAS and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have convened eight sessions of the Arab Climate Outlook Forum (ArabCOF) since 2017. The main objective of the ArabCOF is to generate consensus on seasonal forecasting (twice a year) in the Arab region and carry out climate change assessments of extreme events and provide meteorological services and products in response to various sector needs, such as early warnings for the agricultural sector. The Arab Centre for Climate Change Policies at ESCWA and the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are co-leading the working group on regional collaboration of the United Nations Coalition on Combating Sand and Dust Storms. This coalition aims to enhance understanding of sand and dust storms and their impacts, vulnerability and resilience, with emphasis on transboundary and interregional cooperation. A global webinar was convened on 7 July 2021 to improve awareness around the socioeconomic impact of sand and dust storms and their transboundary nature and showcase examples of collaboration at the regional level around the world to cope with this hazard.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership;

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development;

Guided by the principles governing the Global WSIS2, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation3, ESCWA launched the “Advancing Digital Cooperation and Development- Arab States Action Programme (ADCD-ASAP)” in 2020, which is being implemented in cooperation with several regional and international organizations. ESCWA also pursued it efforts in implementing the Arab Internet Governance Forum (Arab IGF)4 that was launched in 2012. To bridge digital divide and promote the creation of quality content related to the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arab region, ESCWA launched in March 2021, the “ESCWA Digital Arabic Content Award for Sustainable Development”5. The best digital Arabic content solutions will be announced during the 2022 Arab Regional Forum for Sustainable Development. For fostering digital and open government in the Arab region, ESCWA continued its initiative on “Open government in the Arab Region,” and recently published, in collaboration with OECD, the report “Economic and Social Impact of open Government: Policy Recommendations for the Arab Region.”6 ESCWA also recently launched the ESCWA portal of Open Government in the Arab Region7. Furthermore, ESCWA is continuing its Government Electronic & Mobile Services (GEMS) project8 started in 2014 to measure the maturity of electronic and mobile government services and published in 2021 its latest report GEMS 20209. ESCWA continued to directly support its member states through technical cooperation programmes in the domain of digital transformation, digital government, open government and open data, innovation and entrepreneurship and emerging technologies policies and strategies.

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs; and

ESCWA sought to improve SDG data quality and increase data availability from national sources, and facilitate dissemination of quality SDG data both on national reporting platforms and through a regional hub (the Arab SDG Monitor). To do so, ESCWA in collaboration with 15 member countries implemented 105 bilateral meetings with SDG country teams during the period October 2020 till December 2021. ESCWA, in collaboration with 36 custodian agencies ESCWA developed the SDG Indicator Tool to facilitate production of comparable data through harmonized methods and instruments (https://datastudio.google.com/reporting/8f03d388-1ab8-4fd5-afdd-403b526…). The Tool is a dynamic search engine that provides countries with quick access to methodological guidance on recommended sources and data collection methods, including metadata, for each SDG indicator. Moreover, ESCWA in collaboration with 13 custodian agencies held a series of 36 SDG webinars to build the capacities of countries on 77 SDG indicators (https://www.unescwa.org/events/series-webinars-sustainable-development-…). Currently, ESCWA is working with countries and custodian agencies to improve inter and intra institutional cooperation to increase and improve data flow among national institutions and with regional and global agencies.

5.10    strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

 

6.  In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

Propose the creation of Regional digital public good alliances: The pandemic has highlighted the need for open-source digital solutions that can be deployed quickly by low- and middle-income countries, such as health information management systems, online learning solutions and e-commerce platforms for SMEs. A Regional Alliance could foster the collaborative development of such digital public goods that are people-centric and have the potential to reduce inequalities and accelerate the attainment of all SDGs. South-South Cooperation and Fund for Social Protection for the Arab Region: This would drive the development of governments’ capacities to deliver social protection to their populations, and also help Arab countries make social protection an impactful focal point for international financial mobilization to secure a basic standard of living for everyone in the region, including across borders (for migrants). The recommendation could also apply to other world regions. Enhance regional cooperation on areas of priority and high potential for regional integration including: environmental issues (such as air pollution, climate change, biodiversity conservation, and water resources management), food trade, green technology transfer, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. Advocate with developed Member States to live up to their commitment to spend 0.7% of their Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance.

7.  Please review your organization's information contained in the UN System SDG Implementation Database. If you wish to submit any updates, please share details below.

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021