logoDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

1. What decisions or new strategies has the governing body of your organization taken to guide the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief summary below, including the overarching vision of your governing body for the Decade of Action on the SDGs.

UNITAR's four-year strategic framework, covering 2018-2021, approved by the UNITAR Board of Trustees in November 2017, is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and uses the SDGs as the guiding principle for the Institute's work with the strategic objectives organized around five pillars that correspond to four out of five thematic pillars of the 2030 Agenda (Peace; People; Planet; and Prosperity) and one additional objective aimed at cross fertilizing knowledge and expertise, as well as supporting the integrated and indivisible nature of the agenda.

P1. Peace- SO1 Promote peace and just and inclusive societies (SDGs 4, 5, 7, 8, 16);

P2. People - SO2 Promote people's well-being and support equitable representation of countries in global decision-making fora (SDGs 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17);

P3. Planet- SO3 Support the conservation, restoration and safeguarding of our planet for present and future generations (SDGs 12, 13, 14, 15, 16);

P4. Prosperity- SO4 Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDGs 8, 10, 13, 17);

P5. Cross fertilization of knowledge and expertise - SO5 Promote the indivisible and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs 6, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17).

UNITAR also has an Advisory Council on Capacity for the 2030 Agenda that has been guiding UNITAR's efforts to provide support and enable Governments and other stakeholder to take a more holistic, integrated approach to the implementation of the SDGs across the national policy cycle from planning to budgeting, M&E and reporting.

2. At the secretariat level, what steps has your organization taken (or will it take) in the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please specify actions, including but not limited to the following areas:

2.1 SDG-specific strategies, plans or work programmes;

Given the cross-cutting nature of learning and training, UNITAR undertakes multiple programmatic activities under its strategic objectives that support specific SDGs. More than 50 per cent of the 75 result areas of the Programme Budget are aligned with SDGs 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts) and 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels). The Institute also contributes to SDGs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15 and 17, as well as towards SDG 11 and cities being more inclusive. The latter strategy also involves greater voice for cities in related inter-governmental deliberations.

2.2 Aligning the structure of the organization with the SDGs and the transformative features of the 2030 Agenda, including any challenges and lessons learned in doing so;

A new organizational structure has been adopted by the UNITAR Board of Trustees. The structure streamlines the work of the Organization in support of the 2030 Agenda. The work is organized under 4 thematic divisions – Peace, People, Planet, Prosperity; two cross-cutting Units, i.e., Multilateral Diplomacy, and Applied Research and Satellite Analysis. The programmatic work is supported by the three functional enablers: the Office of the Executive Director, the Strategic Planning and Performance Unit and the Operations Units.

2.3 Readjusting or updating results-based budgeting and management, including performance indicators;

The programme budget adopted for 2020-2021 is divided into four areas: (i) Programme areas contributing to the four strategic thematic pillars of Peace, People, Planet and Prosperity, in addition to the fifth strategic area on promoting the indivisible and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda; (ii) the Office of the Executive Director (OED),; (iii) and Strategic Planning and Performance Unit (SPPU) which includes costs related to planning, performance monitoring and evaluation, as well as building partnerships and resource mobilization; and (iv) the Operations Unit (OU). The results components of the Programme Budget are prepared pursuant to the Economic and Social Council resolution 2017/6, which encourages UNITAR to continue to respond to the learning and other capacity development needs in accordance with its mandate and the outcomes of relevant international conferences, and harmonize its activities with the 2030 Agenda. The results are also aligned with the strategic objectives and sub-objectives of the Institute's 2018 to 2021 Strategic Framework.

2.4 Action to enhance support to the principle of "leaving no one behind" and to integrated policy approaches;

The integrated and indivisible nature of the 2030 Agenda and the leaving no one behind principle are also the guiding principles of the new 2018-2021 Strategic Framework. The 2018-2021 Strategic Framework states: "As a crosscutting focus, we will place emphasis on reaching the furthest behind first by working to address the learning and broader capacity needs of stakeholders from countries in special situations, as well as aiming to achieve gender parity of our beneficiaries by 2021."

UNITAR has also been working to provide strategic support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by reflecting in its new, dedicated learning products the need for promoting integrated and equity-oriented policy solutions and showcasing related emerging good practices, tools and systems as UN Member States domesticate the SDGs. The dedicated unit developing these materials is part of the fifth pillar dedicated to the cross-fertilization of knowledge and expertise.

UNITAR is also conducting capacity development work aimed at addressing the situations of specific target groups. One area is related to migrants and refugees (and IDPs) who are amongst the most vulnerable. In follow-up to the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, UNITAR is leading work within the Global Migration Group and other UN efforts to make sure they are not left behind, and that migrants can contribute to their countries of origin.

2.5 Action to address the interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;

Given the cross-cutting nature of learning and training, UNITAR undertakes multiple programmatic activities under its strategic objectives that support specific SDGs.

2.6 Others.

3. What normative, analytical, technical assistance or capacity building activities is your organization providing to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief account of the activities you have organized or intend to undertake, including but not limited to the following areas:

3.1 Enhancing national implementation including by supporting the mainstreaming of the SDGs in development plans and policies or through national sustainable development plans/strategies;

Since 2015, UNITAR has developed several toolkits and contributed to a series of national workshops and learning conferences to support the domestication of the SDGs. The toolkits include: "National Briefing Package" (introductory from 2015), E-tutorial "Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda" based on UNDG's reference guide; and toolkits on "Policy cycle, integrated approaches and SDGs" (generic version and for Africa LDCs to be launched shortly). Further, UNITAR launched the www.unsdglearn.org platform together with key UN and other partners.

3.2 Mainstreaming the SDGs in sectoral strategies, including specific SDG/target strategies;

UNITAR provides technical and capacity development support in a number of sectoral areas.

3.3 Supporting the strengthening of national institutions for more integrated solutions;

UNITAR has been developing new programmatic activities to support the availability and utilization of data for evidence-based decision-making. It is organizing jointly with UNSD a series of regional workshops on governance for data ecosystems for the SDGs in Bangkok, February 2018 (for Asian LDCs), in Addis Ababa, March 2018 (for English and French-speaking African LDCs) and possibly for Caribbean SIDS later in 2018. A toolkit is being developed as part of the workshop design, and a series of case studies will complement the initial framework. In addition, UNITAR plans to conduct a training programme to strengthen the statistical capacities of SIDS in the Pacific region/African region pending the finalization of the funding arrangements.

3.4 Data and statistical capacity building;

UNITAR-UNOSAT has worked towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the use of Earth observations, by focusing on four main aspects: Capacity building, Rapid mapping for climate-related disaster response, Remote sensing at the service of human rights, humanitarian operations and human security, and development of sustainable water resource management systems in the Lake Chad region.

1. Capacity building: The aim is to train and build capacity in the use of technology (Remote sensing, GIS, modelling) for decision-making and in hydrogeology in developing countries. The activity covers themes concerning climate-related disaster risk mitigation, environment and integrated water resource management. In this sense, UNITAR-UNOSAT directly contributes to the implementation of SDGs 13 and 6, at the goal and at the target level (for example, but not limited to, targets: 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.A, 6.B, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.B). The capacity building activities are structured in two parts:

• Development of solutions, by leveraging the state of art geospatial technology, to provide a customized user-friendly methodology for geospatial analysis, which is freely accessible and open source. These solutions support governments of developing countries to make informed decisions.

• Customized training to targeted groups. On-the-field and remote training is granted to people from ministries and governments in a total timespan of six months, in order to progressively nurture the beneficiaries and assure a solid knowledge and expertise on Earth observations for decision-making.

UNITAR-UNOSAT directly addresses SDG 9, especially in the targets 9.A and 9.B, as, in this context, it promotes innovation and up to date Earth observations technology for sustainable management of resources and of the environment. Between 2016 and 2017, a number of trainings have been conducted in Bangladesh, Thailand, Chad, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Myanmar, Sudan and Cambodia.

An intended additional activity will be the capacity development in the use of Geospatial Information Technology for climate change adaptation and disaster mitigation for Small Island Develping States in the Pacific. This project will contribute in the implementation of SDGs 1, 2 and 13.

2. Rapid Mapping for Climate-related disaster Response: This activity directly focuses on SDGs 1, 11 and 13 and the related targets 1.5, 11.5 and 13.1. In case of a natural disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, tropical cyclones, landslides or volcanoes, UNITAR-UNOSAT provides timely and high quality geospatial products in support of emergency managers and coordinators, by using the latest technology for mapping and analyzing different kinds of satellite imagery. Only in 2017 has the rapid mapping service been activated 35 times, in support of emergency coordinators and managers during disasters such as the hurricanes Irma and Maria and the earthquakes in Mexico and on the Iran/Iraq border.

3. Mapping for Human Security, human rights and application of the international humanitarian law: This activity contributes to the implementation of SDG 16, and specifically to the achievement of 5 of the related targets (16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.4, 16.10). It consists in the production high quality and timely satellite imagery analyses on conflict-related issues such as the detection of internally displaced population (IDPs), building damage assessments or human security-related analyses. An additional service UNITAR-UNOSAT provides to conflict-affected countries is the generation of satellite-detected assessments of the condition of UNESCO World heritage Sites (target 11.4). These services support the United Nations in peacekeeping and human security operations through the production of reports and geospatial analyses. Moreover, upon specific request of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNITAR-UNOSAT has develops satellite-detected evidence of crimes against humanity (target 16.3) and has testified at the International Criminal Court.

4. Development of sustainable water resource management Programme in the Lake Chad region: This project, due to its interdisciplinary nature, is crosscutting in the 2030 Agenda framework. It addresses most of the SDGs, with a particular focus on SDG 6 (targets 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.A, 6.B) and 12 (targets 12.2 and 12.A). This activity provides field- and satellite-based assessments of the water resources in Chad, which leads to the production of a thorough hydrogeological atlas of the entire country, and the development of an Information System of Water Resources (SIRE). Moreover, UNITAR-UNOSAT is the developing a flood resilience system for the Lake Chad Region. It consists in the creation of a flood risk model, which integrates meteorological, hydrological, and inundation data in order to generate early warning systems, forecasts and simulated flood scenarios. This tool, in the form of bulletins and maps, addresses issues such as flood and drought risk, food security and WASH-related problematics. Such activity will contribute to the achievement of a number of goals, specifically SDGs 1 (target 1.5), 2 (target 2.1, 2.3, 2.4), 3 (targets 3.3, 3.D), 6 (targets 6.1, 6.2, 6.5), 11 (targets 11.5, 11.B) and 13 (targets 13.1, 13.2, 13.3).

3.5 Harnessing science, technology and innovation for the SDGs;

UNITAR-UNOSAT has worked towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the use of Earth observations, by focusing on four main aspects: Capacity building, Rapid mapping for climate-related disaster response, Remote sensing at the service of human rights, humanitarian operations and human security, and development of sustainable water resource management systems.

3.6 Multi-stakeholder partnerships;

The Mayoral Forum co-organized by UNITAR is an example of a multi-stakeholder partnership with IGOs, IFIs, National Government donors (e.g. SDC), local governments and other local stakeholders.

3.7 Bolstering local action and supporting sub-national plans/strategies and implementation for the SDGs;

The Mayoral Forum co-organized by UNITAR is an example of a multi-stakeholder partnership with IGOs, IFIs, National Government donors (e.g. SDC), local governments and other local stakeholders.

3.8 Leveraging interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;

A series of new training packages have been developed by UNITAR in support of the strategic implementation of the 2030 Agenda. These tools have been applied in the context of regional workshops for Asian and African LDCs and SIDS. In its current work on improving governance for data ecosystems, a special emphasis is also being placed on addressing cross-sectoral linkages to enhance access to data and data utilization for policy-making purposes.

Through its public finance and trade programme, UNITAR also assists developing countries including LDCs and SIDS in working towards their development priorities and translating multilateral norms and decisions into practice. To that end the Programme strengthens the capacities of institutions and of delegates, officials and change agents to effectively address current and future economic development challenges. The following thematic areas are being addressed: financing for development (SDG 17), fostering innovation (SDG 10), multilateral trade and investment (SDG 6).

3.9 Supporting policies and strategies to leave no one behind;

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3.10 Supporting the mobilization of adequate and well-directed financing;

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3.11 Reducing disaster risk and building resilience;

UNITAR-UNOSAT has worked towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the use of Earth observations, by focusing on four main aspects: Capacity building, Rapid mapping for climate-related disaster response, Remote sensing at the service of human rights, humanitarian operations and human security, and development of sustainable water resource management systems.

3.12 Supporting international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership;

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3.13 Others.

4. The high-level political forum (HLPF) is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Has your organization participated in or supported the work of the HLPF? If yes, please specify your involvement in the following areas:

4.1 Supporting the intergovernmental body of your organization in contributing to the thematic review of the HLPF;

UNITAR has e.g. contributed to the thematic review through the Global Compact on Migration.

4.2 Contributing to policy/background briefs for the HLPF;

UNITAR's New York Office has been co-organizing jointly with UNDESA the joint Learning Forum on the sidelines on the official programme of HLPF since 2016. The Learning Forum also provides space for other entities to deliver training. Under the auspices of this Forum, UNITAR organized several learning sessions structured around issues pertaining to the strategic implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and a private sector workshop.

4.3 Helping organize SDG-specific events in the preparatory process;

UNITAR's New York Office has been co-organizing jointly with UNDESA the joint Learning Forum on the sidelines on the official programme of HLPF since 2016. The Learning Forum also provides space for other entities to deliver training. Under the auspices of this Forum, UNITAR organized several learning sessions structured around issues pertaining to the strategic implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and a private sector workshop.

4.4 Organizing side events or speaking at the HLPF;

UNITAR's New York Office has been co-organizing jointly with UNDESA the joint Learning Forum on the sidelines on the official programme of HLPF since 2016. The Learning Forum also provides space for other entities to deliver training. Under the auspices of this Forum, UNITAR organized several learning sessions structured around issues pertaining to the strategic implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and a private sector workshop.

4.5 Supporting the VNR process.

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5. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations to achieve coherence and synergies in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? In this regard, has your organization launched or intend to launch any joint programmes or projects in collaboration with other UN entities? Are there any results or lessons you would like to highlight that might help improve the design and impact of such efforts? Has your organization participated in any of the following coordination systemwide mechanisms or any other relevant platform - CEB, UNSDG, EC-ESA Plus, regional coordination meetings, UN-Energy, UN-Water, UN-Ocean, IAEG, IATT? Please specify which and indicate any suggestions you may have about improving collaborations within and across these mechanisms/platforms.

UNITAR has been leveraging a multitude of partnerships. More specifically, in its work on supporting the mainstreaming of the SDGs into national strategies and plans, the Institute has been working with UNDP Regional Centers, UN Country Teams, DPADM and DSD and served as an Observer Member on UNDG SD Working Group. The latter has been very useful as it has allowed UNITAR to build on the guidance developed by taskteams of the SDWG in developing its learning materials for government officials from Member States ensuring a coherent UN approach. On its data related activities, UNITAR is closely collaborating with UN Statistics Division, and has become one of the founding members of GIST. Specific country needs have been reviewed by UNITAR in close collaboration with UN Country Teams, and the activities are being tailored to meet these needs. The support of UNCTs and UNDP Regional Centres has been very important with regards to the implementation of the SDG activities. It would be important to build on this successful experience from the past in the context of the reform of the UN Development System, particularly, with regards to maintaining these critical links to UNDG and regional and country offices.

6. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups, both in supporting implementation at the country, regional and global levels, and within your own organization? If yes, please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established any multi-stakeholder partnerships to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, please describe them and how their performances are being monitored and reviewed.

UNITAR has been involved and supported the organization of multi-stakeholder workshops in several countries and regions on discussing the roll-out of the SDGs at the country level. It is also working to support the engagement with representatives of non-traditional data sources in the monitoring of the SDGs.

7. Has your organization organized any conferences, forums or events designed to facilitate exchange of experience, peer and mutual learning in connection with the SDGs? If yes, please provide a brief summary, below and include lessons learned and gaps identified based on the outcomes of these events. Please also include any events you want to organize in the coming years.

UNITAR has organized SDG learning conferences since 2017 promoting peer learning on holistic approaches to the SDGs domestication and implementation, incl. for 17 African LDCs in English in Abuja, Nigeria, for Latin American countries in Cartagena, Colombia, and for African countries (jointly with UNDESA, OIF and UNDP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

8. Is there any other information you would like to share, including annual reports of your organization and any impact assessment or evaluation reports? If yes, please use the space below and attach the document(s). Please also use this space to provide any other information, comments or remarks you deem necessary.

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9. In your view, what should strategic directions look like for the UN system in support of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs in the Decade of Action? What key elements should they include and what major challenges should they address?

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a defining moment for modern society and has effects on all SDGs. History will judge the efficacy of the response not by the actions of any single set of government and UN actors taken in isolation, but by the degree to which the response is coordinated globally across all sectors for the benefit of our human family.

10. Please suggest one or two endeavours or initiatives that the UN system organizations could undertake together to support the implementation of the SDGs between now and 2030.

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Year of submission: 2020