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State Secretary Zupančič at the 2018 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

Ljubljana, 5 March 2018 – State Secretary Zupančič and State Secretary from the Prime Minister’s Office Tadej Slapnik attended the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region which was held on 1 and 2 March in Geneva.
The Regional Forum on Sustainable Development is convened by UNECE once a year to follow up on and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UNECE region. As an intergovernmental mechanism, the Regional Forum focuses on practical value-added and peer learning, it creates a regional space to share policy solutions, best practices and challenges in SDG implementation and helps identify major regional and sub-regional trends. 
The focus of this year’s peer learning round tables was on the five SDGs that deal with clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production and life on land.
Addresses were delivered by the representatives of United Nations (UN), UNECE, UN Economic and Social Council and the representatives of members’ governments, including State Secretary Zupančič, who shared the experience of Slovenian Government in implementing SDGs and incorporating them in Slovenia’s Development Strategy 2030. Mr Zupančič highlighted the role of the voluntary national review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. Slovenia conducted the review in 2017 and presented the voluntary national review report at the High-Level Political Forum. Slovenia sees the voluntary national review as a helpful tool raising awareness among stakeholders and increasing the sense of ownership among individual ministries in terms of delivering on SDGs. ‘’If we wish to address the 17 SDGs, we need a whole-of-government commitment, and an effective horizontal and multi-level coordination mechanism to underpin our work’’, added Zupančič. 
Slovenia participated in the closing panel discussion as a rapporteur on the peer learning round table on cross-sector collaboration and policy making to deliver more sustainable and resilient cities and communities. State Secretary Zupančič identified the key challenges that the UNECE region countries are facing in this area. In terms of spatial planning the debate highlighted the importance of close and coordinated action between national and local actors, as well as the need to have the political will to implement the strategies that continue beyond the expiry of particular mandate of national authorities.
On the sidelines of the Regional Forum, State Secretary participated in the event focusing on the youth participation in the voluntary national review process. Mr Zupančič and Slovenian Youth Delegate to the UN Sabino Carli presented the work and input of the National Youth Council of Slovenia to the preparation of the 2017 voluntary national review. Mr Zupančič also met with the UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.