Fruitful exchanges amongst the VSR Action Platform partners help strengthen the 2024 VSR processes


The VSR Action Platform partners successfully met for the first time on Thursday 21 March 2024. 

The five associations producing a VSR this year: 

-the National Union of Local Governments of Costa Rica (UNGL);

-the Association of Brazilian Municipalities (ABM);

-the Mauritanian Association of Regions (AMR);

-the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and

-the Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN), 

participated in a forward-looking debate and peer-learning around the first stages of the VSR process, in which the five associations currently find themselves. They were accompanied by a number of partners, including the UCLG World Secretariat, the UCLG regional sections and the Norwegian association KS.

The welcoming remarks were offered by Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General. She reminded us that VSRs hold the key of local-national interaction as part of our localization-related political commitments that transform our perception of global agendas and that put local and regional governments as political actors at the heart of international agendas.

Anna Calvete Moreno, UCLG Research Officer, emphasized that these efforts belong to a global community of VSR champions and encouraged the use of the Insights Note’s key messages and examples to demonstrate that VSRs are absolutely forceful policy processes and have had clear positive impacts on local governance for sustainable development.

Anne Romsaas, Chief Adviser SDGs at KS, shared some lessons learned regarding the 2021 Norwegian VSR. These included: 

-ownership is key to secure commitment for sustainable development;

– VSRs are a great way to showcase existing local government work for the SDGs, and

-it is important to be pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the existing limitations in data availability. 

KS, together with other associations and territories from the Nordic countries, are currently producing the first-ever Nordic VSR. On 9 April a workshop will be held in which the different partners will share their preliminary results, you are invited!

An interactive Mural board allowed participants to share the challenges they are facing and propose bold solutions. Discussions and proposals revolved around how to ensure:

-political will, commitment and leadership at all levels around the VSR process; 

-data availability and quality; 

-enough capacities and resources to produce the VSR, particularly in such a short period of time; 

-support from the national government and cross-fertilization between the VSR and the VNR, and

-the representativeness of all the country’s different territories.

In the run-up towards the HLPF, this session was a key contributor to strengthening bottom-up efforts to localize the SDGs, and to do so as a community. A second workshop will take place in May and focus on how to best target key messages, communicate the report and keep working for sustainable development after the VSRs are published. Stay tuned!