Nordic VSR official launch: The Nordic View on Sustainability

It’s well known that most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will not be reached without local engagement. The Nordic countries have a long tradition of strong local governance and great potential to be frontrunners in SDG localisation. But what have the Nordic municipalities achieved so far? What works and what worries them?

Welcome to the official launch of the first-ever Nordic Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR), showcasing local governments’ efforts to achieve the SDGs. The launch will take place on 9 July, in Conference room 8 at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in New York. We welcome both those who will be onsite, and those joining online via stream.

The Nordic VSR is based on surveys and interviews across all Nordic municipalities. Nordregio and the Local and Regional Government Associations (LRGAs) will present final results, key learnings and inspiring practices on SDG implementation from the Nordic Toolbox. Together, we’ll discuss how to face recurring challenges, including political support, SDG governance, cross-sectoral collaboration, stakeholder and youth engagement, and how to monitor progress. 

Programme outline:

Welcome and opening words

Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations
Merete Fjeld Brattested, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations
Eeva Furman, Secretary-General of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development
Þórður Ægir Óskarsson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Erik Laursen, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations
Moderator: Åsa Ström Hildestrand, Nordregio 

Presentation of Nordic VSR: Results and key learnings

Nordic Local and Regional Government Associations (LRGAs):
Anne Romsaas, Chief Adviser SDG, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS Kommunesektorens organisasjon)
Daniel Sazonov, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki, The Chair of the AFLA Delegation, The Association of Finnish Local Authorities (AFLA/Kuntaliitto)
Emil Broberg, Board member, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR/SKR) and Councilor, Östergötland Region, Sweden
Heiða Björg Hilmisdóttir, President, The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga)

The Nordic Toolbox: Good practices from Nordic municipalities

Sara Sjödal, Mayor, and Frida Johnson, Sustainability Strategist, Tierp Municipality, Sweden
Mia Malin, Senior Advisor, City of Helsinki, Finland

Discussion: Comments and perspectives from international organisations and youth representatives

Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, UCLG
Stefano Marta, Head of Unit, Smart and Sustainable Cities, OECD
Shipra Narang Suri, Chief of Urban Practices Branch, UN-Habitat
Ari Sigurdarson, Norway’s UN Youth Delegate on Sustainable Development
Karoliina Vaakanainen, Chair of Agenda2030 Youth Group, Finland
Sara Julia Baldvinsdottir, Iceland’s UN Youth Delegate on Sustainable Development

Q&A with the audience on next steps for global action

The seminar is co-hosted by Nordregio, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark together with their Local and Regional Government Associations, as well as UCLG and UN Habitat.

Learn more about the Nordic VSR here.