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Regional Forum aims to step up action on sustainable development in times of crises

Regional Forum aims to step up action on sustainable development in times of crises


This year’s Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (Geneva, 29-30 March 2023) is taking place against the background of multiple crises: the lingering aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine; food, energy and cost-of-living crises; economic downturn; and financial vulnerabilities. Halfway towards 2030, the region is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Co-chaired by Ambassador Milos Prica (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Chair of the Council for the implementation of the SDGs, and Ambassador Markus Reubi (Switzerland), Delegate of the Federal Council for the 2030 Agenda, the Forum will therefore aim to generate a strong call to action to turn the tide on the imperilled SDGs. 

Regional Forum: Springboard for action 

The plenary sessions of the Regional Forum will take stock of the current landscape of SDG implementation and provide an opportunity to share policy actions that have been taken by governments to preserve SDG progress and regain lost ground. They will also identify transformative actions, innovative solutions and high-impact initiatives that are scalable and replicable and that can make a significant difference in accelerating SDG progress. 

Which are the SDGs in focus? 

In addition to assessing overall SDG progress in the region, the Forum will zoom in on this year’s in-focus SDGs in five peer-learning roundtables:  

  • SDG 6 – Water and Sanitation for All 

  • SDG 7 – Accelerating the energy transition and enhancing energy system resiliency through increased energy efficiency and renewable energy 

  • SDG 9 – Green, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure & Transformative Innovation to accelerate Sustainable Development 

  • SDG 11 – Cities leading the transformation: SDGs in action and the new multilateralism 

  • SDG 9 & 17 – Partnerships for inclusive and sustainable digital development 

These inclusive and engaging roundtables will offer valuable insights on effective policy actions and advice on implementation. 

A whole-of-society effort 

Strong participation of the private sector, financial institutions, civil society, youth, academia and other stakeholders is envisaged throughout the Regional Forum.  

Regional Forum activities will kick off on 27 March with over 30 side events throughout the week on topics ranging from Voluntary Metropolitan Reviews to SDG 9 and the Fashion Industry, Enhancing trust in Municipalities in times of Crisis and Closing financial gaps on gender equality to accelerate SDG implementation.  

Civil society will prepare for the Forum discussions in a pre-meeting on 28 March entitled: ‘Halfway there, but nowhere near’ organised by the Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for the UNECE Region (ECE-RCEM). Youth groups will hold a separate youth consultation.  


The outcomes of the Regional Forum will feed into the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July and the SDG Summit in September. The SDG Summit will be a pivotal event at the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda to raise ambitions and make clear commitments to rescue the SDGs.  

Join us from anywhere 

At this year’s Regional Forum, we continue to keep the doors open for everyone: the Forum will take place in hybrid mode, and all sessions will be livestreamed. No matter where you are, you can tune in and follow the future-oriented exchanges. The sessions will include real-time captioning and international sign language interpretation, increasing the accessibility of the Regional Forum for everyone. 

Join us and the hundreds of participants that have already registered for an important milestone in the journey towards 2030 and engage in the conversation at #RFSD2023 

Learn More and Register Here