Regions4 Vice President for Europe, Lombardy Region, presented its VLR on the implementation of the SDGs at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)

From July 5th to 15th 2022, representatives from national and regional governments, civil society, and international servants gathered to attend the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) online and in New York. 

Established in 2012, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the HLPF is the central United Nations platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. 

Convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), this year’s review focused on five Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 14 (life below water), SDG 15 (life on land), and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals), on the theme “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

Regions Voice at the UN 

During the HLPF 2022, forty-four countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). However, national governments are not alone in contributing to the implementation of the SDGs.  

Regional and local authorities, key actors at the forefront of the 2030 Agenda, have been reporting their progress in implementing the SDGs since 2015 through the Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) and Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs). 

This year, Lombardy Region, Regions4 Vice President for Europe, submitted to the United Nations its first Voluntary Local Review (VLR). Elaborated in cooperation with multiple stakeholders, the report consists of three sections:  

  • Pathway: how Lombardy provided itself with a sustainable development strategy, a governance structure, how it involved stakeholders and promoted the culture of sustainability.  
  • Positioning: an overview of Lombardy, based on composite indicators showing the progress towards each SDG through a 10-year series.  
  • Actions: the most relevant activities carried out by the Lombardy Region, the Metropolitan City of Milan, and the members of the regional Protocol for sustainable development.
Voluntary reporting offers the opportunity to show the efforts made by Lombardy Region to coordinate the transition process towards a sustainable development model for our territory. It also enhances the commitments of stakeholders from the local government to the enterprises to strengthen the territorial alliance for a sustainable future. We share and put on the ground the Agenda 2030 approach, which provides for close collaboration between levels of government and the widest possible involvement of local actors, placing partnership as a key tool for achieving sustainable development goals.” 
Mr. Raffaele Cattaneo- Minister for Environment and Climate of Lombardy Region 

Lombardy Region has also presented its VLR at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) Side Event: Building Back Better by deepening the integration of the SDGs in national and local planning processes: effective multilevel governance and the role of VLRs in supporting local authorities which was co-organized by Italy, UN-Habitat, UNECE and OECD on July 12th, 2022. 

The event focused on promoting peer-learning dialogue about the main challenges that emerged from VLRs, as well as on effective ways to support local and regional authorities to build back better with the SDGs

Regions4 Secretary General, Natalia Uribe, was invited to speak at its Interactive Panel Discussion about the common challenges local authorities are facing in localizing the 2030 Agenda and what innovative solutions are needed to enhance effective multilevel governance. 

Participants stated that the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs requires effective multilevel governance and an inclusive multilateral system. They called for higher ambition, solidarity, cooperation, and major inclusion of subnational governments to design integrated solutions for the current global emergencies and to achieve the Global Goals

Read Lombardy’s VLR here (in English and Italian). 

Regions4 Community of Practice 

As Organizing Partner of the Local Authorities Major Group (LAMG) and member of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, Regions4 represents the voice of subnational governments in the global sustainable development fora, especially in the annual reviews of the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF). 

The Community of Practice Regions4SDGs is a Regions4 collective and participatory project to support SDGs localization in subnational governments. Based on peer-review, it acts as a platform for region-to-region exchange of experiences, mutual support, capacity building, and alignment of statements both at technical and political levels.

It aims to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and strengthen territorial approaches, scaling-up regional pathways from isolated good practices to collective modalities of implementation, ultimately influencing more ambitious results in the national and international frameworks. 

Contact us to join our Community of Practice: Mrs. Analice Martinsson at