2030 Agenda Voluntary National Review of Spain

The 2030 Agenda aims to advance towards societies with inclusive economic growth, greater cohesion and social justice, in peace and with a sustainable environmental horizon. The way to achieve this is set out in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which cover all domestic public policies, overseas action and cooperation for development. The Sustainable Development Goals are universal and they are applied equally to developed and developing countries and cover the roots of poverty, inequality and the deterioration of our planet as part of a transformative commitment.

The 2030 Agenda also involves actions on the part of civil society, the private sector, professional associations, trade unions, universities and think tanks. It generates responsibilities for central government, autonomous communities and municipal authorities. It promotes new ways of working inside every country and an innovative model of international relations that is conscious of growing interdependency.

The Voluntary National Review of Spain before the United Nations

An essential element of the 2030 Agenda is the mechanism for follow-up and review through voluntary national reviews before the High Level Political Forum held annually at the United Nations in New York. Last year, Spain announced its participation in the review in 2018, which took place today, 18 July.

In its session of 20 December 2017, the Spanish Government's High Level Group for the 2030 Agenda adopted the agreement to prepare an Action Plan for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which was finally approved by the Council of Ministers on 29 June last. This, along with a statistical annex with indicators covering the contributions of all social stakeholders, was submitted today.

The panel, which included the Spanish delegation, was presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation and the Minister of Ecological Transformation. It also included the Director of Cooperation and Solidarity of the Generalitat Valenciana; the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government; the Mayor of Soria, representing the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP); the Chairs of the Cooperation Committees of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate; as well as representatives from civil society, the private sector, the universities and think tanks.

The new Spanish government has put the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of government action. This represents an innovative and ambitious project for the country.

Decisions have been taken that put Spain on the path to aligning public policies and priorities towards the Sustainable Development Goals, such as those that have been highlighted by both ministries in their presentation. The government itself is comprised of a majority of female ministers. A number of High Commissioners for the 2030 Agenda and for the Fight Against Child Poverty have been created, who report directly to the President of the Government. The Ministry of Ecological Transformation, bringing together the competencies for energy, the environment, climate change and water, has been created. There has been a shift towards very ambitious positions in the commitments of the European Union in terms of compliance with the Paris Agreement. The Ministry of Equality has been reinstated. The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities has been created. The extension of universal health to include all persons, without excluding undocumented immigrants, has been agreed. A commitment has been announced to reorientate employment policy in such a way that economic growth does not exacerbate inequality, through social dialogue. Spain has demonstrated its commitment to human rights and to a more just, sustainable and inclusive global order, by providing safe harbour for the boat Aquarius in its territory. The 2030 Agenda has been configured as a space for meeting, talking with, and working together with Autonomous Communities and Local Authorities to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals at a local level.

The Action Plan, put together through an open, participative and transparent process, in consultation with all the social stakeholders and territorial administrations, is structured in two parts. The first part looks at the current status of the SDGs in Spain, the starting point and maps out of all of the different departments' responsibilities. The second part includes the actions through which the 2018-2020 Agenda will be driven: new public policies and measures, the responsibility for overseeing the Agenda, monitoring mechanisms and the accountability of all stakeholders.

The plan gathers an initial group of priority policies referred to as levers, with the capacity to accelerate, transversally and on a greater scale, progress towards achieving the 17 SDGs. These include the prevention of, and fight against, poverty, inequality and social exclusion; the Strategic Equal Opportunities Plan; the Urban Agenda; circular economy; the Climate Change and Energetic Transition Law; scientific and technical research for the SDGs, the Social Economy Strategy; the Open Government Plan; and the review and relaunch of Spanish Cooperation.

The plan incorporates a selection of transformative, transversal measures in order to establish the necessary foundations to drive the SDGs: promoting a civil service with the knowledge and capacities to implement the SDGs, making education for sustainable development a fundamental pillar of the education system; aligning general budgets and the State's public procurement with the SDGs; an SDG report on the regulatory impact on all legislative activity; a link to Agenda 2030 and the National Reforms Plan; promoting alliances among stakeholders; placing Agenda 2020 at the heart of Spain's identity in the world; a pact for communication and an online platform for Agenda 2030; and culture as a key element for change.

The responsibility for overseeing the 2030 Agenda lies with the recently created High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda; the Council of Sustainable Development, which is an advisory body coordinating between the three levels of public administration; and a mixed Congress-Senate Commission for the monitoring of said Agenda.

Special importance is placed on the inclusion of the commitments and advances from the Autonomous Regions and Local Governments, through the strategies agreed by the FEMP and the other stakeholders, civil society, companies, trade unions, universities and professional bodies, which enable the Plan to be shaped as a joint effort on the part of society as a whole.

The review of Spain ended with a series of questions being put to the attendees of the Forum: the governments of Romania, Mexico and Colombia took interest in the role of civil society in the creation of our Plan, the lever policies as a valuable asset when driving change and the collaboration of competencies in a country as highly de-centralised as ours. Spanish platforms and NGOs asked about the priority being given to the protection of the most vulnerable groups, the coherence of policies for development and the commitment to the fight against gender-based violence and for equality.

The complete review of Spain can be accessed at the following web address:

The intervention can be viewed at the following web address:





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