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Fiocruz welcomes Janja to open UN workshop on SDGs


Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)


In front of representatives from 24 countries, Fiocruz opened on 4/3, and hosted until 4/5, the Second Global Workshop for countries presenting Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), part of a series of three meetings organized by the United Nations to draw up proposals to be taken to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July. This is the first time the workshop has been held in Latin America, and its opening was attended by first lady Rosângela Lula da Silva, known as Janja, and Fiocruz's president Mario Moreira, among other authorities, in the auditorium of the Museum of Life in Rio de Janeiro.

This is the first time that the workshop has been held in Latin America; opening was attended by the first lady Rosângela Lula da Silva and the president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, among other authorities (photo: Peter Ilicciev)

"I do not need to remind you of my commitment to the 2030 Agenda in my career. Now I occupy a place where my voice reverberates, and so I can reverberate my commitment to the 2030 Agenda," said Janja, reaffirming that gender equality is a lifelong commitment and emphasizing that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva knows the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "When we talk about leaving no one behind, we look very much inwards, to the indigenous and quilombola communities. In New York, we had some meetings and saw countries that still have a long way to go. We also have to work for other countries to achieve the SDGs. And we can help some achieve it faster."

The VNRs are reports that summarize the status of the SDGs, their targets and indicators in each country. Thus, it is possible to exchange experiences and draw up proposals to be taken to the High-Level Forum. The first edition of the workshop took place on December 4th and 5th last year in Ethiopia, with Brazil represented by the National Commission for Sustainable Development Goals (CNODS), which is technically advised by Fiocruz.

"Fiocruz is honored to host this event. Much more than honored, it feels responsible, part of and committed to the sustainable development goals. We believe that these goals are fundamental to our activities, which are developed both in our capacity for institutional agency and setting up networks and advocacy around the issue, as well as in our actions as our country's largest science and technology institution in the field of health," said Mario Moreira, in front of representatives from countries such as Colombia, Uganda, Morocco, Costa Rica, South Africa and Ecuador. "We were directly involved in drawing up the voluntary review together with the [Institute of Applied Economic Research] Ipea and the [Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics] IBGE. Fiocruz breathes the 2030 Agenda, which is of immense relevance to us as a political and strategic guideline," he added.

“Much more than honored, Fiocruz feels responsible, participating and committed to the objectives of sustainable development", said the president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira (photo: Peter Ilicciev)

Secretary for Climate, Energy and the Environment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador André Corrêa do Lago also highlighted the moment Brazil is going through, with the presidency of the G20 and the future hosting of COP 30 next year in Belém. "These issues have to be deeply coordinated, and the SDGs are the road map for these commitments that the world has made," said Lago.

Silvia Rucks Del Bo, UN System Resident Coordinator in Brazil, said that the three-day workshop represented a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and learn, not only for the countries but also for the UN itself. She pointed out that a quarter of the world's population lives in areas of conflict. "It is not a simple scenario, but we are here because we believe we can do more. All matches are won in the second half. There is still time to turn the tables".

Since 2016, the VNR preparation workshop has also been held in New York, Dakar, Geneva, Bonn, Oslo and Addis Ababa, and 188 countries have voluntarily submitted their reviews. The idea of the workshop is to exchange experiences related to the preparation of the VNRs and their presentation, and thus strengthen the capacity of States to carry out inclusive analyses and monitor progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It brings the opportunity to better identify and communicate development priorities and accelerate action to achieve the SDGs. "It is a way of sharing lessons learned, identifying gaps and challenges," said Ambassador Paula Narváez, president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), in a virtual interview.

Organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the workshop in Brazil is promoted by Fiocruz, Itaipu Binacional, the General Secretariat of the Presidency and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event has the financial support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. "We have less than six years until 2030. Everyone agrees that we need to accelerate to achieve our goals," said Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Italy's permanent representative to the UN, in a video.

The Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, Márcio Macedo, in turn, highlighted the resumption of Cnods and the importance of Brazil on the issue, saying that in addition to the geopolitical and economic aspects of the G20, President Lula had also included "a social track". "We need to have a debate that is close to the pain and needs of the people. This has everything to do with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. If we succeed in this Social G20 in linking this debate with the Sustainable Development Goals, we will be making a huge contribution to the planet," said Macedo, adding that "we need a world that is socially just, economically viable and environmentally sustainable".

The event's meetings were divided into nine sessions, all at Fiocruz's Manguinhos campus, in Rio de Janeiro (photo: Peter Ilicciev)

The president of Ipea, Luciana Servo, who participated virtually, highlighted the resumption of Cnods last year as strategic and the delivery of the review as a milestone. The aim of the commission is to coordinate all federal government bodies, as well as to establish collaboration with representatives of state and municipal governments and members of civil society. The Brazilian general director of Itaipu Binacional, Enio Verri, in turn, highlighted the company's social and environmental performance as a hallmark. Flavia Vinhaes Santos, executive director of the IBGE, stressed that Brazil is now contributing to deepening the agenda, not only in the poverty dimension, but also in the environment one.

Coordinator of the Fiocruz Strategy for the 2030 Agenda (EFA 2030), Paulo Gadelha noted that the workshop marks the leveraging of Brazil's commitment to the issue and that, by taking place at Fiocruz, it is the recognition of the institution by the federal government as a technical advisory body to the SDG Commission, together with IBGE and Ipea. The workshop comes at an extremely relevant time, both from the point of view of international and national dynamics, says Gadelha. "In the international field, we are in a process that seeks to reverse regressive trends in relation to the SDGs, and the voluntary participation of these reviews shows how this is happening in very diverse country contexts."

On the national front, the EFA 2030 coordinator highlights a process of "mobilization to make up for lost time", giving as an example the re-creation of the National SDG Commission. "President Lula has stressed in his speeches that the 2030 Agenda is the compass for the social, economic and environmental development process. This commitment has been set, including the adoption of a voluntary SDG related to the issue of inequity based on racial discrimination."

The meetings are divided into nine sessions, all at Fiocruz's Manguinhos campus in Rio de Janeiro, covering topics such as experiences in implementing the 2030 Agenda, the preparation of review presentations, the mobilization of institutions, reflections on global issues and financing for sustainable development.

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