2 Highlights of the report

Picture showing lights above a Norwegian city

Photo: Ørjan Aslaksen/Scream Media for Norad

Review process

Norway’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) includes contributions from various government entities and civil society. The review builds on relevant findings from statistics, reports, evaluations and research. The review includes a progress report on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), made up of two independent assessments. The first assessment was conducted by line ministries and the second by civil society. The VNR also includes an assessment of the progress on the SDGs in regions and municipalities. The governments of Denmark and Indonesia have supported Norway in the preparatory stage of the VNR by discussing the process and reviewing the draft report.

Policy and enabling environment

Sustainable development is an integral part of Norwegian polices. The government reports on the progress of the SDGs to Parliament. This ensures that progress is reported annually through a well-established political mechanism.

In January 2020, Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Government appointed the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation as a coordinating body for national implementation of the SDGs. This has led to increased cross-sectoral cooperation and a holistic approach to sustainable development. The Government will submit Norway’s first national Action Plan for the implementation of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) to Parliament in 2021. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates Norway’s global efforts on SDG implementation.

To improve the monitoring of progress on the 17 SDGs, Statistics Norway is coordinating the effort to develop a comprehensive set of indicators, adopted to national, regional and local needs.

Leaving no one behind

The Norwegian welfare society is key to ensure that no one is left behind, by securing opportunities for income and providing education and health services for everyone. The welfare society depend upon a strong national economy and well-functioning distribution mechanisms. To continuously improve the Norwegian welfare state is crucial for achieving the SDGs at the national level. A strong focus on equality and non-discrimination is key to ensure that no one is left behind. Norway is prioritising non-discrimination online and is at the forefront of developing legislation to ensure that websites, mobile applications and self-service terminals are accessible for everyone.

Human rights and gender equality are an integral part of Norwegian foreign and development policy. Norway seeks to increase awareness about discriminatory practices and reduce inequalities and promote inclusion on a global scale. Norway provides financial and political support to a vibrant and pluralistic civil society, which contributes significantly to the objective of leaving no one behind.

Progress on SDGs

According to the SDG Index, Norway’s performance on SDG 1 (no poverty), 3 (good health and well-being), 5 (gender equality), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnerships for the goals) is strong. Norway is currently ranked number 6 on the SDG Index. The key challenges for achieving the SDGs in Norway are related to unsustainable consumption patterns, greenhouse gas emissions and the state of biodiversity. Gender-based violence and labour market disparities remain and show that persisting or rising inequalities between groups of society must be addressed.

SDGs in Norwegian municipalities and regions

Achieving the 2030 Agenda depends strongly on the efforts and progress made at the local and regional level. SDGs concern all aspects of the local government sector’s work and contribution through regular service delivery, welfare production, local planning and development work is substantial. Implementation has gained momentum in municipalities and regional authorities. Most have started, some have advanced quite far. Political commitment is vital for the direction and speed. Networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration across levels of government foster success. Multi-level governance optimises the outcome.

Means of implementation

Norway values a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable development. The Norwegian model of tripartite cooperation has long traditions in Norwegian working life and has paved the way for major reforms of the country’s welfare system. There are also long-standing traditions of involving civil society organisations in decision-making processes.

Norway supports global collective efforts to achieve the SDGs and remains a strong supporter, both financially and politically, of the United Nation (UN)’s work to promote sustainable development. Norway is committed to spending approximately 1 per cent of gross national income (GNI) on development assistance.

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