Jane Hutt AM, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
On 26th June the UK Government published its first Voluntary National Review report on the progress being made in the UK under the United Nations Agenda 2030. This reflects the actions from across the UK including the action taken here in Wales since 2015 when the Sustainable Development Goals were first adopted.
As Assembly Members will know, sustainable development has been at the heart of devolution right from the start. In 2015, the National Assembly for Wales made a historic decision to change the course of Wales onto a more sustainable path by passing the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. This reflected the tireless effort by people from across Wales to strengthen the way in which Wales’s future is shaped. This was Welsh society’s commitment to a better quality of life for both current and future generations. We did this at the same time that the United Nations was developing the Sustainable Development Goals, and we did this during a period of austerity.
To tell our story, and to provide a useful starting point to review Wales’ contribution to this agenda, we are publishing today a Supplementary Report to the UK’s Voluntary National Review Report. This outlines the progress we have made, the policy and institutional changes we have implemented, the lessons we have learned and the areas we need to improve on for the future.
We are grateful to those who attended the Sustainable Development Goals Summits earlier this year, and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales and members of the ‘Wales and the Sustainable Development Goals’ working group that helped shape this supplementary report.
We have seen how the National Assembly for Wales has recognised the value of the Act in driving, and of course challenging the way in which the Welsh Government and our partners find solutions for now and for the future. One of the key lessons from this review is the need to improve how we involve stakeholders across Wales in how we provide leadership on the Act. To this end, we have committed to establish a civil society forum to support the next phase of implementation of the Act.
The supplementary report is a timely opportunity to reflect on progress in Wales, as we move towards 2020, which will not only be 5 years since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed, but five years since Wales seven well-being goals were agreed by the National Assembly for Wales. Next year we will see the first statutory Future Generations Report for Wales prepared and published by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. As required in law, this will be laid before the National Assembly for Wales. This will be complemented by the report of the Auditor General for Wales, which will also be laid before the National Assembly for Wales. This will give Members a greater understanding of the progress we are making using the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Welsh Supplementary Report to the UK’s Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals Summits: Wales
UK’s Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals
Transforming our world – Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development
High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2019