In July 2018 during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), NYC became the first city in the world to directly report to the United Nations on local progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, this process was coined the "Voluntary Local Review" or "VLR". Modeled after the Voluntary National Review (VNR) that countries are invited to submit to the HLPF annually, the VLR highlights NYC's sustainable development achievements. It uses the common language of the Global Goals to translate the City's local actions to a global audience.
The VLR was developed in partnership with the NYC Mayor's Offices of Operations, and Climate Policy and Programs, and in consultation with other relevant NYC agencies. These reports are presentations of existing NYC information in formats that are accessible to the UN community and other stakeholders following the SDG process, in line with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) documents recognizing the key role of local governments in the implementation of the SDGs.
To complement the written reports, the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs partnered with relevant city agencies to develop series of site visits for the UN diplomatic community, focusing specifically on the Global Goals to be reviewed in each report. This included a trip to the country's largest recycling facility to explore Global Goal 12, a ride on a sludge vessel to learn about Global Goal 6, and a tour of a community garden to delve into Global Goal 15. During the site visits, NYC agencies also highlighted ways their work is integrated with additional Global Goals.
Following the 2018 HLPF, the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs built on these connections and encouraged other local governments around the world to join us in submitting a VLR at the 2019 HLPF. The VLR gives local governments of all sizes a concrete tool to become directly involved with the work of the United Nations for the first time. New York City shares its pioneering VLR model with cities around the world and provides guidance to local governments interested in tracking their progress using the framework of the SDGs.
In April 2019, OneNYC 2050, the City's comprehensive strategic plan, was launched. For the first time, NYC formally committed to producing and submitted a VLR to the UN annually and incorporated the SDG indicators directly in OneNYC.
The 2019 NYC VLR and the UN HLPF were focused on the SDGs of quality education (Goal 4), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), reduced inequalities (Goal 10), climate action (Goal 13), peace, justice, and strong institutions (Goal 16), and promoting strategic partnerships for the SDGs (Goal 17). The 2019 VLR was developed by the Mayor's Office for International Affairs in partnership with the Mayor's Offices of Operations, based on OneNYC 2050 developed by the Mayor's Office of Climate Policy and Programs. NYC agencies working on the SDGs reviewed in the report were also consulted.
Download the 2019 Voluntary Local Review: New York City's Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Download the 2018 Voluntary Local Review: New York City's Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Download the accessible version of the 2018 Voluntary Local Review: New York City's Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development