The report takes stock of the first four years of the 2030 Agenda, from the perspective of culture. It focuses on the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) submitted by State Parties to the UN for the High-level Political Forums (HLPF) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The report also explains the parallel developments of policy in the global conversation on culture in development, including the initiatives and actions undertaken by the networks of #culture2030goal themselves, UNESCO, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, and other international organisations. The report also includes an analysis of the Voluntary Local Reports (VLRs, submitted by cities and local governments).
The report provides key recommendations for all parties involved in the Implementation Decade (2020-2030) of the SDGs: (a) culture to be from the outset in national development planning frameworks for implementing the SDGs, as well as in their reporting through the VNR process, (b) the need for wider consultation and participatory exercises in the elaboration of VNRs, (c) the need to develop a wider international community around culture and sustainable development, (d) the organisation of a High-Level Meeting devoted to Culture within the next HLPF cycle of reporting (2020-2023), (e) the design and implementation of quantitative and qualitative indicators reflecting the place of culture in sustainable development, (f) the importance of cultural contexts in the local implementation of the SDGs and the crucial role played by local cultural actors, institutions and organisations, (g) the need for cultural sectors to strengthen their own efforts towards the implementation of the SDGs, and (h) the commitment to developing partnerships at all levels to strengthen the integration of the cultural dimension in the SDGs.