IFLA has prepared analysis of the set of Voluntary National Reviews of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals being presented at this year’s UN High-Level Political Forum. It has been another year of above-average numbers of references to libraries, linked to a wider range of SDGs than ever before. 

Voluntary National Reviews are a key part of the mechanisms within the 2030 Agenda to ensure its effectiveness, both through encouraging countries to set out their progress and receive questions from their peers and civil society internationally, and by providing an opportunity for collective reflection domestically.

When done well, they are built on a wide-ranging review of the current situation, in turn based on widespread consultation with all actors involved in realising sustainable development, including of course libraries. They can also identify useful steps for the future.

IFLA’s analysis, as in previous years, provides an overview of the share of countries mentioning libraries, the range of SDGs in connection with which libraries are mentioned, and then a run through the nature of these references for each relevant SDG.

As highlighted, around a third of countries have talked about libraries, the second highest share only after last year, and the work of our institutions in delivering on 15 goals – a new record – is set out, alongside the work of libraries in promoting the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

The countries are Argentina, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ghana, Gabon, Greece, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Lesotho, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uruguay.

The reviews of Argentina and Latvia are particularly rich, both featuring dedicated sections which go into more depth about how the library sector as a whole contributes to development, providing a very helpful model for others.

The reviews are being presented this week in New York, and IFLA has brought libraries from 6 VNR countries – all of which already refer to libraries – in order to strengthen relations and ensure that more countries hear about the contribution our institutions make.

We hope that this report provides a useful tool for library associations, libraries and library and information professionals in their advocacy for recognition as essential partners for strong, inclusive and sustainable development.

Read more in the report:

Libraries in Voluntary National Reviews of SDG Implementation (2022)

This week at the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York, 45 Member States are presenting their Voluntary National Reviews of implementation of the 2030 Agenda – the UN’s roadmap for sustainable development from 2016 to 2030. These reviews are a key part of the mechanisms within the Agenda to ...