In Austria, the government follows the „mainstreaming approach“ to implement the Agenda 2030. In 2016, all ministries were instructed to integrate the SDGs into their relevant programmes and strategies, and to develop new action plans for coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda where necessary. This means that all ministries share the responsibility for achieving the SDGs. An interministerial working group (IMAG) was installed, which is co-chaired by the Federal Chancellery and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its mandate is to coordinate exchange meetings between ministries on SDG activities, foster further SDG implementation and conduct the reporting process as part of the UN’s Voluntary National Review. The first national voluntary report will be published in 2020, which was preceded by a comprehensive multi-stakeholder process including civil society, academia, private sector and social partners. Furthermore, the Statistical Office of Austria published its first report on SDG implementation in 2020, which is also included in the national report.
SDG Watch Austria is a broad, cross-sectorial civil society network of more than 185 members, which was found in September 2017. In alliance with the private and academic sector, these organisations aim to jointly push for an effective and ambitious implementation of the 2030 Agenda via advocacy, a yearly multi-stakeholder conference called SDG Forum and other cooperations and activities. The platform meets several times a year to exchange information and strategies. Furthermore, some organisations formed thematic initiatives to focus on the SDGs in a specific context such as the initiatives on education, sustainable economy and SDGs on a local level. A steering committee of four umbrella organisations, which is elected by the members every two years, has the lead on the platform’s strategic decisions and management.
The key policy recommendations of SDG Watch Austria are, among others, clear political commitment, the implementation of a strategy of sustainable development, identifying priorities and ensuring policy coherence, pushing for laws and budgets in accordance with the SDGs, including all stakeholders such as the parliament, civil society, academia, local actors and the private sector, as well as a transparent monitoring process. This overlaps largely with the 2018 report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Austria.
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