NVR findings underscore the commitment of the Belgian authorities to implementing the SDGs as a whole, taking on board key principles such as leaving no-one behind, adopting a rights-based approach and mainstreaming gender throughout the SDGs. The focus is on all SDGs, working through overarching strategies and initiatives to address interlinkages and to enhance cooperation within and between the various governments. Governments are aligning sectoral and thematic policy plans at national, subnational and local levels to the 2030 Agenda. This alignment has, for example, already contributed to a far-reaching overhaul in Belgian international development policies. The NVR also highlights the commitment of civil society organizations and private sector players, who are launching a broad range of actions and are often setting up new umbrella organizations or revitalizing and adapting existing ones.
Reviewing the implementation of the SDGs in and by Belgium remains work in progress. Given the challenges related to undertaking a fully-fledged review of progress and impact covering the full breadth and depth of this agenda, this first edition of the Belgian NVR should be considered primarily as a stocktaking exercise, a starting point providing us with a (partial) baseline and a benchmark: for guiding further action, for future monitoring of progress, and for strengthening accountability towards the Belgian population and parliaments.