In March 2017, the Icelandic government decided to appoint a working group of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and Statistics Iceland, which would manage the analysis, implementation and promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals. In order to ensure the involvement of all the ministries in the work, a contact group was also formed, comprised of representatives of other ministries, as well as an observer from the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland.
In the autumn of 2018, the working group was reorganised and now consists of representatives from all ministries, the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland and Statistics Iceland, as well as observers from the Youth Council for the SDGs and the UN Association in Iceland. The representative of the Prime Minister’s Office is chairman of the group and the Foreign Ministry’s representative vice-chairman.
According to the government’s decision, the principal task of the working group initially was to analyse the status of the targets for the SDGs, draft a status report with proposals on prioritisation of targets for the government, and set forth proposals for future arrangements and procedures in connection with the implementation of the goals in Iceland. In particular, the SDG working group was to look at how to integrate the implementation of the SDGs with government policy and planning and how to work on implementation of the goals in cooperation with domestic stakeholders.
Following the submission of the status report in the summer of 2018 and the adoption of the 65 priority targets, the working group has worked systematically on implementing the SDGs, with emphasis on the priority targets. The working group also handles international cooperation on the goals and has overseen the preparation of the first VNR to the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
A Senior Policy Analyst in the Prime Minister's Office, Héðinn Unnsteinsson, is chairman of the working group. For more information please contact him at [email protected].