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News 2016

INTOSAI Side Event - ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum

Together with the United Nations (UN) and the Permanent Missions of Austria and the United Arab Emirates to the UN, the INTOSAI General Secretariat successfully organised a high-level roundtable discussion on "The contribution of Supreme Audit Institutions to ensuring that no one is left behind in the implementation of the SDGs" in the framework of the UN ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum in New York on 20 July 2016.

The active participation of most of INTOSAI's leadership — including the current and future chairpersons of Goals 1, 2 and 3, representatives of the current and future chair of INTOSAI, the IDI, the chair of the Task Force on Strategic Planning and the General Secretariat — illustrated the dedication and readiness of the INTOSAI community to contribute to raising the awareness for the important contribution of SAIs to monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The great interest of the high-ranking international community in the essential role of SAIs in this context was underlined both by the support of the UN, with Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo participating as keynote speaker and the Permanent Representatives of Austria and the United Arab Emirates opening the event, as well as by the great number of participants (around 70 ambassadors, representatives of Permanent Missions to the UN and high-level UN officials).

The discussion highlighted the opportunities and potential contributions of SAIs to reviewing the implementation of the SDGs at different levels. The contributions of the participants illustrated in how many ways SAIs can support the follow-up and review of the SDG implementation and thus contribute to improving the lives of citizens. In this context,

  • the importance of performance audits,
  • the role of SAIs in assessing and supporting the implementation of SDG No. 16 — and in particular target 16.6 —, which provides for effective, accountable and transparent institutions,
  • the contribution of SAIs through assessing the readiness and preconditions of national systems to report on progress towards the achievement of the SDGs,
  • the opportunities of SAIs to act as role models by ensuring transparency and accountability in their own operations, and
  • the contribution of SAIs to fighting illicit fund transfers, which hinder the implementation of the SDGs

were inter alia highlighted.

Furthermore, the discussion showed that a number of initiatives geared at supporting SAIs in monitoring the implementation of the SDGs have already been taken, such as:

  • a new audit findings framework for SDGs,
  • a joint pilot programme of the IDI and the INTOSAI KSC on "Auditing implemen-tation of SDGs",
  • the "contribution to the follow-up and review of the SDGs" as a crosscutting priority of the new INTOSAI Strategic Plan 2017 to 2022, and
  • the XXII INCOSAI, which will prominently address the question of the future contribution of INTOSAI to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The high-ranking participants recognized that the SDGs are a unique and invaluable opportunity for SAIs to invest in all areas of their work. However, the discussion also showed that it will be crucial to ensure that SAIs have the necessary capacities, inde-pendence and mandates to fulfil their important role in "ensuring that no one is left behind" in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

26 July 2016


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