The Technical Commission on Good Governance Practices (CTPBG), led by the president of the AGN, Mr. Jesús Rodríguez, presented virtually, on August 18, the webinar “ODS. Challenges of Control in the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda” regarding the recent dissemination of the document” Good auditing practices for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).” The speakers on this occasion were: the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Dr. Claudio Tomasi; the general trustee of the Sindicatura General de la Nación (SIGEN), Dr. Carlos Montero; and the deputy trustee of SIGEN, Dr. Irma Miranda. The activity was moderated by the CTPBG technical liaison, Dr. Miriam Insausti, and had a large participation from the public, exceeding 200 spectators in the assigned digital room.

The opening was led by the UNDP representative, Claudio Tomasi, who pointed out that, due to their relevance and high global consensus, the SDGs can be considered the most important shared agenda of humanity so far. Tomasi praised the joint work with various actors in society to reduce inequality, emphasizing equity and overcoming the structural difficulties that existed prior to the pandemic, which were aggravated in the region. Speaking about the progress made, he noted that “Uruguay, Costa Rica and Panama in particular stand out as the countries with the greatest accessibility and availability of data related to the SDGs” and pointed out that Argentina is in fifth place. He also highlighted the relevance of access to information and the key role of SAIs in national voluntary reports.

The trustee general, Carlos Montero, referred to the complex global environmental situation in which the States must take a leading role and commented on the agency’s strategy to collect data from all internal audit units. Also for SIGEN, the deputy trustee, Irma Miranda, pointed out the importance of working together with various organizations that led to the creation of the National Integrity and Transparency Board, the realization of the first National Integrity Survey in the Public Sector, the creation of the Gender Policy Observatory and work meetings with the Technical Exchange Network with the Popular Economy. In addition, through a cooperation agreement with the National Council for Social Policies, SIGEN undertook to “carry out the design of the tools for controlling the indicators established for the follow-up on the achievement of goals.”

The President of the AGN, Jesús Rodríguez, closed the event by expressing the importance of this global agenda, noting that in the last fifty years humanity has made strong progress in terms of democracy and poverty reduction, although the reduction of the existing strong inequality is still pending; In this sense, he cited data showing that only sixty individuals account for 50% of the wealth of the world’s population.

In turn, Rodríguez mentioned that for the first time in three decades there will be a decline in the human development index on a global scale, with a particular impact on Latin America, the region that has seen the greatest drop in the level of economic activity, with the social and economic consequences that this entails.

Likewise, regarding the SDGs, he pointed out that a State policy is evident in Argentina: “It is a curious case, of something that is not abundant in our country, which is the continued commitment beyond an administration on an objective; this was signed in 2015 under the presidency of Dr. Fernández de Kirchner, there was a decisive impulse in the presidency of Eng. Macri and is part of the priorities of the presidency of Dr. Alberto Fernández; it is relevant news for Argentina that, for example, in June of last year, the second voluntary report to the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development expressed the utmost respect for the commitments made in previous administrations.”

Regarding the work of the AGN, the president referred to a recent recognition for good practices on SDGs in the report of the National Council for Social Policies. Among the practices carried out by the agency, given that in 2018 the SDGs are a central part of the strategic plans, Rodriguez noted, include various actions such as conducting audits on SDGs, training 40% of staff on the subject, launching a microsite on SDGs on the intranet, and coordinating audits on various SDGs under the leadership of OLACEFS

Among some of the first results of the audits coordinated at the regional level, Rodriguez highlighted that “the absence of a long-term time horizon in the formulation of policies” and “weaknesses in the statistical capacities in our countries and weaknesses in the availability of data, as was raised by Claudio Tomasi, constitute a problem.” “Also, that audit,” Rodriguez continued, “showed a weakness in the fragmentation of the public sector and the existence of non-integrated systems, as well as sectoral public policies that contradict each other.”

Finally, he indicated the importance of the full implementation of goal 16 of the SDGs saying that “our last College of Auditors General made the decision to also incorporate a coordinated audit that has the purpose of analyzing the accountability of the execution of public funds from COVID 19. We are going to carry this forward in a coordinated manner by the countries.” Finally, he stated “Our work of accountability and contributions is the purpose with the National Congress. We believe that it is our way of contributing so that these SDGs born in 2015 can be an internalized objective for the entire Argentine society.”

To watch the webinar again, you can access the recording below: