Belgium’s VNR was conceived by the Belgian government as a ‘stock-taking exercise’, rather than a ‘progress report’, in which existing policies and initiatives were mapped that should contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals. It has met with criticism from civil society stakeholders, who found the VNR lacking in ambition and who want to see a concrete roadmap of how Belgium will take the 2030 Agenda forward.
Belgium’s VNR admits to its ongoing cuts in its ODA, yet failed to acknowledge how these cuts undermine the achievement of the SDGs, including those on gender equality and health. While the report mentioned the 0.7% objective, it did not discuss the necessary steps to get Belgium back on track towards the 0.7% objective. Belgium’s ODA is currently at 0.49% of its GDP.