UN to shine spotlight on SDGs efforts
  • By UN-DPI on 11 Jul 2016
11 Jul 2016 - For the first time since last year’s historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, countries will meet in New York at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from 11-20 July. The High-level Political Forum, the essential global forum for guiding efforts on the implementation of the Agenda, will examine the scope of efforts that are being put in place since the Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by world leaders in September 2015. The Goals are part of an ambitious global undertaking to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change over the next 15 years. The ten-day Forum, which brings together representatives from countries, businesses and civil society to share and discuss sustainable development plans and best practices, is critical to the successful implementation of the Goals. Immediately following the High-level Political Forum, which is held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, countries will contribute to the review of progress on the mobilization of financing and other ‘means of implementation’, at the Development Cooperation Forum on 21-22 July. Also, on 21 July, during the ECOSOC High-level Segment, countries and stakeholders will discuss building resilient infrastructure–one of the key ingredients for boosting economic growth and strengthening sustainable development, with a focus on actions in countries where infrastructure gaps are greatest. Countries have already begun mobilizing efforts. The Republic of Korea has launched The Better for Girls Initiative, which focuses on girls ‘education and health. Norway has adopted a Norwegian Action Plan for Biodiversity in 2016 and Uganda has initiated a number of social programmes such as the Youth Livelihood Program, Community Tree Planting Project and the Women Entrepreneurship Program. At the Forum, 22 countries will highlight their efforts to integrate the Goals with their sustainable development plans. They are: China, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). More information on the work of the 22 countries may be found at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/inputs. “The High-level Political Forum is the central hub for galvanizing the actions that are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Social and Economic Affairs. “The Forum is the place where the world will see what is happening and whether we are on track to meet the Goals.” As 2016 marks the beginning of implementation by countries, this year’s Forum with the theme ‘Ensuring no one is left behind’ will focus on exchanging experiences on the initial steps, rather than on measuring progress. The HLPF will provide the opportunity to foster the exchange of best practices, mobilize support and enable countries to accelerate progress toward achieving the SDGs.

ECOSOC President Oh Joon, the Republic of Korea’s UN Ambassador, said, “This is a critical moment in taking the Sustainable Development Goals forward. We have to build on the substantial action and momentum that has grown over the last year, and ensure that it translates into meaningful actions that will help us achieve the Goals.”

There will be a five-day expert level meeting followed by a three-day ministerial meeting (18-20 July) during which the national reviews will be presented. There will be over a hundred side events, including a SDG Business Forum and Partnership Exchange Event, taking place during the Forum.

As the most inclusive, participatory forum at the UN, inputs will be provided by major groups and stakeholders as well as the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council and other intergovernmental bodies and forums. The outcome of the recent ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, which is following up on the issue of financing for sustainable development and other means of implementation, will also feed into Forum discussions. The Forum will also be guided by the first-ever SDG Progress Report by the Secretary-General as well as the Global Sustainable Development Report.

The Forum will culminate in the adoption of a ministerial declaration.
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