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High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
High-Level Political Forum

The establishment of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), "The Future We Want". The format and organizational aspects of the Forum are outlined in General Assembly resolution 67/290.

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days.

For the positioning of the HLPF in the UN system, please click here.

The Forum’s first meeting was held on 24 September 2013. It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993.

The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. General Assembly resolution 70/299 provides further guidance on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

HLPF TIMELINE
2019 
Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality
2016 
Ensuring that no one is left behind
2015 
Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015
2014 
Achieving the MDGs and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the SDGs
2013 
Building the future we want: from Rio+20 to the post-2015 development agenda

Objectives

In accordance with General Assembly resolutions 66/288 and 67/290, the Forum, consistent with its universal intergovernmental character, shall:

  1. provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development;
  2. enhance integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels;
  3. provide a dynamic platform for regular dialogue and for stocktaking and agenda-setting to advance sustainable development;
  4. have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges;
  5. follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments contained in Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and The Future We Want and, as appropriate, relevant outcomes of other United Nations summits and conferences, including the outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries as well as their respective means of implementation;
  6. encourage high-level system-wide participation of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and invite to participate, as appropriate, other relevant multilateral financial and trade institutions and treaty bodies, within their respective mandates and in accordance with United Nations rules and provisions;
  7. improve cooperation and coordination within the United Nations system on sustainable development programmes and policies;
  8. promote transparency and implementation by further enhancing the consultative role and participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders at the international level in order to better make use of their expertise, while retaining the intergovernmental nature of discussions;
  9. promote the sharing of best practices and experiences relating to the implementation of sustainable development and, on a voluntary basis, facilitate sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned;
  10. strengthen the science-policy interface through review of documentation, bringing together dispersed information and assessments, including in the form of a global sustainable development report, building on existing assessments;
  11. enhance evidence-based decision-making at all levels and contribute to strengthening ongoing capacity-building for data collection and analysis in developing countries; and
  12. promote system-wide coherence and coordination of sustainable development policies.

Follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals

As stipulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the HLPF has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs at the global level, working coherently with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and other relevant organs and forums.

The Forum facilitates the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned and provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations for follow-up. It promotes system-wide coherence and coordination of sustainable development policies. It ensures that the 2030 Agenda remains relevant and ambitious and focuses on the assessment of progress, achievements and challenges faced by developed and developing countries as well as new and emerging issues. Effective linkages are made with the follow-up and review arrangements of all relevant United Nations conferences and processes, including on least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries.

A central feature of the HLPF are the voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that it receives from Member States on their implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Regularly undertaken by both developed and developing countries, the VNRs provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

The HLPF also undertakes annual thematic reviews of the SDGs including cross-cutting issues. As decided in General Assembly resolution 70/299, the themes of and the sets of SDGs to be reviewed by the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC from 2017 to 2019 are:

2018 
Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies
2019 
Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality

Follow up and review at the HLPF is informed by an annual progress report on the SDGs prepared by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The most recent report is available here.. The HLPF is also informed by the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), which strengthens the science-policy interface and is issued every four years (E/HLS/2016/1). Details of the 2019 GSDR, including bios of the independent group of scientists tasked with drafting it, are available here. The follow up and review at the HLPF are also informed by other relevant inputs.

Members

The General Assembly in resolution 67/290 decides that all meetings of the Forum shall provide for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies.

Structure

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development meets:

  • Every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days;
  • Every year under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for a period of eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment.

For further information please see General Assembly resolution 67/290 on the format and organizational aspects of the Forum and resolution 70/299 on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level.

For the positioning of the HLPF in the UN system, please click here.

Relations with the UN system organizations and other intergovernmental organizations

The organizations of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions and other relevant intergovernmental organizations, including the World Trade Organization, are invited to contribute within their respective mandates to the discussions of the Forum.

Relations with the major groups and other stakeholders

Member States have stressed the need for the HLPF to promote transparency and implementation by further enhancing the consultative role and participation of the major groups and other relevant stakeholders at the international level in order to make better use of their expertise, while retaining the intergovernmental nature of discussions. The major groups and other stakeholders include non-governmental and non-profit organisations, business and industry, and local authorities, among others. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 67/290, the Forum is open to the major groups, other relevant stakeholders and entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the General Assembly, building on arrangements and practices observed by the Commission on Sustainable Development.

While retaining the intergovernmental character of the forum, the representatives of the major groups and other relevant stakeholders shall be allowed:

  1. To attend all official meetings of the forum;
  2. To have access to all official information and documents;
  3. To intervene in official meetings;
  4. To submit documents and present written and oral contributions;
  5. To make recommendations;
  6. To organize side events and round tables, in cooperation with Member States and the Secretariat;

Secretariat

The Division for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs serves as the Secretariat of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.