Press Release

Central global forum to advance action on Sustainable Development Goals set to highlight implementation progress and challenges

High-Level Political Forum kicks off to review progress on 2030 Agenda

New York, 10 July

The world’s central forum for exchanging ideas and information for advancing progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals has begun today as representatives from governments, UN System, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders gather in New York at the second High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, organized under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, from 10-19 July.

Around 5,000 participants will work to translate the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality by looking at what is working and what is not in the implementation of the Goals.

The Goals, as part of the unanimously adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, has prompted governments and civil society to rethink their priorities and align policies and budgets to achieve the 17 Goals by 2030. The annual Forum assesses plans and actions that are being put in place, good practices and lessons learned, and the challenges ahead.

According to recent UN reports, the current economic and political headwinds suggest that anemic global economic growth, combined with insufficient policies to promote sustainable development, will make it difficult for many developing countries, particularly for least developed countries, to achieve the Goals.

Still, action on the Goals is increasing, at the global level, as well as at the national and local levels. The Forum will serve as a sounding board to help spread success stories and best practices.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks on repositioning the UN Development System on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, called the 2030 Agenda the “most powerful tool for prevention.” He added that the Agenda is “a means to improve the lives of people, communities and societies without harming our planet; and a route to advancing the realization of economic, cultural, social and political rights for all as well as for enabling global peace and security.”

This year’s Forum focuses on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world. A set of goals—Goal 1 on poverty, Goal 2 on hunger, Goal 3 on health, Goal 5 on gender equality, Goal 9 on infrastructure and Goal 14 on the oceans—will be reviewed in depth, while Goal 17 on partnerships for the Goals will be considered each year.

“Poverty remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. This year’s theme is therefore a very pertinent focus if our deliberations are to be truly relevant and make a positive impact in the lives of the people,” said Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in his opening remarks, noting that the Forum provides space for inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue and opportunities for peer-learning and exchange.

Countries to assess their progress

The Forum allows countries to demonstrate how they are meeting their commitments to achieve the 17 Goals and ensure the central goal that “no one is left behind.” At the Forum, as a key element of the follow-up and review mechanism of the 2030 Agenda, 44 countries, both developed and developing countries, will be presenting their Voluntary National Reviews or plans to implement the SDGs during the ministerial meeting.

They are: Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Slovenia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

“It is only by working together that we can achieve a world with equal opportunities for all, so that every human being can realize their full potential,” highlighted Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Social and Economic Affairs in the opening session. “The High Level Political Forum provides us with the global platform for making this happen,” he added.

During the Forum, there is a five-day expert level meeting (10-14 July) followed by a three-day ministerial meeting (17-19 July). Another key element of the Forum is the official launch of an annual progress report on the SDGs which will be presented by Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, and Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 17 July at 11:00 a.m. (EDT). The Forum will culminate in the adoption of a ministerial declaration.

The programme and summaries of each country’s actions and plans are available online at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf

Media contacts
UN Department of Public Information
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Sharon Birch, T: +1 (212) 963-0564 | E: birchs@un.org
Kensuke Matsueda, T: +1 (917) 367-5418 | E: matsueda@un.org

United Nations