The theme of the 2017 High-level Political Forum on sustainable development will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”, which is also a central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the lead-up to the 2017 HLPF, weekly blogs by representatives of Member States, UN system, and major groups and other stakeholders will be featured in this series to present various perspectives on this theme. The role of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14, and 17 will also be highlighted, as these goals will be in focus at the 2017 HLPF discussions.
Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General, DESA
The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) faces three inter-related tasks for its annual session in July 2017. As the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development it must:
- Address the theme of eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world:
- Carry out an in-depth review of progress made on SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14, and their inter-linkages with other SDGs; and
- Facilitate 44 voluntary national reviews (VNRs).
Accomplishing these tasks is critical to building momentum for the implementation of the SDGs. Indeed, global trends are discouraging - overall economic growth and investments in sustainability remain weak, world trade is slowing, and conflict and geopolitical tensions weigh heavily on prospects for equitably shared prosperity. At the same time, atmospheric CO2 concentration remains above the 400 ppm milestone. Advancing progress on the SDGs is imperative.
Having witnessed the work of the HLPF since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, I am greatly inspired by the energy Member States, the United Nations system and other stakeholders have infused into the implementation of the SDGs. They are strengthening existing partnerships, launching new ones, and making voluntary commitments in support of SDG 14.
Last July, 22 countries came forward to present voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It was a pioneering achievement. The lessons learned from these 22 VNRs have been usefully captured in the synthesis report.
This year, 44 countries are undertaking VNRs at the HLPF. My department (UN DESA), through its Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) is working with Governments, UN entities and a broad range of stakeholders, to support the VNR preparatory process. Last December we brought together the 2016 VNR pioneer countries and the 2017 VNR countries to share national experience and lessons learned. A follow-up workshop is taking place this week in Inchon, Republic of Korea. We will be organizing similar regional workshops in the coming months, through collaboration between UN DESA, Regional Commissions and other UN bodies.
To ensure in-depth reviews of the 2017 set of the SDGs, DESA is relying on UN system-wide support. A series of expert group meetings and regional SDG forums are being organized in March through May. In the meantime, DSD/DESA is consulting with Member States, the UN system and Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) on the programme of the July HLPF. Stakeholder engagement remains strong, and preparations for the Partnership Exchange and Business Forum are already underway.
I want to use this space to thank Governments, UN entities and MGoS actors for their enthusiasm, commitment and action in support of the HLPF and the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In a world that is going through rapid change, staying committed to the SDGs and multilateralism is essential to ensuring peace and security, the well-being of the planet and shared global prosperity.