High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017

The High-level Political Forum, United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies.

"The 2030 Agenda is our roadmap and its goals and targets are tools to get there.", - Secretary-General António Guterres
calendar
9 - 18 JULY 2019
location
New York

SDGs wheel logo

Theme: Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality
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HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM 2019 under the auspices of ECOSOC

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2019 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, will be held from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019.

The theme will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". The set of goals to be reviewed in depth is the following:

  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

For more information on Thematic SDG Reviews, click here.

In accordance with paragraph 84. of the 2030 Agenda, Member States have decided that the HLPF shall carry out regular voluntary reviews of the 2030 Agenda which will include developed and developing countries as well as relevant UN entities and other stakeholders. The reviews are state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

In 2019, 51 countries (10 for the second time) have volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews to the HLPF. For more details, please click here.

HLPF in Numbers
Infographic with the number of countries
HLPF TIMELINE
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

LOGISTICAL INFORMATION

Coming Soon

REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION

Coming Soon

THEMATIC SDG REVIEWS

Thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, including cross-cutting issues and interlinkages, are an essential part of the annual session of the High-level Political Forum under the auspices of the ECOSOC.

As well as providing an update on where we stand in terms of progress on individual SDGs, thematic reviews offer critical insights into the implementation of the SDGs, while facilitating peer learning, exchange of experiences, identifying lessons learned as well as gaps.

These thematic reviews will benefit from reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other intergovernmental bodies and forums.

In addition, DESA in collaboration with relevant UN-system entities and other partners will organize preparatory events such as Expert Group Meetings on the SDGs under review. The outcomes of these preparatory events will serve to inform the HLPF's deliberations.

Calendar of preparatory thematic events for 2019 HLPF under ECOSOC

Expert Group Meeting on SDG 4: 3-5 December 2018, Brussels
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 8: tbc
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 10: tbc
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 13: 4-6 March 2019, Copenhagen
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 16: tbc
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 17: tbc
Expert Group Meeting on interlinkages: tbc

REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE): 21 – 22 March 2019, Geneva, Switzerland
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP): 27 – 29 March 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA): 16 – 18 April 2019, Beirut, Lebanon
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC): 22- 26 April 2019, Santiago de Chile, Chile
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA): April 2019 (Date and venue tbc)

Activities planned by the United Nations System

WORKSHOPS

Voluntary National Reviews

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and shall provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The VNR countries are expected to submit comprehensive written reports that will be made available in the VNR database. In addition, each VNR country will also provide main messages summarizing their key findings. These main messages are also posted in the VNR database.

In 2019, the 51 countries (10 for the second time) below will be conducting voluntary national reviews at the HLPF. For more details, please click here.

Algeria Flag of Algeria
Azerbaijan Flag of Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil Flag of Brazil
Burkina Faso Flag of Burkina Faso
Cambodia Flag of Cambodia
Cameroon Flag of Cameroon
Central African Republic Flag of Central African Republic
Chad Flag of Chad
Chile Flag of Chile
Congo (Republic of the) Flag of Congo (Republic of the)
Côte d'Ivoire Flag of Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia Flag of Croatia
El Salvador Flag of El Salvador
Eritrea Flag of Eritrea
Eswatini Flag of Eswatini
Fiji Flag of Fiji
France Flag of France
Ghana Flag of Ghana
Guatemala Flag of Guatemala
Guyana Flag of Guyana
Iceland Flag of Iceland
Indonesia Flag of Indonesia
Iraq Flag of Iraq
Israel Flag of Israel
Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan
Kuwait Flag of Kuwait
Lesotho Flag of Lesotho
Liechtenstein Flag of Liechtenstein
Mauritania Flag of Mauritania
Mauritius Flag of Mauritius
Mongolia Flag of Mongolia
Nauru Flag of Nauru
New Zealand Flag of New Zealand
Oman Flag of Oman
Pakistan Flag of Pakistan
Palau Flag of Palau
Philippines Flag of Philippines
Rwanda Flag of Rwanda
Saint Lucia Flag of Saint Lucia
Serbia Flag of Serbia
Sierra Leone Flag of Sierra Leone
South Africa Flag of South Africa
Timor-Leste Flag of Timor-Leste
Tonga Flag of Tonga
Tunisia Flag of Tunisia
Turkey Flag of Turkey
Turkmenistan Flag of Turkmenistan
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United Republic of Tanzania Flag of United Republic of Tanzania
Vanuatu Flag of Vanuatu

Q: What is sustainable development?

  • Sustainable development seeks to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet.
  • Poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development.
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, is the plan of action for people, planet and prosperity and aims to transform our world. The 2030 Agenda addresses the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development: the social, economic, and environmental, since a holistic approach that incorporates these three dimensions is essential for ending poverty, reducing inequalities and combatting climate change in order to achieve sustainable development.
  • The 2030 Agenda applies to all countries and aims to improve people’s lives and prosperity on a healthy planet, through partnership and peace. All countries, cities and multiple actors of the business sector and civil society are actively engaged in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Q: What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

  • Four years ago, member states adopted the 2030 Agenda, which contains the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The SDGs—a core feature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—reflect a new understanding that development everywhere must integrate economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection.
  • The SDGs offer the most practical and effective pathway to people’s well-being and to address the causes of violent conflict, human rights abuses, climate change and environmental degradation.

Q: What is the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development?

  • The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is a multi-stakeholder platform engaging 197 members states in the exchange of experiences in implementation of the SDGs, identifying gaps and lessons learned. It is also a forum for rallying further action and solutions to this end by all stakeholders.
  • The HLPF seeks to enhance the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
  • The HLPF also provides a platform for the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships and the promotion of international cooperation as we advance towards achieving the Goals.
  • It 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.

Q: Why is the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development important?

  • The HLPF is the global forum for providing political leadership, guidance and recommendations on implementing the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs.
  • The Forum provides an opportunity for countries, UN system and other international and regional organizations, civil society and businesses to highlight the efforts they are taking to achieve the SDGs and helps translate the vision of the SDGs into reality by looking at what is working and what is not at global, regional, national and local levels.
  • By serving as a global hub for governments, UN system and other international organizations and major groups and stakeholders to exchange ideas and best practices and review progress on the SDGs, the HLPF enables countries to accelerate progress toward achieving the goals.

Q: How will the SDGs be implemented?

  • The successful implementation of the SDGs relies on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes, and are led by countries. Leaders agreed to develop ambitious responses to the 2030 Agenda.
  • Governments also have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the SDGs.
  • Governments continue to develop national indicators to assist in monitoring progress made on the goals and targets, taking into account the global indicator framework.
  • The mobilization of resources at both the domestic and international levels is essential to achieve the goals.
  • The follow-up and review process at the global level is undertaken by the HLPF and supported by an annual SDGs Progress Report that is prepared by the United Nations Secretary- General and quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report prepared by a group of independent scientists.

Q: In the four years since the SDGs were adopted, what actions has the international community taken to achieve the Goals?

  • Many governments from both developed and developing countries have aligned the SDGs with national policies and strategies, conducting seminars, conferences and campaigns to raise awareness and catalyze action among local governments, civil society, businesses, academia, media and other groups. Many have prepared a roadmap of implementation.
  • Many local governments are engaging in SDG implementation.
  • Also, many businesses have integrated the SDGs into their companies’ practices and invested in new technology.
  • Civil society organizations continue to build momentum, developing initiatives at the local level

Q: Has there been progress in achieving the SDGS?

  • Globally, from 2000 to 2016, the under-five mortality rate dropped 47 per cent, and the total number of under-five deaths dropped from 9.9 million to 5.6 million.
  • Since 2000, the maternal mortality ratio in sub-Saharan Africa has been reduced by 35 per cent and the under-five mortality rate has dropped by 50 per cent.
  • In Southern Asia, a girl’s risk of marrying in childhood has declined by over 40 per cent.
  • The absolute number of people living without electricity dipped below the symbolic threshold of one billion.
  • In the least developed countries, the proportion of the population with access to electricity has more than doubled from 2000 to 2016.

Q: Where have there been setbacks?

  • After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again: the number of undernourished people rose from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, mainly because of conflicts, drought and disasters linked to climate change.
  • In 2017, economic losses attributed to disasters were estimated at over $300 billion, among the highest losses in past years, largely due to the costliest North Atlantic hurricane season on record. And the past 5-year average global temperature is the highest on record.
  • While the extreme poverty rate in 2013 was a third of the 1990 value, there are pockets of the world where it stubbornly persists: 783 million people still lived below $1.90 (2011 PPP), with more than half living in sub-Saharan Africa and about one-third living in Southern Asia.
  • The world is not on a trajectory towards ending malaria by 2030— In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria, compared to 210 million cases in 2013.
  • More than half of all children and adolescents are not meeting minimum proficiencies in reading and mathematics.
  • In 2015, 6 in 10 people lacked access to safely managed sanitation services.

Q: How does the HLPF guide progress on the SDGs?

  • The HLPF allows for a participatory, transparent and integrated follow-up and review platform at the global level that will help countries to learn from one another and maximize and track progress in implementing the Goals to ensure that no one is left behind.
  • At the HLPF, countries present the progress and obstacles they face in implementing the Goals at the national level in the form of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).
  • The HLPF helps translate the vision of the Goals into reality by providing political leadership and recommendations and sharing experiences and lessons learned.
  • The HLPF brings together Member States, UN system and other international and regional organizations, civil society, NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders to discuss progress and review successes, exchange lessons learned and experience.
  • The HLPF also creates an opportunity to showcase and develop multi-stakeholder partnerships around the SDGs.

Q: What will be the focus of the HLPF in July 2019?

  • The 2019 July HLPF, which will take place between 9-18 July 2019 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, has as its theme, “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”
  • At the 2019 July HLPF, the following set of Goals will be reviewed in depth:
    • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all;
    • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
    • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries;
    • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
    • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; and
    • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Q: Who will be attending the 2019 July HLPF?

  • Ministers and other senior government officials, experts from different sectors and representatives of Permanent Missions to the UN in New York, from both developed and developing countries will attend HLPF.
  • Fifty-one ministers will present their review of their national efforts for implementing the SDGs.
  • Civil society, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders will attend and provide major inputs at the HLPF.
  • Many parliaments will also attend and provide major inputs at the HLPF.

Q: What are Voluntary National Reviews, and how can they help achieve the 2030 Agenda?

  • The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) are a central element of the follow-up and review mechanisms of the 2030 Agenda at the global level to inform about national implementation. (See more on 2019 VNRs Q&A here)
  • In 2016, 22 countries presented VNRs at the HLPF, followed by 43 countries in 2017 and 47 countries presented at 2018 HLPF with 51 countries to present in 2019 HLPF. Overall, 111 VNRs have been presented since 2016.
  • Guidelines for VNRs are intended to be flexible and allow for adaptation to national circumstances.
  • All countries are encouraged to report on all SDGs—or at least on those identified as national priorities—and to use the voluntary guidelines for VNR reports to facilitate comparability and analysis.
  • A 2019 handbook in five UN languages has been prepared as well as 2018 Synthesis report to assist countries in their preparations of VNRs.

Q: Why are VNRs significant?

  • VNRs are voluntary and demonstrate the commitment of countries to mobilize efforts towards achieving the Goals.
  • VNRs generate a process of reflection and consultation at the national level which builds understanding of progress, gaps and challenges and can improve policies, coordination and correlations.
  • VNRs by countries at the HLPF provide the opportunity to learn from each other, mobilize support to overcome shared challenges, identify new and emerging issues and provide recommendations for implementing the Goals.
  • The presentation of VNRs is a peer learning experience and can spur further action to implement the SDGs at the national level.
  • Success in achieving the SDGs will help to address some of the most pressing global challenges, such as climate change, providing a better life for women and men and building a firm foundation for stability and peace in all societies, everywhere.
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