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Opening
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a vision for people, planet, peace and prosperity to be achieved through partnership and solidarity, is now in its third year of implementation. There are positive signs - such as the widespread inclusion of SDG’s targets into countries' own development plans and strategies, and the setting up of coordinating structures and mechanisms for implementation. At the same time, certain other indicators - for example, deeply entrenched patterns of inequality among many dimensions or the increasingly apparent impacts of climate change – are a cause for concern. This year's review at the HLPF, around the theme of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”, is a timely occasion to take stock of where we are in terms of progress and identify emerging issues that have the potential to significantly affect SDG achievement over the years to come. Speakers will bring their unique perspectives to bear on approaches and prospects to reaching the 2030 Agenda as a whole, and indicate what they see as priorities needing urgent consideration.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • Where are we in terms of achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs?
  • What are the most important trends that could affect our ability to achieve the inter-connected SDGs?
  • What do you see as actions that could help catalyse the necessary departure from business-as-usual towards the transformative pathways called for by the SDGs?

Chair:

  • H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of Economic and Social Council

Opening Remarks:

  • H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of Economic and Social Council
  • Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, remarks and introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on progress towards the SDGs

Commentary by keynote speakers on the state of affairs:

  • Mr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University
  • Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
  • Mr. Alex Steffen, Co-founder of online magazine Worldchanging.com
Biographies
H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardová
President of Economic and Social Council
H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardová

President of Economic and Social Council

Her Excellency Marie Chatardová was elected seventy-third President of the Economic and Social Council on 27 July 2017. Ambassador Chatardová is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations in New York.

Until her appointment in 2016, Ms. Chatardová was her country’s Ambassador to France and Monaco, and its Permanent Representative to the International Organization of la Francophonie. Between 2013 and 2016, she also served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A career diplomat, Ms. Chatardová held several positions within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She was Director of Diplomatic Protocol from 2007 to 2010, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Sweden from 2002 to 2007. Prior to that, she was Director of the Communications Strategies Department, from 2000 to 2002, and Unit Chief of the Department for the Coordination of Relations with the European Union, between 1999 and 2000.

She also served in the Permanent Mission of Czech Republic to the European Union, between 1995 and 1999, and in the Ministry’s Department of Analysis and Policy Planning, from 1994 to 1995.

Ms. Chatardová was awarded Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France in 2016, and also Officer of the Order of Saint-Charles of Monaco in 2016.

Ms. Chatardová holds a doctorate of law from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.

Mr. Alex Steffen
Co-founder of online magazine Worldchanging.com
Mr. Alex Steffen

Co-founder of online magazine Worldchanging.com

Alex Steffen is an American futurist who writes and speaks about sustainability and the future of the planet. He emphasizes the importance of imagining persuasive, positive possible futures: “It’s literally true that we can’t build what we can’t imagine,... The fact that we haven’t compellingly imagined a thriving, dynamic, sustainable world is a major reason we don’t already live in one.”

Mr. Jeffrey D. Sachs
Economist, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
Mr. Jeffrey D. Sachs

Economist, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.
Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute. Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.
Sachs is currently Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He is Chair and Founder of SDG USA, a non-governmental initiative to promote the Sustainable Development Goal concepts in the United States. Sachs is also co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and was director of the Millennium Villages Project (2005-2015).
Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Mr. Liu Zhenmin

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Mr. Liu Zhenmin of China as the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs effective 26 July 2017. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Liu was Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China since 2013. Among his various diplomatic assignments, he served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (2011-2013).

Mr. Liu brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. He was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. He also widely participated in the international activities on the protection of our planet including Antarctica and the oceans. Over the last several years, in various capacities, he has been consistently highlighting and advocating for sustainable development issues.

Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes
Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes

Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed María Soledad Cisternas Reyes of Chile as his Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility. Ms. Cisternas was most recently Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations and recipient of the National Prize of Human Rights(2014-2015). Her activities with the United Nations have been numerous: she was an expert before the ad hoc committee that developed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for which she is also the rapporteur for individual complaints. She is the director of several legal and interdisciplinary projects, as well as author of various publications and exhibitor at national and international conferences.

Statements
Statements
Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, remarks and introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on progress towards the SDGs
Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
Presentations
Mr. Alex Steffen, Co-founder of online magazine Worldchanging.com
Mr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University