Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
The High-level Political Forum – HLPF – was established as an outcome of the Rio+20 and regulated by UN GA resolution 67/290 of 2013, which among other contents, defines its purpose of providing political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development. The Forum replaced the former Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and it is mandated to take place every year under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly.
The same resolution also decides the HLPF will be open for the participation of Major Groups and other Stakeholders – MGoS. Accordingly nrg4SD has actively participated in all previous meetings of the HLPF, contributing to the thematic discussions on areas addressed by the SDGs, and bringing a report on what member regions have achieved around the SDGs. Likewise, the network will continue to attend and input to the HLPF discussions and preparations, keeping in mind recent developments and new modalities of participation.
The HLPF has a thematic component to review specific areas and goals, and also allow voluntary national countries to present their progress reports. According to Resolution GA 70/299 from 2016, the HLPF meetings under the auspices ECOSOC should provide an overview of all the SDGs over the 4-years cycle before the meeting at the level of Heads of States. Each year would consider a given theme and the connected set of goals, as follows below*:
(a) For 2017: Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world, focusing on the specific Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14;
(b) For 2018: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies, focusing on the specific Goals 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15;
(c) For 2019: Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality, focusing on the specific Goals 4, 8, 10, 13 and 16;
*Goal 17 will be present in every cycle as it is aimed to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
The meetings of the HLPF will be informed by an annual progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals and the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report. Other frameworks of the UN, such as the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) are also expected to contribute to the HLPF meetings, providing their specific expertise on areas of the 2030 Agenda. However, the format of these inputs, and other elements of the follow-up and review process are still to be defined.
The HLPF held in New York on July 2016 was the first since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The session was held on the theme “Ensuring that no one is left behind” and counted with the participation of the nrg4SD Secretariat and members’ delegation including Catalonia, Flanders, Sao Paulo, Gossas and Rio de Janeiro The session included 22 national voluntary reviews and thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, including cross-cutting issues, supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other intergovernmental bodies and forums. The HLPF also included a range of side events, a Partnership Exchange special event, a SDGs Business Forum, and SDGs Learning, Training and Practice sessions.
National Voluntary Reviews (NVR)
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. While the SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks for the achievement of the 17 Goals.
The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) are the basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. Although countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up the progress made in implementing the Goals, subnational data collection for disaggregated information and follow-up is essential to develop national-level analyses. 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).
The 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.
On July 2017 in New York the High Level Political Forum 2017 will be convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council and its theme will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world“. The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be Goal 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and especially Goal 17, which is strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year.
In 2017, voluntary common reporting guidelines at the HLPF will be followed by over 40 voluntary countries in which some of our members are part of, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Peru and Uruguay.
- Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Voluntary National Reviews for the HLPF 15-16 December 2016, United Nations Headquarters, New York
- Synthesis of Voluntary National Reviews 2016
- Follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 29 July 2016
- HLPF 2016 Ministerial Declaration
- HLPF 2016 Local Authorities Position Paper
Additional information on the HLPF 2017 can be found at the HLPF website