The first day of the 2017 meeting of the HLPF, under the auspices of the ECOSOC, opened with a plenary that reviewed progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Regional and sub-regional players then exchanged regional experiences on implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
In the afternoon, a thematic review on “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world: Addressing multi-dimensions of poverty and inequalities,” took place.
11 July 2017: The 2017 meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), opened on Monday, 10 July 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The first day featured an opening plenary that reviewed progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; an exchange of regional experiences to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and a thematic review on poverty and inequality.
Wu Hongbo underscored the importance of the HLPF in “[keeping] everyone on point,” highlighting the Forum’s role in ensuring continued focus on achieving the SDGs.
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, underscored the importance of the HLPF in keeping “everyone on point,” saying the Forum is a global, central platform for countries to share their progress and challenges and for ensuring continued focus on achieving the SDGs. Wu underscored the “deeply interconnected nature” of the different elements of the 2020 Agenda, urging working across silos, sectors, disciplines and individual roles or competencies. He highlighted the relationship between efforts to protect the environment and conserve oceans under SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land) and ensure progress on SDG 13 (climate action) as critical for progress on SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), among others.
The session on implementation at the regional and sub-regional levels featured statements from the heads of UN Regional Commissions, followed by a discussion. Shamshad Akhtar, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said baseline data availability varies considerably across the Asia-Pacific region and “substantive work” is still needed to prepare data for Goals 10-17. She reported insufficient progress on one-third of SDGs in the region. Alicia Bárcena, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, identified progress on: creating inter-institutional and inter-sectoral architecture at the highest political levels; incorporating SDGs into development plans and national budgets; strengthening regional architecture; and converting regional fora into multistakeholder spaces. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, identified peace in the region as a global and regional responsibility and described common efforts to address migration, prevent depletion of natural resources and eliminate barriers to women’s participation in development efforts. Olga Algayerova, UN Economic Commission for Europe, emphasized the need to: consider how SDGs link with existing development plans; promote policy coherence by facilitating government coordination; tackle persistent gender gaps; and use a sub-regional approach for SDGs that have transboundary dimensions. Aida Opoku-Mensah, UN Economic Commission for Africa, said challenges include: data gaps; inequality; illicit financial flows; weak public institutions; and ensuring investments, to benefit from population growth.
Speakers then discussed the key drivers of change in their respective regions, highlighting, inter alia: the importance of peace and security; investments in green technology and green innovation; empowerment of women and youth and gender mainstreaming; horizontal and vertical coordination across policy areas and government levels; institutional models that involve high-level actors and civil society; the need for evidence-based policy-making; management of natural resources; domestic resource mobilization; and harnessing the positive impact of migration.
A panelist from Colombia said the Multidimensional Poverty Index has enabled her government to coordinate better, reduce the rural-urban poverty divide and anticipate changing poverty levels.
The thematic review on “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world: Addressing multi-dimensions of poverty and inequalities,” discussed the multiple dimensions of poverty, progress on their measurement and creative solutions. Panelist Sabina Alkire, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, introduced the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and provided examples of how the MPI approach has allowed countries to identify gaps in national policies, budgets and inter-sectoral coordination. Panelist Claudia Vasquez Marazzani, Colombia, said the MPI has enabled her government to coordinate better, reduce the rural-urban poverty divide and anticipate changing poverty levels. Countries shared national efforts to tackle poverty and inequality, including through the MPI approach, social protection systems and the use of disaggregated data and gendered poverty indicators to target left behind groups, among other strategies. The session recognized linkages between progress on poverty and inequality and challenges and progress in education, health and employment.
Alongside the main events, over 120 side events are expected to take place, including the SDG Business Forum, the Partnership Exchange and the SDG Learning Center, among others.
The HLPF will take place from 10-15 July 2016, followed by a three-day ministerial meeting of the Forum on 18-20 July 2016. The theme of the 2016 session is ‘Ensuring that no one is left behind.’ [ENB Coverage of HLPF, 10 July] [UN Press Release] [Under-Secretary-General Statement] [UNECA Press Release]