Benin, Georgia Kick off Discussions on Review of HLPF and ECOSOC
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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Following the first cycle of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, its format and organizational aspects are under review by Member States.

The intergovernmental process will also consider recent reforms to strengthen ECOSOC.

The Permanent Representatives of Benin and Georgia, the co-facilitators for the negotiations, have outlined five questions for Member States to address at the first informal meeting on the review, on 10 February 2020.

UN Member States and stakeholders are preparing to gather for the first informal meeting on the review process of the review process of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The co-facilitators for intergovernmental negotiations on this review process, Kaha Imnadze, Permanent Representative of Georgia, and Jean-Claude do Rego, Permanent Representative of Benin, will convene the first informal meeting on 10 February 2020. In their letter dated 3 February 2020, announcing the meeting, they note that it will be open to all stakeholders.

The co-facilitators ask Member States to share their views on several questions during the meeting:

  • On the ECOSOC review, what should be its scope, since a review process was conducted in 2018?
  • What are the critical issues to be addressed in the ECOSOC and HLPF reviews?
  • Considering that the HLPF and ECOSOC reviews are to be carried out in conjunction, what is the best possible outcome of the reviews?
  • How can the Voluntary National Review process and thematic follow-up and review be improved?
  • What are the best ways to include stakeholders in the thematic reviews?

The mandate for the intergovernmental review process is set out in three UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions. On the HLPF review, the UNGA agreed in 2013 to review the format and organizational aspects of the HLPF as outlined in resolution 67/290. Its subsequent 2016 resolution provided further details on how the HLPF would work, and the Assembly decided to review progress in implementing these two agreements at its 74th session, following the HLPF’s “first cycle.”

On the ECOSOC review, the UNGA decided in 2018 that it 32-paragraph text on strengthening ECOSOC would be reviewed during UNGA 74 as well, and at “subsequent review cycles in conjunction with the review process” of the HLPF. The agreement covers the setting of themes for ECOSOC and the HLPF, and the calendar of ECOSOC segments held each year, along with details on strengthening the Operational Activities for Development segment, among other items. [Letter to Member States on First Informal Meeting]

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