Co-Facilitators Issue Zero Draft of HLPF Ministerial Declaration
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The co-facilitators have released the zero draft of the 2017 Ministerial Declaration of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-Level Segment and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), ahead of a first reading on 15-16 June 2017.

By the draft, UN Member States would call for accelerating the pace of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

7 June 2017: The co-facilitators of consultations on the 2017 Ministerial Declaration of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-Level Segment and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) have issued a zero draft of the Declaration. A first reading of the text by UN Member States is expected to take place on 15-16 June 2017, ahead of the Declaration’s adoption by the HLPF on 19 July 2017, and by the ECOSOC High-level Segment on 20 July 2017.

The zero draft was released on 7 June 2017 by the co-facilitators, Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria, and Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica. It was preceded by a draft elements paper on the Declaration, which was discussed during informal consultations with UN Member States and an informal dialogue with stakeholders on 26 May 2017.

By the draft, UN Member States would welcome efforts at all levels to implement the 2030 Agenda, and call for the pace of implementation to be accelerated. It notes that global progress is evident in many cases, but is uneven across countries and regions, and insufficient across many targets and indicators.

The zero draft recognizes the need to take into account inherent interlinkages between different goals and targets of the SDGs, calling for particular attention to leveraging synergies and co-benefits, while avoiding or minimizing goal conflicts and trade-offs. It calls on the UN to establish an interagency task force, guided by ECOSOC, to “provide further policy guidance towards national efforts to enhance policy integration” for achieving the SDGs.

The draft urges countries to include measures to amplify the poverty-reducing impact of actions taken to achieve other SDGs, such as those related to growth, energy, infrastructure and inequality, and to strengthen institutions serving people affected by conflict, fragility and forced migration. It also stresses the need for improved and coordinated collection, analysis, dissemination and use of statistics and disaggregated data. It welcomes the SDG global indicators and highlights the need to build capacity for producing, analysing and using data.

The draft emphasizes the importance of strengthening and promoting effective and transparent multi-stakeholder partnerships, and calls for “an intensive global engagement” in support of implementation of all SDGs. It notes that each country faces specific challenges in its pursuit of sustainable development, and that the most vulnerable countries, in particular African countries, the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), deserve special attention. By the Declaration, Member States would look forward to receiving an update on the progress of implementation of the Accelerated Agriculture and Agro-industry Development Initiative PLUS (3ADI+) to achieve a sustainable and inclusive transition of agro-industry to eradicate poverty and food insecurity, and the Programme for Country Partnerships that mobilizes external partners and additional resources to accelerate the achievement of inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

Commending the 44 countries that will present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2017 HLPF, the draft Declaration encourages all UN Member States to make use of the lessons learned from the review process and to consider presenting reviews. It highlights the importance of localizing and communicating the SDGs, including at the national and community, grassroots levels. It also commends the regional fora for sustainable development for engaging in a systematic process of follow-up and review.

The draft notes the importance of ensuring that the UN is fit for purpose, encourages the UN development system to improve collaboration in delivering collective results for the realization of the 2030 Agenda, and takes note of the UN Secretary-General’s proposals to address gaps and overlaps, build synergy, and improve the accountability, transparency, coordination and oversight of the system. It looks forward to his “further proposals at the end of the year.”

In this regard, the UN Secretary-General issued a report on ‘Mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development throughout the UN system’ (A/72/75–E/2017/56), which provides an update on the UN system’s efforts to integrate the 2030 Agenda into its programmes, including through: strategic planning; the creation of updated guidelines and toolkits for use by UN country teams (UNCTs); support to UN Member States’ voluntary reporting on the progress in implementing the SDGs; and regional and global forums and analytical reports. [HLPF 2017 Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLPF Ministerial Declaration Discussion] [Note by the UN Secretariat: Discussion papers on the theme of the HLPF submitted by Major Groups and Other Stakeholders] [UN Secretary-General Report: Mainstreaming of the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development Throughout the UN System]


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