Co-Facilitators Issue Zero Draft of Ministerial Declaration for HLPF, HLS
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Co-facilitators Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia, and Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru, have issued the zero draft of the Ministerial Declaration for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), following discussion of an elements paper on 16 June.

The co-facilitators plan to conduct a first reading of the zero draft on 23 June 2016.

hlpf20 June 2016: Co-facilitators Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia, and Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru, have issued the zero draft of the Ministerial Declaration for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), following discussion of an elements paper on 16 June. The co-facilitators plan to conduct a first reading of the zero draft on 23 June 2016.

The co-facilitators were appointed by UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Oh Joon, on 24 May 2016, to facilitate informal consultations on the outcome of the HLPF and of the High-level Segment of ECOSOC. In a briefing on 9 June 2016, President Oh explained that there will be one Ministerial Declaration for both the HLPF and the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, and that this Declaration will be adopted first at the HLPF, and then must be adopted by ECOSOC to give it legal status.

Accordingly, the zero draft addresses both the 2016 HLPF session, and the 2016 High-level Segment of the ECOSOC.

The zero draft pledges that no one will be left behind in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and recalls the importance of gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, and the inclusion of all children, youth, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons, migrants and people living in areas affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and in areas affected by terrorism, to make progress on all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.

The draft reaffirms the central role of the HLPF in line with relevant mandates, including UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions 66/288 (The Future We Want), 67/290 (Format and organizational aspects of the HLPF) and 68/1 (Review of the implementation of UNGA resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the ECOSOC) and the 2030 Agenda, in overseeing a network of follow-up and review processes of the Agenda at the global level. It notes its consideration of the thematic discussion of the 2016 High-Level segment of ECOSOC on ‘Infrastructure for sustainable development for all,’ and stresses the importance of building resilient infrastructure with a people-centered approach.

The zero draft recognizes the need for a revitalized Global Partnership to ensure implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and outlines that the means of implementation targets under SDG 17 and under each SDG are key to realizing the Agenda, supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on Financing for Development, “which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda.” It takes notes of the intergovernmental agreed conclusions and recommendations of the inaugural ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum), and notes progress made on operationalizing the three components of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM). In this regard, it welcomes the holding of the inaugural Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) supported by the UN Inter-agency Task Team on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs, and looks forward to the establishment of the online platform, as part of the TFM.

The zero draft encourages governments, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders to assist developing countries through technical assistance and capacity-building to strengthen data collection, dissemination and analysis. It takes note of the SDG Global Indicator Framework agreed by the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), looks forward to its “timely adoption” by ECOSOC and the UNGA, and takes note of the UN Secretary General’s first annual progress report on the SDGs. It notes that several groups remain disadvantaged and severe income inequality is one of the biggest challenges. It also endorses the outcome of consultations that took place earlier in 2016 on the scope, methodology and frequency of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). The GSDR outcome is included as an annex to the Declaration.

On follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda, the draft welcomes the identification, development and convening of appropriate regional and sub-regional forums on sustainable development as a further means to contribute to the follow-up and review. It commends the 22 countries that are presenting voluntary national reviews at the 2016 HLPF, and encourages States to take into consideration experience gained from these reviews and to volunteer for new national reviews in coming years. It also notes that most vulnerable countries, in particular, African countries, the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), countries in situations of conflict and post-conflict, deserve special attention, and that there are serious challenges within many middle-income countries (MICs).

The draft welcomes the Paris Agreement on climate change, encourages its “prompt ratification by all States,” and looks forward to successful outcomes on relevant upcoming intergovernmental processes, including the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in October 2016, in Quito, Ecuador, and the UN “Summit on Refugees and Migrants” to be held in the UNGA in September 2016.

The zero draft described as “encouraging” recent efforts to ensure the UN can support the 2030 Agenda, such as the ECOSOC Dialogue on the Longer-Term Positioning of the UN Development System, to inform the upcoming UNGA Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), and the UNGA President’s initiative to align the agenda of the UNGA with the 2030 Agenda. It welcomes Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders’ participation in the HLPF, takes note of their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and recognizes the importance of civil society, private sector and academia to supporting the 2030 Agenda.

In addition to the zero draft, the co-facilitators have issued a document outlining draft elements on ECOSOC’s work and outcomes in 2016. The elements – to be considered for inclusion in the Ministerial Declaration – will be discussed on 23 June, along with the zero draft. The document includes paragraphs on the outcomes of: the Youth Forum; the Special Meeting on El Niño and the Special Briefing on Zika Virus; the Operational Activities for Development Segment; the Special Meeting on Inequality; the Partnership Forum; the Integration Segment; the Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN development system; the Humanitarian Affairs Segment; the High-Level Segment of the Thematic Discussion on Infrastructure; and the Development Cooperation Forum.

The HLPF will take place from 11-20 July 2016. [HLPF 2016 Website] [IISD RS Story on Potential Elements for HLPF Ministerial Declaration, Outcome of Consultations on GSDR] [IISD RS Story on Co-Facilitators’ Appointment] [IISD RS Story on ECOSOC President’s Briefing] [IISD RS Sources]


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