10 May 2021
UN Members Consider Adjusted Drafts for ECOSOC, HLPF Review
Photo credit: UN Development Programme
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The co-facilitators issued revised texts for the UNGA resolutions on reviewing the HLPF and strengthening ECOSOC.

On strengthening ECOSOC, the co-facilitators removed proposals that lacked broad support.

On changes to the HLPF, the 8 April draft contains adjusted themes for the 2022 and 2023 session, while noting that the sessions will address the SDG targets with a 2020 deadline.

The intergovernmental review of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the UN Economic and Social Council continues, as governments and stakeholders consider the latest draft resolutions.

The intergovernmental review of HLPF and ECOSOC is expected to result in two UNGA resolutions for adoption during the 75th session. The Permanent Representatives of Austria and Senegal, serving as co-facilitators for the consultations, issued a zero draft in February, followed by revised drafts on 9 March and 17 March 2021. They then produced two non-papers to elaborate on the proposals being discussed for the voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of SDG implementation, and strengthening ECOSOC.

After hearing Member States’ views on these texts on 31 March, the co-facilitators issued revised draft resolutions on 8 April.

On strengthening ECOSOC, the co-facilitators note that they have streamlined the draft by removing proposals that lacked broad support. By the current version, ECOSOC’s high-level segment, operational activities for development segment, and humanitarian affairs segment would “continue to discharge their respective functions” as currently set out in UNGA resolutions.

On changes to the HLPF, the 8 April draft contains adjusted themes for the 2022 and 2023 session, as follows:

  • For 2022: Building back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda: Improving the response to the pandemic and strengthening SDG implementation during the Decade of Action and Delivery through gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, quality education, and the sustainable management, protection and restoration of natural resources;
  • For 2023: Accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels: Ensuring universal access to quality basic services, empowering and supporting local governments, and building resilience.

Both of these sessions would also “promote and review the implementation” of the 2019 SDG Summit outcome document, which includes ten cross-cutting actions to help achieve the 2030 Agenda.

The sessions in 2022 and 2023 also would address the SDG targets that had a 2020 timeline for completion, aiming to “maintain the integrity of the 2030 Agenda and ensure continuous action” on those targets. The discussions would aim to track and account for other intergovernmental processes that relate to those targets, to “allow updated targets to reflect a suitable level of ambition for 2030.”

The 8 April text notes that the Forum will review both Goals 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnership for the Goals) annually.

The annual HLPF sessions would be lengthened by one day to provide more time for “interactive discussions on the VNRs and reviewing progress in countries in special situations and specific challenges facing middle-income countries.”

The latest text also notes that the HLPF should reflect local and national analysis, reviews and dialogues, regional consultations, and peer learning at the regional forums on sustainable development, and expert and other preparatory meetings, and that the Forum should then lead to feedback to the national and regional level.

The texts were discussed on 19 April. [Co-facilitators’ letter and revised drafts, 8 April] [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of HLPF review process]

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