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ECOSOC hosted an interactive panel discussion with representatives from functional commissions, who shared discussions and outcomes from the work of their Commissions with relevance for the 2018 HLPF and the SDGs.

Many panelists underscored the importance of gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda to achieve all of the SDGs, with speakers highlighting the relationship between the empowerment of women and girls and the work of their respective commissions.

2 July 2018: The chairs of several UN functional commissions outlined their contributions to the 2018 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), during a panel discussion at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) coordination and management meeting. The officials reflected on: public health; forests and the environment; renewable energy; peace, justice and strong institutions; gender; and SDG monitoring.

On public health, Commission on Narcotic Drugs Chair Alicia Buenrostro Massieu (Mexico) highlighted linkages between the world’s drug problem and the SDGs, emphasizing that drug use impacts public health and people’s aspirations to live in peaceful and just societies. She recommended strengthening bonds with young people through job opportunities and social services, and responding to the most vulnerable segments of society to ensure no one is left behind.

On forests, the 13th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) Chair Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob (Malaysia) described the contributions of forests to the 2030 Agenda. He reported that UNFF 13 concluded that the 2030 Agenda “will only be achieved if forests are protected.”

On energy, Commission on Science and Technology for Development Vice-Chair Peter Major (Hungary) said the CSDT recommends that governments increase their share of renewable energy through policies to support green technology and related sectors. He observed that the gender gap in science and technology has decreased each year since 1990, although countries are still lagging behind.

On peace, justice and strong institutions, Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Chair Lotfi Bouchaara (Morocco) said the Commission’s work supports SDG 16 and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), among other Goals. He stressed the need to address trafficking in wildlife, as well as to consider the needs of migrants and children.

On gender, Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Vice-Chair Koki Muli Grignon (Kenya) shared the Commission’s conclusion that a “targeted approach is necessary to reach all women and girls” as well as to end poverty, improve nutrition and enhance food security. Grignon said the Commission’s outcome addresses women’s access to land, water and other resources, and outlines a roadmap to recognize the rights of women and girls in rural areas. Several other panelists supported mainstreaming gender issues, including Massieu, Yaakob, Bouchaara and Major. Yaakob underscored the importance of the empowerment of women and girls in conservation of the world’s forests.

On SDG monitoring, Statistical Commission Vice-Chair Julio A. Santaella (Mexico) emphasized the importance of timely and reliable disaggregated data in the review of progress. He said the Commission has promoted gender-sensitive elements in statistics, including guidance on issues such as unpaid work, entrepreneurship and violence against women. Santaella further underscored the importance of measuring gaps.

Speakers further supported, inter alia: enhancing synergies across the UN system; creating bridges among the commissions; and achieving gender balance on thematic panels. [UN Press Release]

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