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The ECOSOC President briefed delegates on the status of preparations for the 2017 HLPF session.

This will be the first year that the Forum will conduct an in-depth review of a specific subset of SDGs, but Shava said the SDGs also need to be considered as a whole to address the inter-linkages between them.

26 May 2017: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Frederick Shava introduced the draft programme of the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and updated UN Member States and other stakeholders on the status of preparations. HLPF 2017 will take place from 10-19 July.

Briefing delegates on 26 May 2017, Shava highlighted that 2017 will be the first year that the Forum will conduct an in-depth review of a specific subset of SDGs. However, he said that while the HLPF will focus on specific goals, the SDGs need to be considered as a whole to address the inter-linkages between them. The Goals to be reviewed this year are: SDG 1 (no poverty); SDG 2 (zero hunger); SDG 3 (good health and well-being); SDG 5 (gender equality); SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure); SDG 14 (life below water); and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), which is reviewed annually. The SDG subsets were outlined by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in its 2016 resolution on ‘Follow-up and Review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Global Level.’

On inputs feeding into the HLPF, Shava highlighted several documents, including: the outcome of the UN Ocean Conference, convening in June 2017; the annual SDG progress report prepared by the UN Secretary-General in cooperation with the UN system; background notes prepared by the UN system on the SDGs being reviewed in-depth; inputs from ECOSOC functional commissions; progress reports from the regional fora on sustainable development; and position papers issued by Major Groups and other stakeholders. Shava said the recommendations of the second annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum), which took place on 15-16 May 2017, and the conclusions and recommendations from the second ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum), held from 22-25 May 2017, also will be presented.

Almost one third of UN Member States will have reported on national progress by the end of the 2017 HLPF.

On other activities taking place during the HLPF, the President announced that the UN Secretariat has received over 240 proposals for side events, while the the UN has the capacity to host only 80. Therefore, the Secretariat might propose merging some events and/or hosting some of them outside of UN Headquarters. He also highlighted “learning centers” being organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). These will comprise eight courses covering the theme of this year’s HLPF session – ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world’ – and the SDGs under review.

Finally, Shava said that since 44 countries have volunteered to provide voluntary national reviews (VNRs) during HLPF 2017, and 22 countries did so in 2016, almost one third of UN Member States will have reported on progress by the end of the Forum this year. Juwang Zhu, DESA, said the volunteering countries for 2017 met for a workshop in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 2-3 May, and that a meeting will take place at the end of May 2017 involving the ECOSOC President, DESA and the 44 VNR countries. A questionnaire has been addressed to the VNR countries, he added.

Key VNR messages from most countries are already available on the HLPF 2017 website. [HLPF 2017 Website] [Draft Programme of HLPF 2017] [Report of Incheon Workshop for 2017 VNRs] [Background Notes on SDGs under Review] [IISD Sources] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Ministerial Declaration Consultations]


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