The President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, has proposed the theme 'Ensuring that no one is left behind' for the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
He expects the ECOSOC Bureau to take action on this and other proposals during the week of 25 January.
HLPF 2016 will convene under the auspices of ECOSOC from 11-20 July 2016.
20 January 2016: The President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, has proposed the theme ‘Ensuring that no one is left behind’ for the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). He expects the ECOSOC Bureau to take action on this and other proposals during the week of 25 January. HLPF 2016 will convene under the auspices of ECOSOC from 11-20 July 2016.
Oh made his comments during a briefing for Member States and others on 20 January 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
On the thematic review component of the HLPF, Oh suggested conducting a “pilot thematic review” during the 2016 session with a focus on five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Goals 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere), 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries) and 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development). He said the approach of examining a group or “cluster” of goals at each year’s HLPF session would allow for covering all 17 SDGs during the four-year period where the HLPF is under the auspices of ECOSOC.
Australia, Colombia, EU, Japan, US and others expressed support for the proposed HLPF theme. However, on the proposed approach for the Goal review, these countries and Mexico expressed opposition to “clustering” the Goals, noting this could perpetuate working “in silos.” Some Member States proposed instead to cover the all of the 17 SDGs during one HLPF session.
On national reviews, Oh reported that several countries have responded to his invitation to present national reviews during the HLPF. The participating countries, to date, are: Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Venezuela. Oh said national reviews during HLPF 2016 could consider initial steps countries are taking to implement the 2030 Agenda. He called on Member States to ensure the participation of Ministers working in the three dimensions of sustainable development.
On documentation that will inform the HLPF, Oh announced the appointment of the Permanent Representative of Switzerland, Jürg Lauber, to conduct consultations on the scope, methodology and frequency of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) and its relation to the SDG Progress Report. This consultation process was mandated by the 2030 Agenda (para 83), and its outcome is to be reflected in the HLPF Ministerial Declaration. In the meantime, said Oh, the “last pilot version” of the GSDR is in preparation and will address the theme of HLPF 2016.
HLPF 2016 also will be informed by the conclusions of the inaugural session of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum), which was called for in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), and of the multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation (STI), Oh noted.
On the FfD Forum, Oh said the inaugural session might take place on 18-22 April 2016, and he will issue an information note on its arrangements. He intends to appoint two co-facilitators to prepare draft conclusions and recommendations, and to facilitate intergovernmental agreement on that draft. He noted that the Forum might include a Ministerial segment. He added that the overall theme of the Forum should be aligned “to the extent possible” with the theme of the ECOSOC 2016 session: ‘Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results.’ He also stressed the importance of engaging stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society.
On the first multi-stakeholder forum on STI, a component of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) mandated by the AAAA and the 2030 Agenda, Oh announced that he will appoint two co-facilitators to chair the Forum. The Forum is tentatively scheduledl to convene from 6-7 June 2016.
The ECOSOC President also outlined other upcoming events, including: a special meeting on the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of ECOSOC (22 January); the ECOSOC Youth Forum, with a focus on engaging youth in implementing the 2030 Agenda (1-2 February); a special meeting on inequality (30 March), back-to-back with the ECOSOC Forum on Partnership (31 March); a special meeting on tax matters (27 May); and the ECOSOC high-level segment (18-22 July), including the three-day ministerial meeting of the HLPF (18-20 July). [HLPF 2016 Webpage] [ECOSOC Website] [ECOSOC Programme of Work – 2016 Session] [ECOSOC Provisional Agenda – 2016 Session] [IISD RS Sources]