Governments discussed an UNGA draft decision on scheduling the dates of high-level meetings in the beginning of the 74th session of the Assembly.
Cuba said the HLPF under the UNGA should take place in July, while Mexico and Japan noted that, to benefit from participation at the highest-level, the HLPF under UNGA auspices should take place in September, before the high-level week.
14 June 2018: UN Member States exchanged views with regard to the dates for the 2019 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) taking place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA-auspiced session in 2019 will be the first such HLPF session since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.
Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana, facilitated the discussion, which took place as part of the first informal consultations on scheduling the several high-level meetings that are mandated to convene at the beginning of the UNGA’s 74th session, in September 2019. UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak initiated the consultation process in May 2018, citing the “proliferation” of UNGA activities during the high-level week of the Assembly’s 74th session. The consultations are expected to result in a draft decision on the date for each anticipated event.
In 2013, by its resolution on the ‘Format and organizational aspects of the high-level political forum on sustainable development’ (67/290), the Assembly decided that the HLPF will be convened under the auspices of the UNGA and of the UN Economic and Social Council. The UNGA-auspiced meetings would take place every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government, convened by the UNGA President for a period of two days, at the beginning of the session of the Assembly, and result in a concise negotiated political declaration.
In 2015, it agreed via the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development (FfD) (69/313) that the UNGA will hold a High-level Dialogue on FfD back-to-back with the HLPF under UNGA auspices when the HLPF is convened every four years. Further developing these plans, by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (70/1), the Assembly decided that the HLPF, when it meets every four years under UNGA auspices, will: provide high-level political guidance on the 2030 Agenda and its implementation; identify progress and emerging challenges; and mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation. It also decided that the next HLPF under UNGA auspices will take place in 2019, noting that this will “reset” the cycle of UNGA-auspiced HLPF meetings in order to maximize coherence with the quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) process.
During the first informal consultations on scheduling the meeting, which convened in New York, US, on 14 June 2018, Cuba said the HLPF under UNGA should take place in July 2019, followed by the High-level Dialogue on FfD. Mexico and Japan, meanwhile, suggested that it convene in September, before the high-level week, in order to benefit from participation at the highest-level. Mexico added that the HLPF taking place in July is “linked to ECOSOC.”
Pobee noted that the 2019 HLPF under UNGA was mandated to take place during the 74th session of the UNGA. If it takes place in July 2019, it does not fall under the 74th session, she explained, and if it takes place in July of the 74th session, then it would no longer be in 2019.
The informal consultation also addressed potential dates for: the High-Level Dialogue on FfD; the High-Level Meeting to review progress made in addressing the priorities of small island developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the Samoa Pathway (UNGA Resolution 71/225); the High-Level Meeting on the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (UNGA Resolution 72/251); and the High-Level Meetings on Universal Health Coverage (UNGA Resolution 72/139).
Pobee said she will circulate a zero draft and that the next consultation will take place on 21 June. [UNGA President’s letter on informal consultations] [UNGA Resolution 67/290] [UNGA Resolution 70/1] [UNGA Resolution 69/313] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]