Governments Share Views on HLPF Ministerial Declaration
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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UN Member States provided initial views on the Joint Ministerial Declaration of the 2017 HLPF and ECOSOC High-level Segment, responding to the draft elements paper of 23 May.

The co-facilitators said a zero draft of the Declaration should be ready by 7 June 2017.

26 May 2017: UN Member States provided initial views on the Joint Ministerial Declaration of the 2017 High-Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), during consultations on a draft elements paper for the Declaration. The paper was issued on 23 May 2017 by the co-facilitators for the consultations, Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria, and Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica.

Convening the meeting on 26 May 2017, the co-facilitators introduced the paper, which Kickert noted consists of several “strategic issues.” The co-facilitators said a zero draft of the Declaration should be ready by 7 June 2017. They stressed the need to finalize negotiations on it by the end of June 2017. The Declaration should be adopted by the HLPF on 19 July 2017, as well as at the High-Level Segment of ECOSOC on 20 July 2017.

Sharing preliminary views, most UN Member States requested that the Ministerial Declaration be concise, easily readable and understandable, substantive, action-oriented and inspiring. Some asked to avoid reopening conclusions reached at former meetings, including at the 2017 session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum), and stressed the importance of data, including accessible, reliable, high-quality disaggregated data.

Some requested that the SDG Progress Report be made available as soon as possible, as an input for negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration. Juwang Zhu, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), said he hopes the Report will be issued during the first week of June.

Ecuador for the Group of the 77 and China (G-77/China) said the Ministerial Declaration should: reaffirm the principles emphasized in the 2030 Agenda, in particular common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR); enhance the references to means of implementation throughout the document; include South-South cooperation as a complement and not as a substitute to North-South cooperation; and avoid reference to “monitoring.” Referring to language in the elements paper on “reforming the UN development system to be fit for purpose,” he suggested that the HLPF is not the appropriate forum to discuss that topic.

The EU stressed the need for the Declaration to refer to: human rights; democracy; the rule of law; universality; accountability; the importance of combatting climate change for the all the SDGs; inclusiveness and participation of all stakeholders; and policy coherence for sustainable development. Australia, also for Canada and New Zealand (CANZ), requested to include language on diversity, pluralism and tolerance. Along with other countries, they emphasized the importance of integration, stressing the need to avoid considering the SDGs in isolation.

Zambia for the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) highlighted the importance of: human rights; poverty eradication; providing support to LLDCs and other countries in special situations to implement the SDGs, including on infrastructure; promoting diversification and supporting industrialization; desertification and land degradation; partnerships; and official development assistance (ODA). Japan highlighted youth involvement, localizing and communicating the SDGs at the grassroots level, and partnerships.

Switzerland called for more specific language on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and a reference to the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). She said all UN Member States should present their VNRs within the current four-year cycle of the HLPF, and that the thematic platforms should foster an integrated view of the 2030 Agenda.

The US said the HLPF should drive collective, local and national action, and the Declaration should clarify the links between the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the HLPF. He added that no programme budget implication (PBI) should be associated with the Declaration. The Russian Federation asked for caution in referring to the SDG indicators, as they have not yet been adopted by the UNGA. Mexico stressed the importance of “exponential technologies” for achieving the SDGs.

UN Major Groups and other stakeholders were invited to share views on the draft elements via a webinar on 26 May 2017. [Draft Elements Paper] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Draft Elements][SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLPF Preparations]


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