18 November 2019
HLPF 2020 to Focus on Accelerated Action, Transformative Pathways
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UN Member States have selected as the theme for the 2020 session of the HLPF, 'Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development'.

The HLPF will convene from 7-16 July under ECOSOC's auspices.

This theme also will apply to the 2019-2020 segments of ECOSOC.

UN Member States have set a theme for the 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The same theme applies to the 2019-2020 cycle of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

By the agreement reached on 14 November 2019, the theme will be, ‘Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.’ The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is expected to meet soon to formally adopt the decision.

Craig John Hawke, Permanent Representative of New Zealand, served as facilitator for the process to identify the theme. He began the consultation process by proposing as a a theme, ‘Transformative pathways to realize the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,’ and a non-paper outlined the rationale. Member States discussed the proposal in an informal consultation on 5 November.

The theme aims to reflect the need for accelerated action, and to be easily communicable.

On 12 November, Hawke wrote to delegations noting that the proposed theme had received broad support, but discussions had also emphasized the need for the theme to be “easily communicable” and to “reflect the need for accelerated action.” The final draft theme aimed to incorporate these views and was proposed for agreement via silence procedure. The reference to “transformative pathways” is expected to enable discussions to “build on the Global Sustainable Development Report” (GSDR 2019). The GSDR titled, ‘The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development,’ was authored by an independent group of scientists and released in September 2019 as an input to the first SDG Summit.

On 14 November 2019 UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande announced that the silence had been unbroken. He intends to convene a plenary meeting of the UNGA to adopt the theme. 

In addition to the HLPF, the theme will apply to ECOSOC’s other segments in the 2019-2020 cycle.

The HLPF convenes every year under the auspices of ECOSOC, and once every four years at summit-level, under the UNGA’s auspices. The 2020 HLPF will take place from 7-16 July, in New York, US. It will include the presentation of voluntary national reviews by 50 UN Member States, as well as thematic discussions. Additional details of the 2020 session have not yet been determined; the UNGA is mandated to conduct an intergovernmental review of the HLPF’s functioning in early 2020.

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