28 June 2021
HLPF 2021 Prepares to Focus on Resilience, Recovery, Hope
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Preparations for the 2021 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development are underway by the UN system, Member States, and stakeholders.

The ministerial declaration is being negotiated, with some paragraphs under discussion at the expert level, and 42 countries have released the main messages of their voluntary national reviews.

The list of side events is available along with other programme information, and stakeholder groups have submitted papers on the theme of the session.

Preparations for the July 2021 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) are under way by the UN system, Member States, and stakeholders. The 2021 HLPF will convene from 6-15 July 2021 under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with a thematic focus on recovering from COVID-19 in a way that promotes sustainable development. 

The latest programme of work for the session, dated 24 June, is available in both PDF form and an interactive, day-by-day format. The annotated version of the programme provides background on each session, speakers, and proposed guiding questions.

In addition to the official programme, the HLPF secretariat has released the schedule of side events that will take place during the HLPF. Details are also available on eight special events, including the Local and Regional Governments Forum (12-13 July) and an event on Chief Sustainability Officers for the SDGs (15 July). This year’s special events also include an event on SDG Acceleration Actions (8 July) and an SDG 6 Special Event (9 July).

The 2021 VNR Labs will have the collective theme ‘Resilience, Recovery, Hope.’ The VNR Labs convene on the sidelines of the HLPF to provide “an informal platform for experience sharing and reflection” on the VNR process. They take place under Chatham House rules.

The governments that will present voluntary national reviews of SDG implementation (VNRs) during the 2021 HLPF have released the main messages of their reports. (The VNR countries are listed in this article.) The main messages of 42 countries are available in a compilation document, although the main messages of Myanmar and Saudi Arabia are not included.

At the conclusion of the HLPF, governments will take action to adopt a ministerial declaration. The co-facilitators for the negotiations (Finland and Iraq) released a revised draft of the declaration on 15 June and called for informal consultations to discuss it on 24 June, as well as consultations at the working level on 25 June. These smaller-group, expert meetings aimed to cover “specific paragraphs related to priority issues for delegations” including climate change, the TRIPS waiver, health care services, tax system, financing and debt, biodiversity, and countries in special situations.

The Major Groups have submitted position papers on the theme of the 2021 session; their executive summaries are compiled in a preparatory document. The contributors are “major groups and other relevant stakeholders that have autonomously established and maintained effective coordination mechanisms for participation” in the HLPF. They include: women, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities, workers and trade unions, education and academia, business and industry, persons with disabilities, volunteer groups, ageing, Asia-Pacific regional civil society organizations; communities discriminated by work and descent; LGBTI; financing for development; and the scientific and technological community.

The functional commissions of ECOSOC also have submitted input on the theme of the session, discussing their contributions to implementing the 2030 Agenda. Another input to the HLPF session is a compilation of reports from the UN’s regional commissions. The submissions present summaries of the 2021 regional forums on sustainable development (RFSDs) that took place in Africa, Asia, Arab Region, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of HLPF 2021]

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