HLPF Report Notes Strong Momentum on 2030 Agenda
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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ECOSOC has released the proceedings of the 2018 HLPF that convened from 9-18 July under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’.

The report calls for: a greater commitment to developing official statistics and data and effective monitoring systems; and a long-term perspective to build resilience at all levels that includes adopting a proactive approach, building partnerships across borders, and investing in human capacity and in early warning systems.

The Forum brought together 161 UN Member States and States members of specialized agencies, and included 240 side events.

2 August 2018: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has released a report of the proceedings at the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which discussed the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report notes that: the momentum around the 2030 Agenda remains strong; disaggregated data and statistics are gaining ground; and many countries are working to ensure coherence of action with other internationally agreed instruments, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD).

On progress related to the 2030 Agenda’s implementation, the report points to the “widespread adoption” of the SDGs into national development plans and strategies, and the creation of coordinating structures and mechanisms for implementation. Based on the VNRs presented during the 2018 HLPF, it says domestic implementation is often based on a whole-of-government approach and partnerships. The document also notes that countries highlighted support provided by technical bodies to high-level institutions and committees, the inclusion of national statistical office members into coordinating institutions, the appointment of SDG focal points in line ministries, and the establishment of units to ensure effective coordination across departments and agencies. It also states that some institutions have been established and adapted at the municipal level to ensure sub-national implementation.

The report indicates major disparities in SDG achievements, both within and between countries, adding that the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS continue to lag on almost all SDG targets.

On challenges, the report cites the complexity of taking integrated approaches, the need to broadly communicate the SDGs, and means of implementation. It indicates major disparities in SDG achievements, both within and between countries, adding that the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and the small island developing States (SIDS) continue to lag on almost all SDG targets.

On challenges related to specific sectors, the report outlines: the persistence of poverty and hunger, especially in rural areas; a global deficit of social protection, especially towards vulnerable groups; a lack of access to water and sanitation services; a decrease in forest areas; the increased occurrence of climate change-related disasters; a lag in access to health services; a decline in maternal mortality that is “too slow”; and the absence of technology and infrastructure in rural areas. It also notes that: land degradation is threatening the livelihoods of millions of people; a rising number of violent conflicts is driving food insecurity; and growing migratory flows affect the capacity to address the specific needs of migrants everywhere.

The report calls for, inter alia: a greater commitment to developing official statistics and data and effective monitoring systems; and a long-term perspective to build resilience at all levels that includes adopting a proactive approach, building partnerships across borders, and investing in human capacity and in early warning systems.

The HLPF convened from 9-18 July 2018, in New York, US, under the auspices of ECOSOC, and considered the theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’ It reviewed in depth SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 15 (life on land) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals), and featured the presentation of 46 countries’ voluntary national reviews (VNRs). According to the report of the proceedings, a total of 240 side events took place on the margins of the formal meetings, along with 15 sustainable development learning courses, seven special events, and other related activities. The report also indicates that 161 UN Member States and members of specialized agencies attended the Forum, in addition to UN and intergovernmental organization officials, and other stakeholders. [Publication: Report of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Convened under the Auspices of the Economic and Social Council at its 2018 Session (E/HLPF/2018/7)] [HLPF 2018 Ministerial Declaration] [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of HLPF 2018] [IISD RS coverage of HLPF 2018]


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