The changes envisioned through this review process would take effect beginning with the 2021-2022 ECOSOC cycle and the 2022 HLPF session.
According to the co-facilitators, the final draft “is not as ambitious as we had hoped but recognizes the responsibilities we have in the Covid-19 crisis”.
If no objections are raised before 20 May, the draft will be informally agreed and forwarded to the UN General Assembly for adoption.
A silence procedure is underway for UN Member States to agree on changes to the UN Economic and Social Council and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The co-facilitators for intergovernmental negotiations on the text, the Permanent Representatives of Austria and Senegal, circulated a final draft resolution on 12 May 2021 following seven rounds of informal consultations. If no objections on the draft are raised before 20 May, it will be considered informally agreed, and will be forwarded to the UN General Assembly for adoption.
The co-facilitators issued a zero draft of the resolution in February 2021 and two revisions in March, along with a pair of non-papers on some of the proposals under consideration. Further revisions were released on 8 April. After discussion on 19 April and and subsequent written inputs, the final draft resolution was issued on 12 May.
In their latest letter to Member States, the co-facilitators write that they made “a particular effort to accommodate the main priorities indicated and to respect every red-line.” They remark that the resulting text “is not as ambitious as we had hoped but recognizes the responsibilities we have in the Covid-19 crisis” and reflects the middle ground among governments’ views.
Among the differences between the 12 May draft and the 8 April text:
- The final draft does not call for an annual in-depth review of SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions);
- The final draft calls for the 2023 edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) to be completed by the end of April 2023, to inform negotiations on the political declaration for the 2023 SDG Summit; and
- The text no longer mandates the HLPF to ensure that national human rights institutions can participate under the same modalities as other stakeholders.
The proposed themes for the 2022 and 2023 sessions remain the same as the short versions listed in the 8 April text. The SDGs to be reviewed in-depth have been adjusted to omit Goal 16 from dedicated discussion in 2022 and 2023.
The 2022 and 2023 sessions will include consideration of the implementation of the outcome of the 2019 SDG Summit. The 12 May text calls for discussions to also cover implementation of the ministerial declarations adopted each July as outcomes of the HLPF sessions held under the auspices of ECOSOC.
On stakeholder participation, the 12 May version retains the suggestion that countries include major groups and other stakeholders in “preparations and follow up of their VNRs as well as to consider including them in their delegations at the HLPF.” The final draft adds an acknowledgement that some countries have done so in the past.
The changes envisioned through this review process would take effect beginning with the 2021-2022 ECOSOC cycle and the 2022 HLPF session and their respective preparations. [Final draft resolution, 12 May 2021]