13 June 2019
Major Groups Share Positions on Empowerment, Inclusion Ahead of HLPF 2019
Photo by Lynn Wagner
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The advance unedited version of the UN Secretariat note consolidates executive summaries submitted by major groups and other stakeholders on ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,’ which serves as the theme of the July HLPF.

The note responds to the 2030 Agenda’s call to engage stakeholders in thematic reviews of progress on the SDGs at the HLPF (paragraph 85).

June 2019: Major Groups and other stakeholders submitted a series of position papers on the theme of the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.’ The executive summaries of the position papers are consolidated into a note by the UN Secretariat, which is available in an advance, unedited edition.

Paragraph 85 of the 2030 Agenda calls for stakeholders to be engaged in thematic reviews of progress on the SDGs at the HLPF. The note titled, ‘Discussion papers on the theme of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, submitted by major groups and other stakeholders,’ includes summaries from Women, Children and Youth, Non-Governmental Organisations, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Scientific and Technological Community, Persons with disabilities, Volunteer groups, Stakeholder Group on Ageing, the Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), and Together 2030.

In their messages, the Women’s Major Group calls for empowering feminist and social movements and human rights for all. It notes that governments, corporations, the military, international financial institutions and other “power holders” must be held accountable to human rights and commitments to leave no one behind.

The NGO Major Group calls on Member States to ensure that civil society and those most affected by policy-making are guaranteed an active and meaningful role in the process of decision-making, planning, implementation, evaluation and assessment, and that people are empowered to lead their own development. It also notes the need to empower local communities to strengthen their own resilience, and to empower the most vulnerable with full and equal access to justice mechanisms.

AP-RCEM says teachers’ rights, welfare and empowerment must be guaranteed to recognize and facilitate their meaningful contribution to policy development and fulfillment of education goals. Local authorities underscore the need to mobilize a multi-level coalition around localization, and to set up enabling national frameworks that empower local actors to develop and lead their own SDG strategies.

Many contributions point to the importance of accountability. For instance, Women note that the HLPF “remains an empty shell” unless it delivers follow-up and review processes needed to advance the 2030 Agenda for women and girls of every age, place, ability and status. Children and Youth remark that the UN, in its growing need for funding, is leaning towards engagement with the private sector without accountability mechanisms. Their messages call for assessing the implications of various funding sources.

Volunteer groups stress the need to ensure that the SDG review framework involves community consultation at all levels, including representation of the most marginalized voices and the volunteers who work closest with them. Together 2030 says accountability and monitoring systems must be put in place, and national governments must commit to implementation strategies that ensure a participatory and inclusive approach.

Also on stakeholder contributions to the HLPF, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a summary report consolidating messages from stakeholders on the six SDGs that will be reviewed during the July 2019 session of the HLPF, namely Goals 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals). This follows an online consultation that took place in January and February 2019. [Publication: Advance unedited version: Discussion papers on the theme of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, submitted by major groups and other stakeholders: Note by the Secretariat] [Publication: Stakeholders E-consultation on the SDGs under review at the 2019 HLPF] [E-Consultation Website]

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