President’s HLPF Summary Reflects on Leaving No One Behind
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Following the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a summary of discussions by the president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has been released.

It highlights key messages on, inter alia: where we stand at year one of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); ensuring that no one is left behind; follow-up and review, science-policy interface; and multi-stakeholder engagement for implementation.

The HLPF discussion summary was produced alongside a procedural report of the session and its substantive outcome, the Ministerial Declaration.

hlpfJuly 2016: Following the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a summary of discussions by the president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has been released. It highlights key messages on, inter alia: where we stand at year one of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); ensuring that no one is left behind; follow-up and review, science-policy interface; and multi-stakeholder engagement for implementation. The HLPF discussion summary was produced alongside a procedural report of the session and its substantive outcome, the Ministerial Declaration.

On progress at year one, the summary states the first annual SDG Progress Report “demonstrates that the benefits of development are not equally shared by all,” and “severe income inequality is one of the biggest challenges.” For future editions of the progress report, participants recommended focusing on universality, integration and transformation. Participants further suggested reporting separately on countries in special situations, observing that the situation of the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) “remains concerning.”

On ensuring no one is left behind, the summary stresses that a change in mentality towards the disenfranchised and vulnerable is critical to end poverty and address inequality. The summary recommends changing approaches to development and participation by striving to reach the hardest to reach first, prioritizing the most marginalized, ensuring equal access to political participation and decision-making for those furthest behind, and preventing the poor from falling back into poverty through investments in capacity, education, health and nutrition, livelihoods and resilience.

The summary underscores the importance of a nexus approach to food security and sustainable agriculture, climate action, sustainable oceans and terrestrial ecosystems, to account for the interrelatedness of the SDGs. The summary recommends including food security considerations in international and national decision-making, especially with respect to agriculture, climate change, food security and trade.

On follow-up and review, the summary stresses the HLPF’s central role for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda, and urges all countries to take advantage of the HLPF and find new ways to report progress. The summary calls for sustained political attention on follow-up and review, and it recommends avoiding actions that increase reporting burdens on countries. On voluntary national reviews, the summary notes that they “showed impressive ownership of the 2030 Agenda,” and observes that all VNRs mentioned means of implementation (MOI), with many countries sharing their national monitoring and evaluation systems, including creating or revising national indicators.

On the science-policy interface, the summary recommends the HLPF remain a central platform for science dialogue, with a core focus on the interlinkages across the SDGs. The summary further recommends that the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019 be relevant for policymakers and include dedicated content on groups of countries in special situations.

On multi-stakeholder engagement, the summary reflects that the HLPF has continued to engage major groups and other stakeholders in its discussions and in considering their reports. It stresses that such inclusiveness and transparency should be an integral part of future HLPF deliberations.

The summary also addresses: general messages; fostering economic growth, prosperity and sustainability; creating peaceful and more inclusive societies and empowering women and girls; creating ownership at the national level; mainstreaming the SDGs into national policies, plans and strategies, promoting vertical cooperation among local authorities and national governments; MOI; making the 2030 Agenda deliver for SIDS; countries in special situations; and regional experiences.

HLPF 2016 took place from 11-20 July, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. [HLPF 2016 Draft Summary] [IISD RS Story on HLPF 2016] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage of HLPF] [IISD RS Story on Reports from HLPF]


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