Stakeholders Make Recommendations for HLPF 2018, SDG Implementation
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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The UN Secretariat has compiled the executive summaries of discussion papers submitted by Major Groups and Other Stakeholders for the 2018 HLPF.

The note includes contributions from: Women; Children and Youth; NGOs; Local Authorities; Workers and Trade Unions; Business and Industry; Scientific and Technological Community; the Education and academia stakeholder group; Persons with disabilities; Volunteer groups; Older persons; Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM); and Together 2030.

Children and Youth request agreement on a universal protocol on plastics, “building on the work of UN Environment Assembly."

30 April 2018: The Major Groups and other Stakeholders have submitted discussion papers on the theme of the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’ The UN Secretariat issued an advance unedited version of a note compiling the papers’ executive summaries. Some papers call for the HLPF’s voluntary national reviews (VNRs) to include space for stakeholders to share their own contributions on SDGs implementation, while others call for investing in data, including data disaggregated by age, sex and disability.

Titled ‘Discussion Papers on the Theme of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development,’ the note includes contributions from several Major Groups: Women; Children and Youth; NGOs; Local Authorities; Workers and Trade Unions; Business and Industry; and Scientific and Technological Community. It also reflects papers from: the Education and academia stakeholder group; Persons with disabilities; Volunteer groups; Older persons; Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM); and Together 2030.

The Women’s Major Group recommends to: use gender budgeting in governments; analyze the gender-differentiated impacts of budgets and allocate money towards achieving clearly defined gender equality targets; and eliminate discriminatory laws and put in place proactive policies to guarantee women’s rights to own and control land and other productive resources across each of the SDGs under consideration. Children and Youth request agreement on a universal protocol on plastics, “building on the work of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA),” and suggest that the HLPF discusses emerging issues, such as the rights of nature, public ownership of global commons, ecocide as a crime against humanity, de-growth, and global regulation on business.

NGOs stress the need for: increased political will and action to achieve SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), particularly through regulation of corporate activity and waste, consumer education, and environmental stewardship; and involving civil society, indigenous peoples, women and local communities in coordinated action to achieve SDG 15 (life on land), in line with biodiversity-related intergovernmental frameworks and targets. Local Authorities call on national governments to conduct open processes to define priorities with local and regional governments, and suggest recognizing the HLPF as a regular mechanism for local authorities’ involvement in the monitoring and reporting process globally and regionally.

Workers and Trade Unions say governments should ensure business accountability and transparency in investments and due diligence throughout global supply chains, and address problems associated with the operations of offshore finance and tax havens. Business and Industry “acknowledge the critical role they must continue to play in accelerating progress towards sustainable development,” and reiterate their intention to engage in the HLPF 2018 through knowledge sharing, providing expertise in policy formation and implementation, and through partnerships “with lasting impact.” The Scientific and Technological Community remarks that achieving the 17 SDGs as an “indivisible whole” is not only possible, but the only way, and calls for changing governance systems to better manage complex, multi-dimensional challenges.

The Education and academia stakeholder group recommends to: develop credible roadmaps for each SDG; and mainstream human rights, sustainable development and global citizenship across curricula, teaching and learning methods and materials, assessment, and teacher training and support measures. Persons with disabilities highlight the importance of collecting evidence-based data on disability, and of consulting persons with disabilities and their representative organizations on the design, implementation and monitoring of SDG plans. They report that 80% of persons with disabilities live in poverty.

The stakeholder group of Older persons call for implementing “Age Friendly Cities” that optimize opportunities for health, participation and security.

Noting that they facilitate access to services in health, education and many other SDG areas to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, Volunteer groups ask to ensure that data for SDG monitoring includes the perspectives of the most marginalized voices, and of the volunteers that work closest to them. Older persons indicate that in 2015, 58% of the world’s people aged 60 and over resided in urban areas, up from 50% in 2000, and older persons are the fastest growing population group globally, expected to reach 22% by 2050. They call for implementing “Age Friendly Cities,” an approach that optimizes opportunities for health, participation and security as people age.

The AP-RCEM underlines the “urgent need” to redefine resilience in the context of development justice, and to address systemic barriers leading to conflicts and human rights violations. It calls for “SDGs compatibility impact assessments” of all trade and investment agreements.

Together 2030 says the VNRs should reflect on the implementation of all SDGs and their interlinkages; the formal reviews of a small set of SDGs at each HLPF should not dictate or minimize the VNRs’ scope. It recommends to: engage stakeholders in the VNR process before, during and after the HLPF through the appropriate, representative and self-organized civil society coordination mechanisms at the national level; develop national indicator frameworks in a way that reflects the whole agenda; and allocate additional time for Major Groups and other Stakeholders’ interventions at the HLPF, especially from national CSO platforms and alliances from reporting countries. It stresses that the VNRs are not a substitute for national processes, but opportunities to build national and sub-national dialogues and mechanisms on implementation and offer a learning space among all stakeholders.

HLPF 2018 will convene from 9-18 July, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. It will conduct an in-depth review of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 15 (life on land), in addition to SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) that is considered annually by the Forum. [Publication: Discussion Papers on the Theme of the HLPF, Submitted by Major Groups and Other Stakeholders: Note by the UN Secretariat] [HLPF 2018 Website]


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