9 January 2018
Expert, Stakeholder and Regional Meetings Convening Ahead of HLPF 2018
Photo Credit: Lynn Wagner
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The 2018 HLPF will include: an in-depth review of six SDGs; Voluntary National Reviews by 48 Member States; a high-level discussion of the 2018 theme; and the SDG Business Forum, Local Authorities Forum, Partnerships Exchange and numerous side events.

A revised set of guidelines for preparing VNRs is expected to be released in early 2018.

January 2017: Preparations are underway for the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Taking place under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), HLPF 2018 will include: an in-depth review of six SDGs; Voluntary National Reviews by 48 Member States; a high-level discussion of the 2018 theme; and the SDG Business Forum, Local Authorities Forum, Partnerships Exchange and numerous side events.

HLPF 2018 will convene from 9-13 July 2018, followed by its ministerial meeting from 16-18 July, which is held jointly with ECOSOC as part of its high-level segment. The theme of the session will be ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’ The ministerial meeting will address this theme.

The sub-set of SDGs to be reviewed in depth is: 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, Goal 17 (partnerships for the Goals) is also considered each year. As noted in a Linkages Update editor’s note, in reviewing this set of Goals, participants will be able to reflect on over two years of efforts to implement the Goals, which could yield deeper insights and more concrete experiences and lessons than at the 2017 HLPF.

To review implementation of the six Goals, HLPF participants will draw on reports from the Secretariat, discussions at regional fora, the Secretary-General’s annual SDG progress report, and sectoral papers from Major Groups and Other Stakeholders, among others. By a resolution adopted in December 2017 (UNEP/EA.3/L.7), outcomes of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) sessions will provide “the key environmental perspective of sustainable development” during the HLPF, and its inputs to each HLPF meeting will address the SDGs under review and interlinkages between the environmental dimension and the social and economic dimensions, among other matters.

Expert group meetings on each SDG under review and the interlinkages among them will take place around the world, beginning in January 2018.

Expert group meetings on each Goal under review will take place around the world. On SDG 6, a preparatory meeting is being planned for Dushanbe, in May. On SDG 7, a global preparatory event will take place in Bangkok, from 21-23 February, with registration now open. On SDG 11, ECOSOC President Marie Chatardová is planning a global preparatory event in Prague, in March. On SDG 12, an expert group meeting will convene in the Republic of Korea, in April. On SDG 15, DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development is initiating a dialogue with the Rio conventions, UN Forum on Forests, and IUCN. Finally, DSD is also organizing an EGM on the topic of interlinkages, from 25-26 January. These Goal-specific meetings take place in addition to the annual meetings of each regional commission, which will discuss progress on each of the six Goals and the theme for the 2018 HLPF.

In addition to the review of progress on the selected SDGs, 48 countries are expected to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), addressing progress and challenges at the national level. The countries are, from the African Group, Benin, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Guinea, Lebanon, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan and Togo; from the Asia-Pacific Group, Australia, Bahrain, Bhutan, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Viet Nam; from the Eastern European Group, Albania, Armenia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia; from the Western European and Others Group, Andorra, Canada, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Romania, Spain and Switzerland; and from the Latin American and Caribbean Group, Bahamas, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In December 2017, DSD held an expert group meeting for representatives from the VNR countries. Further global meetings of the VNR countries are expected to take place in March and July 2018, while DSD is also organizing country-level workshops for stakeholders in some VNR countries.

In preparing their VNRs, governments are encouraged to draw on guidelines from the Secretary-General. An expert group discussed the guidelines for VNRs at the beginning of November, and a revised set of guidelines is expected to be released in early 2018.

In other preparations, DSD is assembling a blog series and an exhibition space. The blog posts are invited to respond to guiding questions on the theme of the 2018 session, the sub-set of SDGs under review, and interlinkages among them. The exhibition space will be on display during the HLPF, and exhibitions must relate to the theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’ and the six Goals under in-depth review. [HLPF 2018 Website] [DESA Form for Submitting Blog Entries] [DESA Guidelines for Exhibitions] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLPF Dates] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLPF Theme] [IISD Sources]

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