4 August 2020
HLPF 2021 to Focus on Nine SDGs Linked to Pandemic Recovery
Photo by Ruslan Bogdanov on Unspalsh
story highlights

The 2021 session of the HLPF will review nine SDGs: 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

The thematic focus of ECOSOC and HLPF in 2021 will be ‘Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda ....' The themes for the 2022 and 2023 sessions will be defined within the UNGA's 75th session (2020-2021).

Governments have set the focus for the 2021 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Adopted via silence procedure on 3 August 2020, the UN General Assembly resolution lists the nine SDGs that will be reviewed in depth at the HLPF, and provides the theme for 2021 session of the HLPF and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Co-facilitators for the resolution, Kaha Imnadze, Permanent Representative of Georgia, and Jean-Claude do Rego, Permanent Representative of Benin, announced on 3 August that the silence procedure had concluded without objection.

Consultations on the review process began in February 2020, resulting in a non-paper synthesizing delegations’ views. In March, further meetings were cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultations proceeded in writing, and a decision was reached to postpone the in-depth reviews of the HLPF and ECOSOC until the 75th UNGA session, focusing the present consultations only on “essential elements for the way forward.”

By the agreed final text, the Assembly decides that the thematic focus of ECOSOC and HLPF in 2021 will be ‘Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that promotes the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.’

The July 2021 session of the HLPF will focus in particular on nine SDGs:

  • Goal 1: No poverty
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals

The review will also cover the targets of the SDGs with a 2020 timeline.

The resolution states that the remainder of the current four-year HLPF cycle (2020-2023) will include an in-depth review of the other SDGs. The theme of the remaining HLPF sessions will be defined “as soon as possible” in the 75th UNGA session. Finally, governments decided that during UNGA 77 (2022-2023), the Assembly will agree on the themes and sets of goals to be reviewed at each session during the following HLPF cycle.

An earlier draft of the resolution (7 July) was under silence procedure but the silence was broken over four paragraphs, as indicated in the letter from the co-facilitators. Among the changes between the final draft and the previous version, a paragraph has been removed regarding space for stakeholder input in the review process. [Update 17 August 2020: The UN General Assembly formally adopted the draft text (A/74/L.83) as resolution 74/298.]


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