28 June 2018
HLPF Blog Posts Highlight Smart Cities, DRR, Inclusivity in SDG Implementation
UN Photo/Lily Solmssen
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The HLPF blog is available on the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, and features contributions from UN Member States, the UN system, and Major Groups and other stakeholders.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility underscores that providing support for decision making and other forms of support for persons with disabilities and for older persons will strengthen individual and collective awareness, the solidity of contemporary democracies and ultimately the sustainability of development.

20 June 2018: María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, has called for planning and participative management in all countries to address the needs of the 15% of the world’s population with physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments. Writing on the blog published in the lead-up to the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), Reyes stresses that supporting persons with disabilities will solidify contemporary democracies and reinforce the sustainability of development.

The blog series is coordinated by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Available on the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, it features contributions from UN Member States, the UN system, and Major Groups and other stakeholders.

Robert Glasser, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for disaster risk reduction (DRR), notes that disaster fatalities are more influenced by socio-economic vulnerability and exposure (or lack of protection) from the elements, than by the hazard itself. He explains that poverty and inequality are major obstacles to reducing disaster losses and achieving the SDGs. He calls for stepping up investment in DRR, building infrastructure that avoids creating disaster risk, and reducing existing levels of risk.

Turning to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), Lisa Guppy, UN University (UNU), notes that nine core indicators have been agreed for SDG 6, but methods for measurement have only been agreed for four of the nine. Even for the four indicators with an agreed methodology, many countries face challenges in building reliable baseline data. UNU in partnership with the UN Office for Sustainable Development, the Korean Ministry of Environment and the Korean Environment Corporation, has developed the SDG Policy Support System (SDG PSS), which helps national governments to leverage existing and emerging national and international data to build robust evidence for policymaking and planning around SDG 6.

On sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), Malcolm Johnson, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), reports that the ‘United for Smart Sustainable Cities’ (U4SSC) initiative launched in 2016 by ITU and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is now supported by 16 UN bodies, and over 50 cities have joined ITU’s pilot project. U4SSC has facilitated the development of internationally recognized key performance indicators, Johnson writes, which allow cities to set goals and measure progress on becoming smarter and more sustainable.

The blog also includes contributions from: Marie Chatardova, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President; Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Hoshino Toshiya, Co-Chair of the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum); Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, Co-Chair of the Third Annual STI Forum; Jack McQuibban, Jessica Bridgers and Bonnie Wyper, Animal Issues Thematic Cluster of the NGO Major Group; Mirna Ines Fernández, Global Youth Biodiversity Network; Eva Mach and Christopher Richter, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Savio Carvalho, WaterAid; Hung Vo and Kristopher Hartley, UN Major Group for Children and Youth; Henri Dommel, UN Capital Development Fund; Emilia Saiz, Secretary-General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); and Li Yong, Director General, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). [HLPF Blog] [HLPF 2018 Website]

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