3 May 2021
HLPF Programme Released for Two-Week Session in 2021
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias
story highlights

In the first week, governments and stakeholders will discuss nine individual SDGs, looking at several Goals together during each session.

The second week will feature voluntary national reviews of SDG implementation at country-level.

Governments are considering a zero draft of the outcome document to be adopted at the end of the session.

The Secretariat of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) has released the programme for the July 2021 session. In the first week, governments and stakeholders will discuss the individual SDGs “in focus” for this year (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, and 17) and a series of cross-cutting topics. The second week will feature voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of SDG implementation at country-level.

The 2021 session of the HLPF will take place from 6-15 July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

According to the programme released on 29 April 2021, each SDG review session will look at several Goals together. On 7 July, the discussion will cover SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 8 (decent work and economic growth), and 17 (partnership for the Goals), as well as the interlinkages among them and with other SDGs. The theme of the discussion is ‘How do we get on track to end poverty and hunger, and transform towards inclusive and sustainable economies?’

A second session on 7 July will address Goals 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action), and 17, along with interlinkages. The discussion will seek to address ‘How do we revamp and transform consumption and production and address and mitigate climate change?’

On 8 July, the discussion will cover SDGs 3 (good health and wellbeing), 10 (reduced inequalities), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and 17 – as well as interlinkages. The theme will be ‘How do we get on track for building more peaceful, equal and inclusive societies?’

The first week of the HLPF will also feature a discussion of the UN Secretary-General’s 2021 SDG Progress Report, in the context of ‘the SDGs in a time of crisis’ to consider the kind of policies that address COVID-19’s impacts while advancing the SDGs. The scientists preparing the next edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) will hold a dialogue during a session on mobilizing science, technology, and innovation.

A session devoted to the 2020 targets will cover their status and how to continue reviewing the targets while maintaining appropriate levels of ambition. The 21 SDG targets that were originally set to be achieved by 2020 are:

  • Target 2.5 (maintain the genetic diversity in food production)
  • Target 3.6 (reduce road injuries and deaths)
  • Target 4.b (expand higher education scholarships for developing countries) 
  • Target 6.6 (protect and restore water-related ecosystems)
  • Target 8.6 (promote youth employment, education and training)
  • Target 8.b (develop a global youth employment strategy)
  • Target 9.c (universal access to information and communications technology)
  • Target 11.b (implement policies for inclusion, resource efficiency and disaster risk reduction)
  • Target 12.4 (responsible management of chemicals and waste)
  • Target 13.a (implement the UNFCCC)
  • Target 14.2 (protect and restore ecosystems)
  • Target 14.4 (sustainable fishing)
  • Target 14.5 (conserve coastal and marine areas)
  • Target 14.6 (end subsidies contributing to overfishing)
  • Target 15.1 (conserve and restore terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems)
  • Target 15.2 (end deforestation and restore degraded forests)
  • Target 15.5 (protect biodiversity and natural habitats)
  • Target 15.8 (prevent invasive alien species on land and in water ecosystems)
  • Target 15.9 (integrate ecosystem and biodiversity in governmental planning)
  • Target 17.8 (strengthen the science, technology and innovation capacity for least developed countries) and
  • Target 17.11 (increase the exports of developing countries).

Other thematic discussions scheduled for the first week of the 2021 HLPF address: Ensuring that no one is left behind; Building resilience against future shocks through structural changes and investment in sustainable infrastructure; Supporting local authorities in implementing the SDGs and building on voluntary local reviews; (VLRs); Restoring the conditions for SDG progress in African countries, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs); Coming together to help small island developing States (SIDS) to get on a path to realize the SDGs; and Investing in the SDGs.

On 12 July, the presentation of VNRs will begin with the ten countries presenting for the third time. The remaining 34 VNR presentations will take place as part of the ministerial segment over the course of three days: 13-15 July (9 first-time presenters and 25 second-timers). The ministerial segment will also consist of: an opening session with the President of ECOSOC, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, and youth representatives; a keynote by the president of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA); messages from the regions; and the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration.

Governments received a zero draft of the ministerial declaration on 17 April. The Permanent Representatives of Finland and Iraq are serving as co-facilitators for negotiations on the outcome document. [HLPF programme] [Co-facilitators’ letters on HLPF Ministerial Declaration]

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