February 2018: The five UN regional commissions are organizing their yearly preparatory meetings for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meetings will convene between March and May 2018. Meanwhile, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) announced several special events that will take place during the 2018 HLPF.

Regional meetings will take place: from 1-2 March in Geneva, Switzerland, for the Europe region; from 28-30 March in Bangkok, Thailand, for Asia and the Pacific; from 18-20 April in Santiago, Chile, for Latin America and the Caribbean; from 24-26 April in Lebanon for Western Asia; and from 8-10 May in Dakar, Senegal, for Africa. The latter two meetings remain to be confirmed.

DESA also announced on its website various events on the sidelines of the HLPF: SDG Learning, Training and Practice Capacity-Building Workshops from 9-13 July 2018; a Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) event on 11 July; a Partnership Exchange on 13 July; a Local and Regional Authorities Forum on 16 July; and an SDG Business Forum on 17 July. Announcing the events during the ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 9) in Malaysia, DESA also highlighted that 47 countries will present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) in 2018, as compared with 43 countries in 2017.

Other preparatory activities underway include various global Expert Group Meetings (EGMs) on the set of SDGs to be reviewed at HLPF 2018. Among the SDGs up for in-depth review at this year’s HLPF is Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), and Member States will hold a meeting in New York in April to review UN-Water’s global synthesis report on the Goal, while a high-level international conference on implementation of the International Decade for Action on ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ 2018-2028 will take place from 20-22 June, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The other SDGs being reviewed are at the 2018 HLPF are: 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 considered each year. [DESA Webpage on HLPF 2018 Preparations] [Previous SDG Knowledge Hub story on HLPF 2018 Preparations] [IISD Sources] [IISDRS Coverage of WUF 9] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on UN-Water review process]