The political declaration of the 2023 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September, is under discussion among UN Member States in “zero draft” form. The next consultation on the draft Political Declaration will convene on 24 May.

The co-facilitators for consultations on the Political Declaration of the SDG Summit – the permanent representatives of Ireland and Qatar – circulated the draft on 8 May 2023. The zero draft is based on inputs from delegations in writing and during meetings on 3 February and 16 March.

In a letter accompanying the draft Declaration, the co-facilitators express hope that the zero draft “will serve as a sound springboard” for further work towards “an ambitious, impactful, and consensual political declaration.” “As a political declaration,” they note, “the text must speak to the moment, point the way forward, and avoid being overly-detailed.”  

The zero draft contains sections on: Member States’ shared resolve; progress and remaining gaps and challenges in our changed world; and a call to action to turn our world towards 2030. It outlines transformative actions for the SDGs, actions to secure a sustainable future for Our Planet, levers for SDG acceleration, and efforts around mobilizing resources, boosting investment, and building capacity.

The transformative actions highlighted in the draft relate to gender equality, quality education, digitalization, sustainable food systems, renewable and clean energy, and reducing disaster risk and building resilience. Among the levers for SDG acceleration, the zero draft identifies: science, technology, and innovation (STI) and partnerships; high-quality, timely, and reliable data on SDG progress; and integration of the SDGs into national policy frameworks.

Member States exchanged initial views on the zero draft during an informal consultation on 16 May. The next consultation, scheduled for 24 May, will provide opportunities for “further, fuller, and more substantive engagement.” In advance of the 24 May meeting, Member States will also provide written comments on the draft.

The HLPF meets every year in July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) where high-level representatives of governments and stakeholders review progress, examine barriers, exchange best practices and lessons learned, and recommend new actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. Every four years, the HLPF meets under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. When the HLPF convenes twice in the same year, the forum will adopt “only one negotiated political declaration.” [Letter from Co-facilitators] [Zero Draft Political Declaration] [UNGA Meetings Schedule] [SDG Summit Webpage]