The HLPF meets every year under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and every four years under the auspices of the UN General Assembly, when Heads of State and/or Government attend the Forum.
In 2022, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC was held on 5–15 July under the theme "Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The 2022 HLPF included the thematic reviews of SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17, and the voluntary national reviews conducted by Member States. It adopted a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session.
Expert Group Meeting
In preparation for the review of SDG 5, UN Women, along with UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), organized an Expert Group Meeting on SDG 5 and its interlinkages with other SDGs on 27-28 April 2022.
The meeting took stock of progress towards SDG 5 to consider changes since the Goal was last reviewed in 2017, including in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as interlinkages with other SDGs and opportunities to leverage synergies and minimize trade-offs. Experts shared good practices and challenges, identified particular areas of concern, and suggested ways forward in terms of policies, partnerships and coordinated actions at all levels.
This event helped inform the HLPF and the planning of its sessions as well as contributed to the evidence base for collaborations and programmes of work on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls going forward. More information on the meeting, including the summary of the event, can be found here.
Voluntary National Review Labs
A series of Voluntary National Review (VNR) Labs were convened on the margins of the HLPF, to provide an informal platform for experience sharing and reflection on the Voluntary National Review process.
UN Women organized a virtual VNR lab titled “Promising practices in gender-responsive budgeting: Mobilizing action for well-targeted financing for gender equality” on 14 July, 2-3 pm. The lab highlighted good practices in gender responsive budgeting as a strategic policy approach to align and target financing towards achievement of gender targets across the SDGs. The interactive dialogue among Member States, civil society and international organizations built political support to mobilize and harness resources for accelerating progress towards achieving SDG 5.
As part of the United Nations Evaluation Group, UN Women also co-organized a virtual VNR lab titled “How country-led evaluations can deliver the evidence-based VNRs intended for the SDGs” on 12 July, 1-2 pm. The lab introduced different pathways in which evidence from country-led evaluations can feed into country VNR processes and highlighted perspectives from countries that have not yet integrated evaluative evidence into their VNRs, identifying challenges and opportunities to do so in the future.
In preparation for the VNRs at the 2022 HLPF, UN Women, with the support of the Mission of Finland, organized a briefing for Member States on integrating a gender perspective in the VNRs. Read the summary.
UN Women, together with UNDP and ILO, organized the side event titled “Getting SDG 5 back on track: Lessons from COVID-19 for a world in turmoil” on 7 July, 7:30 – 9:00 AM (NY - virtual), to look at lessons learned from COVID-19 responses to get SDG 5 back on track. Based on a unique dataset of nearly 5,000 measures taken by Governments in 226 countries and territories in the past two years, a new report by UN Women and UNDP, “Government responses to COVID-19: Lessons on gender equality for a world in turmoil” identified the key lessons from the COVID-19 response and makes concrete recommendations to strengthen the gender sensitivity of crisis response and recovery efforts. Concept note.
UN Women, along with the Women’s Major Group, Women@the Table and Centre for Migration, Gender and Justice, organized an SDG Learning Session titled “Achieving gender equality: measuring progress and advocating for systems change” on 7 July, 2:00 – 3:45 PM (NY). This session introduced UN Women and UNSD’s Progress on the SDGs: the annual gender snapshot report and focused on the status of implementation of the 2030 Agenda using available gender data, critical data gaps, issues with new models/methods of data production and available tools to help advocate for change.
UN Women partnered with the CBD Women’s Caucus, Women4Biodiversity, and UNEP-WCMC to organize a side event on “Advancing gender equality and human rights to stop the biodiversity crisis” on 7 July, 1:00 – 2:30 PM (NY) to highlight opportunities to enhance synergies between the CBD Convention and the SDGs, in particular analysing how the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework can help achieve gender equality SDG 5, contribute to SDGs 14, 15 and 17 and advance human rights.
UN Women partnered with the Missions of Jordan and Austria on the side event “Linking SDG 16 and SDG 5 in a time of crisis - Women in peacebuilding and justice” on 14 July, 1:00 – 2:30 PM (NY) at the Austrian mission. Concept note.
UN Women also partnered with the Missions of Mexico and France in a side event on “Partnerships, sustainability, and resilience for gender equality: Navigating rapidly changing times” on 15 July, 7:00 am (NY). The event spotlit progress and lessons drawn from Generation Equality Forum and discussed the multi-stakeholder partnerships model of the Generation Equality Forum towards achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
In 2021, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC was held on 6–15 July under the theme “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 2021 HLPF included the thematic reviews of the following SDGs:
Goal 2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The voluntary national reviews were conducted by Member States. The HLPF adopted a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session.
A series of Voluntary National Review (VNR) Labs were convened on the margins of the HLPF, to provide an informal platform for experience sharing and reflection on the Voluntary National Review process. UN Women organized a VNR lab titled “Path to equal: New measurement framework on gender equality and women's empowerment” on 15 July 2021, 8:00-9:00 AM EDT. The lab highlighted some of the findings from a new measurement framework produced by UN Women and UNDP and its relevance for the preparation of VNRs, as well as featured speakers from Member States. More information.
In preparation for the VNRs at the 2021 HLPF, UN Women, with the support of the Mission of Finland, organized a briefing for Member States on integrating a gender perspective in the VNRs. Read the summary.
In 2020, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC held on 7–16 July under the theme “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.
For the first time since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, the HLPF also met under the auspices of the General Assembly (SDG Summit) on 24 and 25 September 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Heads of State and Government gathered to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Expert Group Meeting
As a contribution to the HLPF, UN Women, UNODC and the UNFCCC Secretariat, in collaboration with UNIDO, organized an expert group meeting on “Tackling global challenges to equality and inclusion through the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Spotlight on SDGs 10, 13 and 16”, on 27-28 February 2019 in Vienna.
In 2018, the HLPF was held 9–18 July under the theme of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. The following SDGs were discussed in-depth:
SDG 6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
SDG 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
Expert Group Meeting
As a contribution to the HLPF, UN Women, UN Environment, and UN Habitat organized an expert group meeting on “Building sustainable and resilient societies through the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, on 5–6 June 2018 in Nairobi.