High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at UN Headquarters, 9 July 2018. Photo: UN Photo/Manuel Elias.
High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at UN Headquarters, 9 July 2018. Photo: UN Photo/Manuel Elias.

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the main United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The HLPF provides political leadership, guidance, and recommendations for sustainable development. It reviews progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the aim to integrate the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

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.

2022

In 2022, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC will be 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 will include the thematic reviews of SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17, and the voluntary national reviews to be conducted by Member States. It will adopt 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 will help inform the HLPF and the planning of its sessions as well as contribute 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 will be 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 is organizing 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 will highlight 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 will build political support to mobilize and harness resources for accelerating progress towards achieving SDG 5. Register for this VNR lab.

As part of the United Nations Evaluation Group, UN Women is also co-organizing 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 will introduce different pathways in which evidence from country-led evaluations can feed into country VNR processes and highlight perspectives from countries that have not yet integrated evaluative evidence into their VNRs, identifying challenges and opportunities to do so in the future. Register for this VNR lab.

More information on the VNR labs.

Side events

UN Women, together with UNDP and ILO, is organizing 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 learnt 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 identifies the key lessons from the COVID-19 response and makes concrete recommendations to strengthen the gender sensitivity of crisis response and recovery efforts. Register for this side event. Concept note.

UN Women, along with the Women’s Major Group, Women@the Table and Centre for Migration, Gender and Justice, is organizing 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 will introduce UN Women and UNSD’s Progress on the SDGs: the annual gender snapshot report and focus 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. Register for this event.

UN Women is partnering 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 analyzing 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. Register for this event.

UN Women is partnering 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 (limited space). Concept note.

UN Women is also partnering 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 will spotlight progress and lessons drawn from Generation Equality Forum and discuss the multi-stakeholder partnerships model of the Generation Equality Forum towards achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Resources

2021

In 2021, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC will be 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 will include the thematic reviews of the following SDGs:

  • Goal 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • 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 will be conducted by Member States. The HLPF will adopt a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session.

VNR Lab

A series of Voluntary National Review (VNR) Labs will be 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 is organizing 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 will highlight 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 feature speakers from Member States. More information.

Other events

Resources

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2020

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”.

Virtual consultations

As a contribution to the HLPF, UN Women co-convened with UN-DESA, ILO, UNRISD, and the World Bank a virtual consultation on “Responding to the economic shock, relaunching growth and sharing economic benefits and addressing developing countries’ financing challenges”. The background paper from the consultation was prepared as input for the corresponding thematic session during the HLPF (most closely related SDGs: SDG 5, SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 10, SDG 17), which took place on Wednesday, 8 July 2020.

UN Women also participated in the other virtual consultations on “Bolstering local action to control the pandemic and accelerate implementation” and “Protecting the planet and building resilience” in preparation for their corresponding HLPF thematic sessions.

Selected reference documents

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2019

In 2019, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC was held on 9–18 July under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The following SDGs were discussed in-depth:

  • Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • 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 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

UN Women drafted a set of two-pagers for the goals under review, which include facts and key messages for each of the goals.

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.

Selected reference documents

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2018

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.

Selected reference documents

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2017

In 2017, the HLPF will be held from 10 to 19 July under the theme of “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. The following set of SDGs will be discussed in-depth:

  • SDG 1 – end poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • SDG 2 – end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • SDG 3 – ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • SDG 5 – achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • SDG 9 – build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • SDG 14 – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • SDG 17 – strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

As a contribution to the HLPF’s in-depth review of SDG 5, UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) held an expert group meeting on “Strategies to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls through the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” on 30–31 May 2017 at UN headquarters in New York. See “Making the SDGs work for women: Experts meet at the UN ahead of High-Level Political Forum” for webcast videos, background documents and outcomes of the meeting.

Useful links and documents

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