On July 1, the SDG Lab, together with IISD, UN DESA, CEPEI, and Action for Sustainable Development (A4SD), organized a virtual briefing on “All You Need to Know” about the upcoming High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to help interested stakeholders unpack the main messages and issues on this year’s HLPF agenda.
Opening the briefing was the SDG Lab’s Senior Advisor and Director ad interim, Edward Mishaud, who recalled the HLPF’s purpose as a mechanism for transparency, accountability, measurement of progress and a collective compass to get the 2030 Agenda back on track. Mr. Mishaud highlighted that this year’s Forum is taking place at a time where it is clear the world is falling behind on the SDGs and where the current trajectory of progress does not take us to 2030.
The Chief of Service on Sustainable Development at UN DESA, Irena Zubcevic, provided participants with an overview of the HLPF programme, revealing the theme, SDGs under review and major topics up for discussion, such as the need for increased international cooperation on vaccine distribution, social inequality, fiscal support, action for biodiversity, and stronger social protection, health and educational systems.
Following Ms. Zubcevic was the Lab’s Member State Focal Point, Evgeniya Altukhova, who shared a snapshot of key messages and data from the latest Secretary-General’s Report on Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite an unprecedented set of global challenges, and citing the report, Ms. Altukhova that there are ‘rays of hope’ for SDG progress as the world becomes increasingly digitalized and provides more sustainable finance.
Joining the briefing was Javier Surasky, Program Officer - Governance and Financing for Sustainable Development at CEPEI, an independent think-tank based in Bogota, Colombia. In his presentation, he dived into the scope of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) and regional perspectives, stating that while it is a success that many countries have undertaken a VNR, there is a need to refocus on the quality of the reviewing process.
Reflecting a civil society viewpoint, Uchita de Zoysa, the Executive Director at the Centre for Environment and Development at A4SD, urged this year’s HLPF to encourage greater engagement at all levels of society and to ensure that stakeholder-led review processes, such as the Voluntary Peoples’ Review (VPR), are taken into consideration. Providing a critical perspective, Mr. de Zoysa also underscored the crucial necessity of inclusivity throughout the HLPF and its negotiations.
Through these diverse perspectives, the informal briefing was able to provide different vantage points that, on the one hand, explored the opportunities and challenges that such a global forum faces while elaborating on the formalities of the HLPF. The virtual session also offered a space for participants and panelists to exchange expectations and ideas.
Before closing, Lynn Wagner of IISD offered guidance on how to stay in the loop on broader sustainable development-related events and engagement opportunities. Trine Schmidt, Manager of the 2030 Geneva Ecosystem, moderated the briefing.
· “All You Need to Know” HLPF 2022 webinar slides
· Two-Pager “All You Need to Know” summary
· Post-HLPF Webinar: Observations and Takeaways | 18 July 2022 – Registration
· Watch the recording of the pre-HLPF Webinar
HLPF Programme and Meeting Coverage:
· SDG Knowledge Hub | Daily SDG News | IISD
· Earth Negotiation Bulletin (ENB) Daily Coverage of HLPF
· UNTV Livestream of HLPF meetings
Reports of Interest Mentioned in the Briefing: