The High Level Political Forum (HLPF 2019) is taking place at the UN Building in New York in these days. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
It is a particularly strategic time for such a Forum which provides a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialised agencies.
The Forum is convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and will run from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019.
“The 2030 Agenda is our roadmap and its goals and targets are tools to get there.”, – UN Secretary-General António Guterres
The set of SDG’s to be reviewed in depth at the Forum include Goals: 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 & 17.
- 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
Among the countries presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNR’s) during the Forum will be Pakistan, United Kingdom and the Philippines.
The International Presentation Association (IPA) Justice Contacts present at the Forum are:
- Sr. Rozie Younas (Pakistan),
- Sr. Analee Garciano (Philippines)
- Brian O’Toole (Director, Presentation Sisters Justice Desk for England & Ireland)
- Sr. Ann Marie Quinn (IPA Executive Director)
- and Sr. Elsa Mutthathu (IPA NGO Rep).
Side Events and Exhibitions are taking place on the margins of the 2019 HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC and sponsored by Member States, the UN system and other intergovernmental organisations and accredited Major Groups and other Stakeholders.
These Side events and Exhibitions of the HLPF (held outside the official programme) provide great opportunities to discuss the theme and SDGs under review at the HLPF, deepen the discussion on voluntary national reviews (VNRs), identify emerging and new issues, listen to all voices, and help spread greater awareness of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in general at all levels.
Brian Fitzsimons (CEO of iScoil) was the main speaker at a side event which focussed on Goal 4: Education. This in-depth review of progress toward SDG 4 (quality education) took place on the opening day of the 2019 HLPF session. UNICEF head Henrietta Fore said no country can afford to have one in every three children out of school, as is currently the case in low- and lower-middle-income countries. She called for investing in what works, such as girls’ education, early childhood interventions, and reaching those left behind, such as children living through conflicts, refugees and migrants, and rural settings or urban slums. See link Education must be seen as a public good not a commodity
Responses not ambitious enough
In his latest report on the progress towards meeting the targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, the UN chief António Guterres said that while a “wealth of action” had been taken by governments across the world:
“the most vulnerable people and countries continue to suffer the most.”
The global response to realising poverty and environmental goals agreed by world leaders in 2015 has not been “ambitious enough” according to the UN Secretary-General. The 17 SDGs commit countries to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change.
The report tracks progress across 17 goals in the UN’s 193 Member States and largely takes a global view, however while many trends regarding the SDGs are common to all regions, there are significant regional differences. Launching the report at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, at the start of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) chief, Liu Zhenmin, said that the clock for taking decisive action on climate change is ticking. He stressed the importance of strengthening international cooperation and multilateral action.
“The challenges highlighted in this report are global problems that require global solutions,” said Mr. Liu. “Just as problems are interrelated, the solutions to poverty, inequality, climate change and other global challenges are also interlinked.”
For more details on the HLPF 2019, please Click HERE