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High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development kicks off in New York


Next week, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) kicks off at UN the Headquarters in New York. It is the annual global moment for the UN and development community to review progress on the SDGs.

The official programme, including all side-events, is available online. The first week, from the 11th until the 17th of July will include more technical sessions. Particularly interesting is the official session on ‘creating peaceful and more inclusive societies and empowering women and girls’, but also on cross-cutting issues such as how to create ownership at the national level and to mainstream SDGs into national policies, plans and strategies.

Afterwards, the high-level segment of the HLPF will kick off, from July 18-20, for which Ministers and Vice-Ministers are expected to attend. It will most likely be a mix of ministries to be represented including Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation, Environment, Planning, and possibly Finance. During the ministerial segment, the voluntary reviews of 22 countries and thematic reviews of progress will be presented and discussed.

The HLPF is expected to adopt a Ministerial Declaration. The final draft is currently being negotiated by Member States, led by two co-facilitators from Australia and Peru. It expected that the text will be finalized today, and will be a key outcome of this year’s HLPF.

SG Report on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals:

The UN Secretary-General has released the first annual report on progress towards the SDGs. The report presents the latest data for each of the 17 SDGs, both with regards to achievements and remaining challenges. On SDG 5, the report notes that ‘Gender equality and women’s empowerment have advanced in recent decades. Girls’ access to education has improved, the rate of child marriage declined and progress was made in the area of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including fewer maternal deaths. Nevertheless, gender equality remains a persistent challenge for countries worldwide and the lack of such equality is a major obstacle to sustainable development.’ Further, the report includes a chapter on data and indicators, around the availability and compilation of data, challenges faced in producing the SDG indicators, and global initiatives to address the challenges.

Regional level: Europe

Follow-up and review of the SDGs at the regional level falls under the responsibility of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. On the 10 May, UNECE organized a Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, and the conclusions of the forum have now been made available (find here). These were also forwarded to the 2016 HLPF as the official inputs from the UN ECE region. The outcomes of all Regional Fora’s will be presented in a regional session at the HLPF in the afternoon of 15 July (see HLPF programme).

Furthermore, it was communicated that UNECE member States agreed to continue the process of informal consultations on a future regional review mechanism for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda at the regional level in the run-up to the sixty-seventh session of the Commission in April 2017

Source: EuroNGOs

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