A Short Guide to the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

What is the HLPF and why does it matter?


Leaders from around the world are convening in New York from 9-18 July 2018 for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). This year’s forum will consider the theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.’

Nearly 50 countries plan to present voluntary national reviews (VNRs) during the Forum’s ministerial segment, taking place from 16-18 July.


What is the HLPF all about?

World leaders made a commitment to accelerate action towards sustainable development by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each year, countries come together under the auspices of the HLPF, the main United Nations platform on sustainable development, to review progress towards meeting the goals by 2030.

As part of the follow-up and review process, the 2030 Agenda encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven’.

These reviews are presented at the HLPF in an effort to assess progress, achievements and challenges faced by all countries as they implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Main messages from the 47 countries presenting voluntary national reviews have now been made available.


What else is happening alongside the voluntary national reviews?

The Forum will begin with the UN Secretary-General’s presentation of the annual progress report on all 17 SDGs. This will be followed by an in-depth review of a sub-set of six goals. At the end of the HLPF, a Ministerial Declaration is adopted.

Loads of side events have also been organized, both within and outside the UN. View the tentative lists here, (updated as of 5 July): Week 1 and Week 2


Which SDGs are under review in 2018?

The 2018 HLPF will review implementation of SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 15 (life on land) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).


How are countries doing in terms of reaching the targets?

The UN recently released the 2018 version of the yearly Sustainable Development Goals Report. The report shows that conflict, climate change and inequality are hindering progress towards the SDGs. Positive progress is highlighted as well, including reductions in the proportion of people living below the poverty line, child marriage and under-five mortality. The report underscores particular challenges for the world’s most marginalized and disadvantaged groups.


Where can I learn more?

The official HLPF webpage: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2018

SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of HLPF: http://sdg.iisd.org/tag/hlpf-2018/


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