High Level Political Forum

High-level Political Forum .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

The High-level Political Forum includes a three-day ministerial segment from Monday, July 17- 20, 2023. The theme is “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”. The HLPF 2023 is reviewing Goals 6: clean water and sanitation, 7: affordable and clean energy, 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11: sustainable cities and communities, and 17: partnerships for the Goals. And it is preparing for the upcoming SDG Summit to be held in September 2023. For more information including the program, click here.

Thirty-nine countries are carrying out their voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the HLPF 2023: BahrainBarbadosBelgiumBosnia and HerzegovinaBrunei DarussalamBurkina FasoCambodiaCanadaCentral African RepublicComorosChileCroatiaDemocratic Republic of the CongoEuropean UnionFijiFranceGuyanaIcelandIrelandKuwaitLiechtensteinLithuaniaMaldivesMongoliaPolandPortugalRomaniaRwandaSaudi ArabiaSingaporeSlovakiaSt Kitts & NevisTajikistanTimor-LesteTurkmenistanUnited Republic of TanzaniaUzbekistanViet NamZambia.

Here are some comments I heard during the VNR presentations I attended on Thursday July 13 and 14th:

  • The youth reported that frequently they feel like they are tokenism only.
  • When they are invited to face tokenism. They noted that they are not a homogenized group, and they are experts in their own lived experience.
  • However they work together and are intergenerational. Investing in youth is investment in all.
  • From South Africa came a critique from an LGBT representative. He stated that the LGBT folks are frequently criminalized for who they are as well as those who assist them. They frequently lack housing, water and even menstrual health. Often trans women and children are seen as absurdities. They are asking for decriminalization and the creation of legal gender programs.
  • Norway youth delegates discussed the shrinking space for civil society. They stated that democracy was on retreat. They identified that an inclusive approach makes their communities stronger and more capable.  Youths want a chance to participate as the SDG’s are the responsibility of all in society.  An interesting insight shared by the youth was that all leaders should like to know that someone is watching.
  • Finland identified six areas of transformations needed: economic, work. education, sustainable energy, violence against women and biodiversity loss.
  • Academic stakeholder groups stated that there are still 800 million out of school since the Pandemic. It is not enough to be a bit bigger or a bit better. They stated that there is systemic inequality, life and learning alternatives are not just present. There is a need to develop awareness, develop knowledge to deal with issues so that no one is left behind.
  • Switzerland created a new 2030 advisory body that strengthened their youth and participation in decision making and yet they are still not on track.
  • Creating a stronger global solidarity. We have the resources, finance and means but lack of our concerted action together.

To follow the HLPF and country voluntary reviews of the Sustainable Development Goals go to an annotated program for Monday July 17-20th.