High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) Conclusion and Ministerial Declaration 2021

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
HLPF 2021

The two-week High Level Political Forum was sponsored by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and was filled with a variety of events addressing the eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that were the focus of this year’s review.

Some of the topics that were explored are:

The Dominican Leadership Conference is a member of the Mining Working Group and sponsored a side event at the HLPF entitled: Is Extractivism Compatible with Sustainable Development? To view this event, click here.

The event brought together voices from the Amazon region, the Congo River basin and Southeast Asia, all areas impacted by Extractivism, to discuss their experiences, challenges and recommendations related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, especially SDGs 2, 8 and 12. The panelists addressed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their local communities and regions and made suggestions on what might be needed for a resilient and sustainable recovery.

The backdrop of the HLPF included:

  • A global poverty rate is projected to be 7% by 2030, missing the SDG target of 3%;
  • Between 83 and 132 million people experienced hunger in 2020; and
  • 255 million people lost full-time jobs, four times the number lost during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
  • 4 million people perished due to Covid 19
  • 190 million people became sick 
  • 250 million people lost jobs
  • 1.6 million had their education disrupted 
  • And hundreds of millions became acutely hungry and living in extreme poverty

For a more detailed review of the HLPF (High Level Political Forum) please visit their website.

Each HLPF produces an outcome document called the Ministerial Declaration. The hope is that the HLPF outcome would have made some bold and transformative recommendations. However, it failed to do so. 

With the background, detailed earlier in this article,  it is sad to hear that the Member States failed to agree on a strong, human-rights centered, transformative, action oriented Ministerial Declaration.

Member States seem to only reaffirm old commitments, which were insufficient to begin with, as well as an inadequate response to the pandemic.

The Member States seem to ignore the significance of addressing the root causes and systemic barriers in a world where no one is left behind.

Some of the recommendations from the Ministerial Declaration:

  • Don’t use the pandemic as an excuse to eradicate poverty and hunger
  • Call on the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to address the lack of genuine and sincere response to climate change
  • Upscale social protection to ensure COVID -19 recovery and resilience
  • Recognize human rights and gender equality as central to Agenda 2030 and COVID -19 response
  • Respect civil society and other stakeholders. 

In summing up the HLPF, it is loud and clear that there cannot be a recovery from the pandemic without international solidarity and cooperation, including through climate finance and financing for development.” 

Decisions to be made over the next six months, at the Food System Summit, the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, can put the world back on track to fulfil the promise of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Let us not forget also, that, for many developing countries, the pandemic is still raging, people are still dying at unacceptably high levels and economies are in dire straits, stressing the need to extend support to these countries.”  Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. “With political leadership, solidarity and unity of purpose, we can end the pandemic, secure major improvements in people’s lives between now and 2030 and keep the promise of the 2030 Agenda.”

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations