Overview of the 2017 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development

HLPF

Theme: “Eradication Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25th September 2015, the first HLPF on Sustainable development was held in 2016 with theme “Ensuring no one is left behind”. This theme was featured in almost all the meetings held at the United Nations throughout the year 2016 and helped some member state and organizations to push for the implementation of the SDGs.
This year, the HLPF on sustainable development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from July 10th to July 19th of 2017 brought together not only Ministers from member states, but also NGOs, Civil Society and Stakeholders, with the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. The 2017 HLPF included a three-day ministerial meeting where member states presented their reviews. More countries were seen to be committed to the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews during the 8 days HLPF session. In total, 44 countries volunteered to present their voluntary national reviews (VNRs) during the 2017 HLPF compared to only 22 countries that volunteered to present their VNRs in 2016.

The following set of goals were reviewed in detail during the session, including Goal 17

SDG TAble-1

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) enable countries to share their experiences on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including their successes, challenges, and lessons learned during the HLPF. The VNRs also facilitates partnerships including the participation of major groups and other stakeholders during the HLPF.
In brief, the HLPF is a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. During the HLPF, Ministers adopts a ministerial declaration, which is expected to provide political leadership, guidance, and recommendations on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It also addresses new and emerging issues with respect to the implementation of the SDGs and highlights country experiences.
Written by WIT Representative: Fred Yonghabi

 

Implementing Rio+20 And The Future We Want

In order to ensure implementation and universality of the post-2015 development agenda, a ministerial dialogue was held to discuss the ingredients needed to develop coherent and integrated elements of the agenda. Ms. Clark moderated the panel. She mentioned the post-2015 development agenda must tackle the emerging challenges that are applicable to all countries. For instance, climate change has been affecting people’s lives in the past few years and its impacts were obvious. She emphasized the need to reflect the shared aspirations of people and countries so that no one is left behind.Unknown-8

Mr. Potočnik mentioned three important ingredients in the development agenda. First, maintain a good balance among all three dimensions of sustainable development, namely social, economic, and environmental. Next, it is important to maintain a transformative agenda. Hence, a global partnership is vital for every country. Each country should focus on having a coherent, enabling policy environment, and the full mobilization of all its available resources, including private finance and a strong accountability framework.

In addition, Ms. Nana highlighted an effective and efficient coordination mechanism from the global to the local level. She also stressed that gender must be a central pillar to address inequality and poverty. This would ensure all inclusive growth and an equal society. Also, she pointed out the inclusion of civil society, youth, women and the private sector in the planning process.

Mr. Yoon stressed the importance of tackling poverty eradication, ecosystem resilience building, and enhanced gender equality. He mentioned that accountable, transparent and effective governance are the key factors in building an integrated development agenda. Lastly, Ms. Velo outlined a universal and integrated approach, which is capable of capturing the three major dimensions of sustainable development. It is necessary to have an innovative culture of governance with inclusiveness and accountability. She ended by calling for new ways of understanding and measuring the progress of the sustainable development goals.

 

Meeting Title: HLPF Ministerial Dialogue “A universal integrated policy agenda to implement Rio+20 and realize the future we want”
Speakers: Ms. Clark Helen, Administrator of UNDP; H.E. Mr. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment; H.E. Ms. Lithur, Nana Oye, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana; H.E. Mr. Yoon Seong-kyu, Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea; H.E. Ms. Silvia Velo, Under Secretary for Environment, Land and Sea, Italy
Location: Trusteeship Council, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 7 July 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Fishing for Development

fisheryToday a panel was convened to discuss the importance of developing and managing fisheries in achieving a successful Post-2015 Development Agenda. H.E. Mr. Sveinsson opened the dialogue by highlighting the four main areas of emphasis for the world’s living marine resources. These areas include protecting the marine environment from pollution and other environmental concerns, responsibly managing fisheries through the elimination of subsidies and illegal fishing, increasing economic benefits to decrease poverty, and supporting capacity building in less developed countries to allow for better resource management.
Dr. Tómasson continued the panel by highlighting the importance of fisheries, focusing on their role in economic development, food security, and a healthy diet. About 10-12% of the world’s population depends on fisheries, aquaculture, and post-harvest production for their livelihoods. Furthermore, fish account for 30% of animal protein in the human diet, and also provide important nutritional components. Yet, many people in fishing communities suffer from malnutrition and poor health. Expounding these concerns, in last 30 years the number fishermen have more than tripled. This, coupled with an improvement in fishing technology, has led to the exploitation and unsustainable use of the marine capital. However, with improved management and better handling and processing of fish, fisheries have the potential to address these concerns- becoming a foundation for human well-being and economic growth.
Dr. Tómasson proceeded by turning his focus to the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme and its importance in helping achieve sustainable use of fisheries. The Post-Graduates enrolled in this six-month program are trained in enhancing institutional and individual capacities to better support the sustainable use of living aquatic resources. These students, in tandem with supporting partners who provide global research based capacity building, are vital in providing the leadership necessary to increase the sustainability of fisheries all over the world.

 

Meeting Title: FISHING FOR DEVELOPMENT: How the Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources Can Impact The Post-2015 Development Agenda
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs; Dr. Tumi Tómasson, Director of United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme; H.E. Ms. Gréta Gunnarsdóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Location: United Nations HQ, ECOSOC Chamber
Date: 7 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan