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High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The high-level political forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

Sustainable Development Governance

In 2012, the international community met in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and decided to negotiate a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In September 2015, the heads of state and government of the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 SDGs, with 169 targets to specify them.

The annual UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), agreed at Rio+20 and set up in 2013, provides political guidance for implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and serves integration, cooperation, and coordination functions. During the annual HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC in July, UN member states present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on their national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. In addition, the HLPF reviews a number of SDGs each year, with the explicit aim of also addressing interlinkages (Thematic and SDG Reviews).

In September 2019, the first HLPF took place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (SDG Summit). The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), written by 15 independent experts, provided the basis for a first global stocktaking throughout the summit. In the outcome document, the Political Declaration, the heads of state and government called for a “Decade of Action.” Governments and non-state actors are requested to register voluntary initiatives and partnerships to speed up implementation (SDG Acceleration Actions).

Already in 2016, UN member states agreed to review the format and organizational aspects of the HLPF after the first four-year cycle. The negotiations on the review of the HLPF were concluded in mid-2021. An SWP project is researching the process around the HLPF Review. It analyzes the HLPF’s working arrangements, the positions of member states, gives policy advice on options for reforms and assesses the review results going forward.

Further reading
The UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform provides relevant information and documents relating to the negotiations as well as background papers on the subject: sustainabledevelopment.un.org