High-level Political Forum 2018

The United Nations High-level Political Forum on sustainable development opened on July 9 for its annual meeting. Political declaration to follow.

Ministers and civil society are focusing on sustainable development from Monday, 9 July, to Wednesday, 18 July 2018.

Key role to realize Agenda 30

The United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is a universal intergovernmental body established in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), “The Future We Want”. Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, the HLPF became the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of international commitments on sustainable development.

A meeting is held annually and convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This year the theme is: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. Out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it will particularly focus on the following:

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

From global to local

The forum is meant to be universal and as such it involves all states and civil society. The 2030 Agenda fully recognizes the role of local and regional authorities, which, by acting as closely as possible to the needs of the territories, can make the SDGs a reality for all citizens. “The 2030 Agenda needs to be owned locally if we want it to succeed” said Ms. Emilia Saiz, Secretary-General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Central governments have a key role to play to ensure that local entities have sufficient public revenue and power to adapt their policies to local needs and implement ecological transition.

In New York, French delegation is led by Brune Poirson, Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and will be composed of representatives of the administration and civil society. Beforehand the HLPF 2018, the ministry initiated a website dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (www.agenda-2030.fr). Contributions, local initiatives and events are promoted.

Energy Observer is one of those, being the first hydrogen ship making an expedition around the globe: 6 years, 50 countries and 101 stopovers, with no greenhouse gas emissions and no fine particles. Its aims at educating, raising awareness and being creative for the ecological transition.

In the meantime, UNESCO has published a guide promoting the implementation of global objectives into local actions (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002604/260443f.pdf)

This is still work to do until the population will be completely aware of discussions happening at such high level across the Atlantic Ocean in New York.  The flow seems to go downstream as HLPF 2019 will focus on empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.

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