High-Level Political Forum 2020 analysis: Beyond virtuality

“The effort made by the UN to organize a virtual HLPF 2020 was successful, despite the difficulties faced by some of the people who wanted to speak in the different working sessions”. 

Javier Surasky

July 23, 2020

This work completes a series of publications made by Cepei around the realization of the High-Level Political Forum 2020. We present our first reactions and analysis of its final results. 

From July 7 to 16, and under the theme “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: Realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”, a new HLPF meeting (United Nations High-Level Political Forum) took place. It was the sixth version of this meeting as the main platform for monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the global level, and it marked the beginning of a new four-year review cycle. 

The 2020 HLPF session had common elements with its previous sessions, such as the VNRs presentations (Voluntary National Reviews) to inform progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the adoption of a final Ministerial Declaration.

Find some of our main findings from this year’s HLPF analysis below: 

Main findings

The most critical point of this year's HLPF is given by the inability of the UN Member States to agree on a final Ministerial Declaration.

Beyond the references linked to COVID-19, mentions to climate change were present almost constantly, with limited references to the use of fossil fuels. However, central environmental issues such as land degradation, waste generation and care of biodiversity were largely absent.

The pre-recorded presentations of the VNRs were more typical of a tourism fair than of a Forum to review 2030 Agenda implementation progress: Flora, fauna, typical costumes and beautiful landscapes instead of projects and identification of progress and challenges.

About the author

Javier Surasky

PhD in International Relations and International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, has taught courses in different postgraduate careers, including the Master’s Degree in International Relations and the Master’s Degree in Human Rights at the National University of La Plata (Argentina).