Road to the 2021 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

By Celina Manso
Researcher, Governance and Financing for Sustainable Development Unit 
c.manso@cepei.org


From July 6 to 15, and under the slogan “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”, a new meeting of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) will be held. It will be the seventh meeting of this body as the main space for monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the global level, and will especially discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 1 (End Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 12 (Responsible consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for Goals). The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interconnected nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2021 HLPF session will have common elements with its previous sessions: The presentation of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) —which countries produce to inform the international community about their progress towards the achievement of the SDGs—, and the adoption of a final Ministerial Declaration. However, on this occasion, as in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held virtually.

Source: Own elaboration, 2021

Unlike 2020, this year the five UN regions held their regional VNRs preparatory meetings in March. 

UNECE: March 17 and 18.ESCWA: From March 29 to March 31
ESCAP: From March 23 to March 26UNECA: From March 1 to March 4
ECLAC: From March 5 to March 18 

Negotiations on the Forum’s program and the draft of its ministerial declaration were carried out virtually. Today we have a working program still subject to possible adjustments, and a “zero draft” final statement. Multiple stakeholders will join the HLPF virtual meeting platform and all interested parties will be able to follow their sessions live through the UN Web TV site.

Source: Own elaboration, 2021

43 countries will present their VNRs, including 11 from Latin America and the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua will present their progress for the first time; Barbados, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic will do it for the second time; and for the third time Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Uruguay. All countries have already submitted their Main Messages documents, where they summarize the main lines of what their VNRs will be like. 

Source: Own elaboration, 2021

The 2021 HLPF will be a great opportunity to learn more about the measures established by the countries to fight the consequences of the pandemic, how they will face a sustainable and resilient recovery that promotes the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and how they will achieve the 2030 Agenda.

As every year since 2016, Cepei will be live monitoring the main events of the 2021 HLPF, and sharing our analysis of the Latin American and the Caribbean VNRs presentations on our website and social networks (FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn).

About the author

Celina Manso

Celina Manso is a Lawyer and Master’s student in International Relations at the National University of La Plata (Argentina).
She is a Teaching Assistant of Public International Law course, Faculty of Law of the National University of La Plata. Member of the Department of International Cooperation of the Institute of International Relations of La Plata University.