World Leaders Gather to Review Progress in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations

Over the past ten days, world leaders, policymakers, and key stakeholders convened to assess progress, exchange experiences, and devise strategies to advance sustainable development.

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) served as a central platform for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. These goals encompass a wide range of objectives, such as eradicating poverty, ensuring gender equality, providing access to quality education and healthcare, and protecting the environment.

With the theme of Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, this year’s HLPF acknowledged the unprecedented challenges posed by the global health crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on all aspects of life, exacerbating existing disparities and obstructing progress towards the SDGs. The forum sought to identify solutions and strategies for building a better world after the pandemic.

Admitting that the world is “woefully off track” to achieving the SDGs by the 2030 deadline, top UN officials, ministers and policy makers as well as representatives of the private sector and major public groups discussed the ways to move forward the implementation of five out of the 17 SDGs.

They evaluated progress made thus far in providing universal access to clean water, sanitation and power, and examined ways to take advantage of new technology, also examining the crucial role of urban development.

Lachezera Stoeva, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), who spearheaded the work of the Forum, stressed the importance of innovation, technology, and high-impact partnerships.

“We are halfway to 2030 and yet nowhere near to achieving the SDGs. The bad news is we’ve lost seven years. The good news is, we still have seven years and victory is within our reach,” she said.

Throughout the HLPF, participants engaged in more than 200 high-level panel discussions, interactive dialogues, and Voluntary National |Reviews. Thirty-nine countries provided data on their progress towards achieving the SDGs – one of the key components of the development agenda.

One of the important outcomes of the HLPF was the recognition that achieving the SDGs requires a collective effort involving governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals.

It is essential to foster multi-stakeholder partnerships and mobilize resources to accelerate progress towards the goals. The private sector, in particular, has a vital role to play in driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth through responsible business practices and investments. 

As the HLPF ends, it is important to carry forward the momentum generated during this week, participants concluded. The deliverables laid bare at the Forum, are essential for the success of the SDG Summit in September. 

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