The 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place in New York from July 9th-18th. The HLPF is organized annually by ECOSOC and represents the highest level space foreseen by Agenda 2030 adopted by the UN to monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In this space for debate and monitoring of the SDGs, the governments of the organization’s member states participate, through ministerial delegations from the ministries involved in assessing the Goals. There is also wide participation from international organizations and institutions, as well as representatives of organized civil society, including unescocat.
2019 is the third consecutive year that the SDGs are reviewed, and it sees the end of the first cycle of review of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the SDG 4 (Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduction of Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnership for the Goals) have been revised. Likewise, the United Nations took the opportunity to analyze and improve the mechanism for reviewing the SDGs, as it was the first time that the cycle came to a close through the HLPF. For this reason, during the development of the High-Level Political Forum, a survey was handed out for participants to take stock of how the HLPF was helping to achieve the development of the Agenda 2030. The first results were presented during the sessions on 18th July, the last day of the HLPF, under the name “Lessons learned from the first cycle of HLPF and Messages for 2019 HLPF Summit: What should Heads of State and Government know and how can we improve the HLPF?” The full results can be found here.
The session on SDG 4 (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”) was especially important, because education is seen as a condition for the achievement of the SDGs as a whole. Thus, the Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Stefania Giannini, stated that “education for sustainable development and global citizenship are part of this ambitious project to foster in children a sense of critical thinking, respect and human dignity”.