Project Description

New York, 10th-17th July 2017

The United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the highest-level annual meeting to monitor the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), took place in New York from 10th to 17th July 2017. In this space for discussing and monitoring the SDGs, organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) the governments of the member states participate through ministerial delegations from the ministries involved in the evaluated Objectives. It also enjoys wide participation from international organizations and institutions, as well as representatives of related civil society, as is the case of Unescocat.

As stated in Agenda 2030, “the HLPF will conduct reviews of the development of Agenda 2030 by ECOSOC member states, as well as some United Nations organizations”. Therefore, 2017 has been the first year that some SDG deployment has been reviewed, the ones related to this edition’s theme: “eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”, namely SDG 1 (Ending Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 4 (Health and Well-being), 5 (Gender Equality), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) 14 (Submarine Life) and 17 (Alliance for Goals).

The President of ECOSOC, Czech diplomat Marie Chatardová, highlighted in her summary of HLPF 2017, the importance of events such as this one for the accountability and evaluation of the implementation of the SDGs. The discussions at the HLPF 2017 demonstrated the critical role of the HLPF as a global platform for monitoring and reviewing the SDGs, and as a space in which to consider the challenges and structural barriers that require coordinated action on a global level. It also serves as a platform for collaboration, partnership for peer learning, exchange of experiences and lessons learned. Furthermore, in the ministerial declaration that emerged from the forum, the ministers and high representatives present reaffirmed their commitment “to effectively implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”.

The Center for UNESCO of Catalonia took part in the HLPF because of its special consultative status with the ECOSOC. The delegation, composed of the Director and the Chairman of the entity, attended the sessions centred on the various SDGs and had the opportunity to meet Ambassador Dessima Williams, Special Advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly for the implementation of the SDGs. Williams was also responsible for the High-Level SDG Action Event on Education that was organized just before the High-Level Political Forum. The delegation also met with Ambassador Choonghee Hahn, Permanent Representative of Korea to the United Nations and one of the promoters of actions on education for global citizenship, to share the work of Unescocat and learn about the work being done in this field at the United Nations level.

Within the framework of the HLPF, and in addition to the review of the SDGs and the voluntary national reviews submitted by the Member States, side events were also organized, some of which were attended by the Unescocat delegation. One of these events was “Bringing Awareness and Action of the SDGs to the Classrooms”, organized by UNICEF, on Education for the SDGs. Another was the event organized by the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative, made up of various organizations, including UNESCO, with the aim of disseminating good practices in integrating the SDGs and Agenda 2030 into university curricula and positioning higher education institutions as key entities for achieving the SDGs. Finally, the event “Regional Governments in the 2030 Agenda”, organized by the governments of Catalonia and Flanders, was also attended.