Insights from the HLPF: Collaborative Efforts to achieve Sustainable Development

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development was held in New York from 10-19 July, 2023. The forum was the first major meeting of world leaders on sustainable development since the COVID-19 pandemic began. For the HLPF, “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels” was the main theme this year. Goals 6 on clean water and sanitation, Goals 7 on affordable, clean energy, Goals 9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure, Goals 11 on sustainable cities and communities, and Goals 17 on partnerships for the Goals were all thoroughly reviewed. It served as a pre-summit for the SDG Summit, which will take place in September 2023.

The HLPF 2023 was an important opportunity for the world leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. The forum highlighted the need for accelerated action, strong partnerships, and a focus on addressing the root causes of inequality. Additionally, the HLPF called for urgent action to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. The event brought together participants to engage in a wide range of discussions, dialogues, and reviews. These discussions included high-level panels, interactive dialogues, and Voluntary National Reviews, with 38 countries providing data on their progress towards achieving the SDGs. Notably, the European Union (EU) presented its review for the first time at the HLPF. The highlight of the HLPF was the recognition that achieving the SDGs requires a collective effort involving governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals. It is crucial to foster partnerships among different stakeholders and mobilize resources to accelerate progress towards the goals. The private sector has a particularly important role to play in driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth through responsible business practices and investments.

All the participants acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has set back progress on the SDGs, and many countries are now facing even greater challenges in achieving them. There is a need for urgent action to accelerate progress on the SDGs, and the HLPF called on all countries to enhance their efforts. The SDGs cannot be achieved by governments alone. There is a need for strong partnerships between governments, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders. The HLPF called on all stakeholders to work together to achieve the SDGs. Moreover, inequality is a major obstacle to sustainable development. The HLPF called on countries to address the root causes of inequality, such as discrimination, poverty, and lack of access to education and healthcare. It is a fact that the climate change and other environmental challenges are major threats to sustainable development. Therefore, the HLPF called on countries to take urgent action to protect the environment and mitigate climate related issues and challenges. In conclusion, by encouraging multi-stakeholder collaborations and mobilizing resources to speed up progress toward the SDGs, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) will play a critical role in accelerating sustainable development.