The SDGs/HLPF by Ines Renique

The sustainable development agenda was set with the UN Millennium Development Goals, and has now been updated by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 agenda simply puts it as the importance of: People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnerships and Peace. Undoubtedly, these goals seem rather broad and high reaching. However, each goal has a subsection that better and more concretely details the broad terminology.

The High-Level Political Forum is called to session to discuss specific SDGs, and when the forum convenes next year the subject of the meeting will be “eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. In this case, the focus goals are: Goal 1 (end poverty), Goal 2 (zero hunger), Goal 3 (good health and well-being), Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and Goal 14 (life below water).

Furthermore, the United Nations says that the HLPF is the “most inclusive and participatory forum at the United Nations”. I think that the HLPF will be a effective reminder to major stakeholders and key players, that the SDG’s need to be continuously worked on. Moreover, the broadness of the theme for the forum allows for greater dialogue on other sustainable development issues between the state representatives. The HLPF will meet annually for eight days under ECOSOC (The United Nations Economic and Social Council) and at a high level every four years under UNGA.

It is also important to note that the SDGs have been far more inclusive than the MDGs were. More groups are represented in the goals, and everyone can identify reflected in their own communities at least some aspect of the 17 goals discuss.

What also needs to be discussed, is the monitoring of how states are working towards the SDGs. While IGOs and NGOs are fundamental in the monitoring of successes and failures, it is also imperative that states themselves partake in this monitoring. There needs to be commitment from states and organizations but these entities also need to be held accountable.