Note from UNDESA on UN HLPF 2021


Dear colleagues, 

 Please find enclosed the latest announcements and advocacy opportunities in preparation for the 2021 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.  

The blue navigation bar on the 2021 HLPF website includes a Stakeholders segment. All information contained in these update emails will be available there. The vast majority of advocacy opportunities at the HLPF involve nomination processes which commence with the Major Groups and other Stakeholders. Please see the sub-section dedicated to How to Participate. 

If you would like to join one of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders, you can find contact details in the same Stakeholders section of the website under Introduction. 

For ease of reference in future update emails, any future headings containing new information will be marked with [update], whereas upcoming deadlines will be marked as [final call]. 


HLPF 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021 as part of the high-level segment of the Council. The theme and SDGs under review can be found on the the 2021 HLPF website, please track the ‘Latest’ column on the right-hand side of the home-page. 

Preparation [update] 

A Concept Note on the HLPF has been released by the President of ECOSOC. You can find this on the 2021 HLPF website under Programme. 


The 2021 HLPF will be hosted virtually. All official sessions of the 2021 HLPF will be available to watch via UN Web TV. MGoS colleagues will not need to register via Indico, as was required when the HLPF was hosted in-person. In a similar format to last year’s HLPF, access to the virtual platform will only be provided to MGoS colleagues who have formal, active roles in the official sessions of the HLPF i.e. as MGoS Lead Discussants, Resource Persons, Intervenors. 


Given the virtual nature of this year’s HLPF, funding will not be available to bring MGoS colleagues to New York. 

Preparatory Calls  [update] 

UN DESA and the MGoS-CM will also host update calls with the broader MGoS constituents. These will be hosted by UN DESA via WebEx, the invitations will be shared with you today. Upcoming meetings: 

Meeting 2: To be confirmed 

Meeting 3: To be confirmed 

Ministerial Declaration  

In the Outcome section of the 2021 HLPF website, you will be able to locate the proposed timeline for the upcoming negotiations and the latest revised drafts of the Ministerial Declaration, along with the latest letters from the co-facilitators. 

The consultations on the Ministerial Declaration are closed and not therefore available on UN Web TV. One representative from each of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders can however, participate as observers in the negotiations. Furthermore, there will be two oral interventions from the MGoS-Coordination Mechanism as a whole. Please contact your Major Group or Stakeholder Group to find out about the nomination process. 

Official Thematic Sessions 

MGoS Lead Discussants 

There are 13 thematic official sessions in this year’s HLPF programme. UN DESA has invited the MGoS-Coordination Mechanism to nominate one MGoS representative to participate as a Lead Discussant in each of these dialogues. There will be a slate of 13 Lead Discussants in total.  

In previous years, each Major Group or Stakeholder Group conducted its own process to nominate Lead Discussants. These nominations have then been reviewed by the MGoS-Coordination Mechanism based on thematic expertise, gender, geographic location, age, and other factors, in order to determine the final slate of nominations. The slate of nominations is then reviewed by the President of ECOSOC. 

Please contact your Major Group and other Stakeholder constituency for further information on their nomination process. 

MGoS Interventions 

In addition to the formal roles as MGoS Lead Discussants, MGoS representatives also have the opportunity to contribute interventions to the official thematic sessions of the HLPF once the debate is ‘opened to the floor’. The number of interventions entirely depends on the amount of time available at the end of the session. These are typically 1-2 minute interventions, used by MGoS representatives to ask questions or raise points with members of the panel.  

Please contact your Major Group and other Stakeholder constituency for further information on the nomination process. 

Stakeholder Perspectives Session 

The MGoS Official Session is scheduled to take place on 9 July 2021 from 3 - 5pm ET (New York time). It is titled: “Vision and priorities of civil society, the private sector and other major groups and stakeholders: realizing the SDGs during the COVID-19 recovery”. As an official session, this will be available to watch via UN Web TV. 

UN DESA will be working with the MGoS-Coordination Mechanism to identify Moderators, Panellists, and Lead Discussants for this session. Please contact your Major Group and other Stakeholder constituency for further information on the nomination process. 

Voluntary National Reviews 

MGoS Interventions & Questions  [update] 

The usual practice of Major Groups and other Stakeholders having an opportunity to ask a question of VNR countries following their presentations will continue this year. UN DESA will be working closely with the MGoS VNR Task Group in preparation for these official sessions. The MGoS VNR Task Group recently shared details about the nomination and collaboration process but all will be outlined further as part of the webinar series below.  

UN DESA in collaboration with the MGoS-Coordination Mechanism will host three webinars (English, French, and Spanish) to introduce new representatives of the MGoS to the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) at the HLPF. The webinar will cover key characteristics and objectives of the VNRs, as well as opportunities and best practices for stakeholder engagement in preparation for the HLPF.  

Français: Lundi 7 juin @ 9h – 10h EDT (New York)

Español: Martes, 8 de junio @ 2.30 – 3.30pm (Nueva York) 

 English: Wednesday, 9 June @ 9am – 10am EDT (New York)

Register Here / Incrivez-vous ici / Regístrese aquí 

The MGoS VNR Task Group have put out a call for expressions of interest from all stakeholders active in the country via online questionnaire. Please complete the questionnaire by Friday, 18 June:  

 VNR Labs 

A series of VNR Labs will be convened on the margins of the 2021 HLPF, to provide an informal platform for experience sharing and reflection on the Voluntary National Review process. As always, the Labs will be held under the Chatham House rule and will be open to Member States, the UN system and representatives of Major Groups and other Stakeholders. You may register directly for the VNR Labs, more information will be available on the website later this month. 

Written Contributions 

Executive Summaries [update] 

Discussion papers on the theme of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (final), submitted by major groups and other stakeholders can be found on Documentation & Inputs section of the HLPF website:

[ العربية 中文 | English | Français | Pусский | Español ] 

Sectoral Position Papers [update] 

The deadline for submission of Sectoral Position Papers has closed. Each MGoS constituency was invited to submit a paper. The focus of the Sectoral Position Papers was the theme of the 2021 HLPF. The deadline for submission of these papers has passed. The papers will be reviewed and uploaded as inputs to the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. 

Paragraph 89 Reports 

In line with Paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “The HLPF will support participation in follow-up and review processes by the major groups and other relevant stakeholders in line with Resolution 67/290. We call upon those actors to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda”.  

Organisations accredited with ECOSOC status or Organisation that appear on the CSD Roster are permitted to submit reports. The (soft) deadline for the submission of Paragraph 89 reports will be COB Monday, 7 June 2021. Please continue to share your reports with Emnet Bekele: 

Other Events 

Side Events [final call] 

Information, including application guidelines, can be found on the HLPF website under Other Events. All side events will be held virtually. One slot will be allocated to each of the MGoS constituencies. ECOSOC accredited organisations and Organisations on the CSD Roster may also submit applications to host side events.  

UN DESA will not be responsible for hosting the digital platform for each side event, this will be the responsibility of the side event’s host organisation. Please do not submit applications with timings for side events that overlap with the official sessions of the HLPF. With reference to Question #3 in application form, all organisations above are asked should select ‘Representative of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders’ from the drop-down menu.  

The application process is open until midnight (New York) ET on Monday, 31 May 2021. Due to the number of applications received, please finalise the details of your side event before the application deadline. 

Exhibitions [update] 

The deadline for submission of applications for Exhibitions has passed. UN DESA will now review the applications and contact the applicants with the next steps soon. All information on Exhibitions can be found on the HLPF website, please note that UN DESA will not be responsible for hosting the digital platform for each exhibition, this will be the responsibility of the host organisation. 

Special Events 

Please also take an opportunity to explore the Special Events that the UN DESA and its partner agencies and organisations will organise virtually, on the margins of the HLPF this year. ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021’ and the ‘2021 SDGs Learning, Training, and Practice’ can be found under Other Events. 


Gwilym Roberts-Harry

Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch

Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development

Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

United Nations | Email: |



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