The Sustainable Development Goals newsletter reproduced
In September 2023, the world will gather at the SDG Summit in New York for the mid-point review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit is expected to adopt a political declaration that will provide a road map for putting the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by their 2030 deadline. The Summit will be informed by the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report prepared by an independent group of scientists. More information about the 2023 SDG Summit is available on the website at: hlpf.un.org/sdg-summit.
Political declaration process for the SDG Summit 2023
The Co-Facilitators of the political declaration for the SDG Summit, the Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Qatar, convened the second informal consultations on 16 March to hear Member States’ views on the Co-facilitators elements paper, which had been released on 28 February. Permanent observers and representatives of major groups and other stakeholders also gave their views and proposals on the paper. Statements from the meeting may be found here.
The President of the General Assembly spoke at the opening of the meeting. In his remarks, he called for an ambitious and transformative outcome that would lead to transformative actions. The Deputy Secretary-General joined the latter part of the meeting to brief Member States on the UN system’s preparations for the SDG Summit. She stated that the Summit was the centre piece of the UN’s work in 2023.
The elements paper has a three-part structure, modelled on the 2019 declaration. The headings in the elements paper are: “Our Shared Resolve”, containing statements of commitment and re-affirmation; “Our Changed World”, taking stock and impact of multiple crises; and “Turning Our World toward 2030”, to outline actions and recommendations. While the proposed structure of the elements paper was generally well received, some groups of delegations emphasized a range of issues of importance for preparing the zero-draft declaration. The Co-Facilitators are expected to communicate further details concerning the date for the release of the zero draft. The video recording of the meeting can be found here.
Introduction to the July HLPF
In a world challenged by geopolitical tensions, the recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and rising poverty, ministers, high-level officials and stakeholders will gather at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July to chart the best way forward to bring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track. A milestone event towards the SDG summit, the 2023 HLPF will be held on 10-19 July, with the three-day ministerial segment of the forum taking place on 17-19 July.
The HLPF, convened under the auspices of ECOSOC, will carry out an in-depth review of the following set of Goals: Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6); Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11); and Partnerships for the goals (SDG 17). This year, 41 countries and the European Union will present their Voluntary National Reviews – aiming to share their lessons learned in the context of implementing the sustainable development agenda post-COVID-19. The theme for the Forum is "Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels".
A series of special events will be organized in conjunction with the HLPF, in collaboration with various partners. The special events aim to mobilize stakeholders most engaged or impacted by the implementation of the SDGs. The guide for side events is posted on the HLPF website and applications will open in early April.
Regional Forums on Sustainable Development: steppingstones to prepare for the SDG Summit
As the preeminent platforms for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda in
the regions, the 2023 Regional Forums for Sustainable Development help build
momentum across regional constituencies, taking the pulse on SDG progress in
the regions, identifying opportunities for transformative action and promoting
partnerships at the regional, subregional and country levels. The forums serve
as steppingstones to the SDG Summit in September and regional preparatory
events towards the July HLPF.
In addition to undertaking a regional review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, the five forums also provide excellent opportunities for representatives of major groups and other stakeholders to interact with ministers and policymakers. From February to April this year, five regional forums are being organized. Two of the five forums have already taken place – the Africa one in Niamey, Niger, from 28 February to 2 March 2023, and the Arab Forum in Beirut, Lebanon, from 14 to 16 March 2023.
To learn more, please follow the links below.
• Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, 9th session, “Accelerating the inclusive and green recovery from multiple crises and the integrated and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063”. See the Forum outcome documents here: Key Messages and the Niamey Declaration.
• 2023 Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, "Solutions and Action", Beirut, 14-16 March 2023.
• Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, 10th session, “Accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels in Asia and the Pacific”, Bangkok, 27-30 March 2023. The Forum is preceded by two key preparatory events: the annual Youth Forum (virtual and in-person) on 18-20 March, and the People's Forum for major groups and other stakeholders (virtual and in-person) on 24-26 March 2023.
• 2023 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the ECE Region: “Transformative action to achieve SDG progress”, Geneva, 29-30 March 2023.
• Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, 6th session, “Accelerating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”, Santiago, 26-28 April 2023.
President of the General Assembly’s Town Hall
The President of the General Assembly will convene his second civil society Town Hall on 20 April, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Town Hall meeting aims to serve as the platform for brainstorming on how to develop and enhance the tools, resources, inputs and processes to produce a quality change in the implementation of the SDGs. All in-person participants are required to register in advance by 31 March.
2023 UN SDG Action Awards application is open, apply now!
As we approach the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDG Summit, every action counts, and we have a unique opportunity to make transformation possible. That’s why the UN SDG Action Campaign has launched the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards to recognize and celebrate initiatives and individuals that #FlipTheScript and create positive change towards a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable future. Winners and finalists will be unveiled at an inspiring and creative UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony in the summer of 2023 with global media coverage.
The 2023 Award Categories are:
• Mobilize: Initiatives that turn apathy into action by mobilizing hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of individuals to take action for the SDGs. Learn about last year’s Mobilize winner: SUPvivors say NO MORE – Ecuador.
• Inspire: Initiatives that harness the power of creativity to inspire positive change and shift behaviour for the SDGs. Learn about last year’s Inspire winner: The Masungi Story.
• Connect: Initiatives that turn division into unity by connecting diverse sectors and partners – from citizens to institutions – to accelerate progress on the SDGs. Learn about last year’s Connect winner: CyprusInno.
• Changemaker: Outstanding individuals who demonstrate that the power is in our hands to Flip the Script and bring about transformative change. Learn about last year’s Changemaker winner: Srishti Bakshi.
If you are a changemaker or an organization driving positive change towards a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable future, apply and/or nominate for the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards by 30 April here.