Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development Workshop on the Lessons Learnt from the 1st cycle of the HLPF

On the 10th and 11th of September at the UN the Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development in cooperation with UN-DESA Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development  held an expert meeting for reviewing how to improve the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). attending were governments, UN, Major Groups and Other Stakeholders.

The title of the workshop was:
 "Advancing the 2030 Agenda: Lessons learnt from the first cycle of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)– how far can we go?" 

The power points as PDFs can be viewed on the Friends web site here. Papers based on the presentations will be available at the end of October for groups to use to have their own internal discussions on the key subjects.

1. Rethinking the UN intergovernmental bodies after the creation of the HLPF: the roles of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and HLPF
In 2019, the High-Level Political Forum will complete its first cycle. The HLPF, an outcome of the Rio+20 Conference, was created as a replacement for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). When the 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015, the HLPF became the mandated global platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. This session will review options for reform of the HLPF for its second cycle, ensuring it is fit for purpose and continues to serve Member States, stakeholders, and the UN system as the central platform for review of progress on the 2030 Agenda. Member States will have the opportunity to formally address the reform of the HLPF during the 74th session of the General Assembly. 
The workshop addressed:
  • How can we ensure that discussions in the lead-up and during the annual HLPF serve as a catalyst for concrete action to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda? 
  • What general guidance could the September 2019 Summit provide on reform of the HLPF?  
  • How can the review of the resolutions on the HLPF and ECOSOC be best prepared and coordinated?
  • What kind of ECOSOC reform is needed? 
  • The GA will also have to redefine its role. What changes to committees could be envisaged, including possible alignment of their agendas to better reflect the 2030 Agenda follow-up and avoid overlaps with ECOSOC and HLPF? 
  • Should each SDG have a dedicated platform?, Could ECOSOC or another UN body address SDGs with comparatively low coverage, and how?
  • Are there lessons learned from the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) that could be used to improve the HLPF?
2. Review of the role of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs):  How VNRs can be improved to be most effective in accelerating national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and serving as a mechanism for sharing experiences and lessons learned between Member States 
Over two-thirds of all Member States will have presented their VNRs by 2019. The VNRs play a central role to the HLPF, and reflecting how the development presentation, and follow-up of VNRs can be improved is an essential aspect of the review of the overall HLPF. 
The workshop addressed;
  • How have the VNRs delivered so far, what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can the preparations and follow-up to VNRs be strengthened to advance national implementation?
  • What should be done to improve the presentation of the VNRs at the HLPF?
  • What kind of outcomes could reasonably be expected from VNRs? How can success be measured? 
  • How do VNRs compare with other existing review mechanisms?
3. UN-Reforms for the 2030-Agenda: Working methods and practices ”fit for purpose“? 
The overall objective of the High-Level Political Forum is to catalyze accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and it is therefore important to focus on producing an ”Action-oriented declaration” as an outcome of the HLPF. Discussing how this can be achieved is an important reflection to strengthen the impact of the HLPF in the coming cycles.
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • What would an action-oriented outcome look like?
  • How can we ensure an outcome that is action-oriented and strategic with consensus by all countries?
  • In which ways is the HLPF most useful to Member States and stakeholders, and how can these aspects be strengthened?  
4. How can interlinkages and principles in the 2030 Agenda such as ”leave no one behind” best be operationalized?
The principle of ’leaving no one behind’ is at the centre of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. Other principles in the 2030 Agenda such as the employment of a human rights-based approach, intergenerational responsibility, inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and solidarity, will only be achieved through a cohesive and interlinked strategy. This approach has concrete implications for framing and implementing policies, programmes and collaborations – with significant variations across regions. 
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • How do we leverage interlinkages effectively in order to mitigate trade-offs and maximise synergies among goals and targets?
  • How can integrated policy-making promote interlinkages among SDGs?
  • How can science and research be helpful in this regard?
  • How can the HLPF help support a more integrated and interlinked approach to sustainable development?
5. What can be done after the HLPF to advance implementation at the national level, turning retoric into policy by working with parliaments?
After the annual HLPF, what could and should governments and stakeholders do to take back knoweldge and information to support national implementation of the SDGs through parliamentary committees?
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • How can the HLPF encourage greater engagement of parliaments at the global level
  • What can be done to encourage the establishment of parliamentary committees for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
  • How can parliaments, through budgetary oversight, help to ensure the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
  • How can parliaments exercise oversight of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including by passing enabling legislation?
6. What is the role of national multi-stakeholder platforms in advancing the 2030 Agenda, and how can this be best encouraged and supported?
There are a number of approaches that have been undertaken at the national level for the engagement of stakeholders in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. What are good examples that might be built upon and replicated? 
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • What are some examples of multi-stakeholder platforms that have proven to work well and what are the key elements of their success?
  • How can the engagement of all stakeholders be better institutionalized?
  • How can stakeholders constructively engage in the national implementation at the 2030 Agenda and what kind of enabling environment is needed?
7. What is the role of multistakeholder partnerships in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?  
In light of the Secretary General’s Report onimplementation of General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities fordevelopment of the United Nations system, 2018(A/73/63 E/2018/8) – partnerships have been identified as a major contributor to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and reflection on how to best support and enable these partnerships is necessary. 
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • What are some good examples of multistakeholder partnerships (MSPs)?
  • What  are success factors of such MSPs?
  • Some believe there is little oversight of MSPs, is there, therefore, a need for a MSP Charter?
8. Regional Approach: ECLAC Convention on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration 
ECLAC and ECE have developed legally-based approaches to P10 (participation, access to information concerning environment, and access to judicial and administrative proceedings by all citizens) 
The workshop addressing elements such as: 
  • How can P10 advance implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
  • What lessons are there for other regions?
  • Should legal agreements be developed at the regional level?


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