Arab States Participation at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018
Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018
The High-Level Political Forum (HPLF) on Sustainable Development will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from Monday, 9 July to Wednesday, 18 July 2018 and serves as an opportunity for member states to provide updates on progress made in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The HLPF is an annual meeting convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as the apex review of the global process in the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable development and the 17 SDGs. In 2018, seven UN Member States from the Arab States region will be among the 47 countries presenting their Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the progress achieved to date in SDG implementation. Under Agenda 2030, UN member States commit to submitting a VNR at least once during the 15-year timeframe and may elect to submit a report more than once.
In the Arab States region, Egypt and Morocco submitted VNRs in 2016; and Jordan and Qatar in 2017.
This year, the HLPF will receive VNRs submitted by Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt (the second report), Lebanon, Qatar (the second report), Saudi Arabia, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates. Kuwait and Tunisia have indicated they will submit VNRs in 2019. This is an occasion to share experiences and good practices gathered in the process of the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. The 47 countries submitting their voluntary national reviews (VNR) this year will share their report and main messages summarizing their experiences.
The theme of this year’s HLPF is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies", and will focus on the following SDGs:
Goal 6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern
Goal 15: protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The HPLF follows a regional review process that is led by the UN Regional Economic and Social Commissions. In the Arab States region, the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) was convened between 24 and 26 April by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) in Beirut. In line with the global focus of the HLPF, the AFSD discussion was oriented towards natural resources and best practices to safeguard them for future generations. This is particularly important as about 30 per cent of the MENA region’s population is aged between 15 – 29. The meeting gathered representatives of governments, academia, civil society and the UN development system to examine best practices and lessons learnt in Agenda 2030 implementation. As part of the discussion, UN Women together with ESCWA, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNDP convened a special session on mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment in national implementation and VNR process. The agreed outcome of the Arab Forum will be presented at the HLPF to help ensure that considerations and priorities identified by stakeholders in this region are reflected in the global debates.
While national reports are presented by member States, Agenda 2030 explicitly calls on all sectors of society to participate in national implementation efforts. In order to achieve this ambitious agenda for people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnerships, the involvement of all stakeholders is essential, including the private sector, youth, civil society, and academia.
Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women’s Regional Office for the Arab States noted that “the large number of countries from the Arab States region presenting VNRs in 2018 is a strong indication of the broader commitment to sustainable development across the region. Agenda 2030 provides a comprehensive framework to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment not only via the targets of SDG 5 but across all dimensions of sustainable development”.
Read the Arabic version of this article here.