The High-level political forum demonstrates its potential

At UN Headquarters today, the ECOSOC met for the election of the Council’s next President and four Vice-Presidents.The meeting of the 2014 High-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development was successfully held from 30 June to 9 July, at UN Headquarters in New York. It was the Forum’s first substantive meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. More than 30 ministers and high level officials from governments, UN agencies and other international organizations, major groups, the private sector, parliamentarians, and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

Though the discussions at the Forum highlighted how much work still needs to be done on a large number of issues, there was also optimism. “There is unprecedented awareness of the need to change our development models and a possibility to end extreme poverty by 2030,” said ECOSOC President Ambassador Martin Sajdik, who chaired this year’s Forum. He  noted that there is “a broad acceptance that consumption and production must become more sustainable.” The dialogues had shown that many countries are already putting in place innovative policies to pursue sustainable development, and that the business sector and other stakeholders are committed to playing their part.

The Forum adopted both a Ministerial Declaration and its theme for 2015: “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015”.

The meeting comprised a series of dialogues around four tracks of themes “From Rio+20 to post-2015”, “Regional dimensions and countries in special situations”, “Science-policy interface”, and “Shaping the forum beyond 2015”.

Participants highlighted the importance of implementation, integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, political will and concrete actions in achieving sustainable development. They also provided valuable thoughts on the sustainable development goals, the post-2015 development agenda, and the role of the HLPF in implementation, monitoring and review of the future goals and targets.

Science-policy interface was also acknowledged as an important factor, including by the presentation of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report. The report brings together existing sustainable development assessments and provides governments with an idea of how future Global Sustainable Development Reports could be shaped. Member States discussed the scope and methodology of the report based on the synthesis of their views reflected  in the Secretary-General’s report. Most of them favoured a wide multistakeholder approach.

More than 30 side events sponsored by Governments, UN system and other international organizations, as well as major groups, were held during the HLPF.

“The meeting we are closing today has already demonstrated the great potential of the Forum. I believe that its outcome and discussions will contribute to the negotiations on the post 2015 development agenda that will start very soon,” said ECOSOC President Martin Sajdik at the closing session of this year’s Forum.

The Ministerial Declaration and further information can be found here: High-level political forum (HLPF)