Wrap-up of First Week of High-Level Political Forum

Your Excellency, Ms. Rhonda King, President of the Economic and Social Council,Honourable Ministers,Excellencies,Distinguished guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the honour to address you at the close of the first week of the 2019 High-level Political Forum under the auspices of ECOSOC.

During the past five days, the HLPF has had two main tasks:

First, to review progress related to the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality"; and second, to conduct an in-depth review of the selected SDGs relating to:
  • quality education for all;
  • decent work and inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
  • reducing inequality;
  • actions to combat climate change;
  • peace, justice and strong institutions; and
  • strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
The main message we heard is clear:

While we are on the right path of progress, the global response thus far has not been ambitious enough. Many concrete actions have been undertaken by Governments and other stakeholders to deliver and respond to the 2030 Agenda more broadly. But we need a collective transformation to sustainable development, at a swifter pace.

Excellencies,This year’s Special Edition of the Secretary-General’s SDG Progress Report that was presented at the opening of the HLPF by the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. The Report affirms the belief of the UN system – that the SDGs can be achieved if we accelerate our actions and aim higher.

These five days have reminded us of the key principles that make the 2030 Agenda transformative.

The first is the integrated nature of the SDGs. By developing integrated policies that build on the synergies and address the trade-offs between the Goals, we can truly deliver.

The second, which permeates the entire 2030 Agenda, is the principle to leave no one behind. This central objective means that no goal or target should be considered met, unless met for all social and economic groups. The SDG Progress Report reminds us of this.


These five days have also reminded us that we have the means and tools to accelerate progress. We spoke about the multiple actors that are pursuing the SDGs alongside central governments, including local governments, businesses and NGOs.

We spoke about the transformative power of science and technology.

We spoke about the importance of knowledge, data and evidence and the capacity they require.

And we spoke of the great imperative of achieving the SDGs in the time remaining, and how multilateral action is essential.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We now look forward to the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF and the presentations of 47 countries that will present their national follow-up, through their Voluntary National Reviews.

I commend these VNR countries for their efforts at the national level, their overall dedication and commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the high quality of work that was put into preparing their reports. I am confident that their VNR presentations will generate substantive discussions and knowledge sharing.

The forthcoming HLPF summary, by the President of ECOSOC, will also provide further key messages and policy recommendations from the Forum to inform the upcoming SDG Summit in September.

This will serve as valuable analysis and give context to the world leaders in September when they take stock of how far the world has come in realizing its sustainable development commitments.Through the SDG Summit, the Climate Action Summit and high-level meetings of the General Assembly on universal health coverage, financing for development and the review of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway … leaders will signal the urgent steps they will take to increase the ambition and impact of implementation efforts.

I wish to thank you, Madame President, for your leadership of the 2019 HLPF.

And I thank all of you, Excellencies and Ladies and Gentlemen, for your invaluable contributions over the past five days towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs.

Thank you.
File date: 
Monday, July 15, 2019
Maria Francesca Spatolisano