COVID-19 and the SDGs: Reviewing progress at the upcoming 2020 High Level Political Forum (7-17 July)

This July marks the 2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York, a moment for governments to come together and share updates on SDG implementation to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2020 HLPF is convened by the Economic and Social Council and will be held from Tuesday 7 July, to Friday 17 July 2018. Due to COVID-19 all HLPF meetings will be held virtually, including all side and special events. You can see a detailed program of all meetings and side events here.

Details on this HLPF

The 2020 HLPF will take stock of where we stand on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The theme for the forum is “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. This year’s HLPF comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has profoundly impacted national actions across all 17 SDGs. While the crisis has presented new and unforeseen obstacles to sustainable development, it also underscores the importance of international solidarity and multilateral action to achieve these targets. HLPF provides an opportunity to address the pandemic through transformative recovery, and redouble efforts to deliver the 2030 Agenda.

This year marks the first HLPF following the 2019 SDG Summit. At this summit, Heads of State and Government launched the Decade of Action for sustainable development, in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Participants at the 2020 HLPF will reflect on how to stay on track towards sustainability goals and accelerate national progress over the coming decade.

In order to help achieve the 2030 Agenda, 47 countries will carry out voluntary national reviews (VNRs), which are official reports on progress and the status of in-country implementation. These state-led reviews provide an opportunity for international partnerships, as different countries share experiences, challenges, and lessons learned during SDG implementation. You can read the advanced synthesis of voluntary reports here.

Ways to get involved

  • Participate virtually at the HLPF: you can follow the discussions during the high-level week (7-17 July) live here. A detailed program of all meetings and side events is available here, or check out this list of justice related events that we will be joining here.
  • Invite network members to your events: if you are hosting or speaking at a side event, write a comment below, with details for how other members can join your event.
  • Respond to your country’s VNR report or the political statement they make at the HLPF: have they sufficiently responded to the challenges and progress on access to justice and SDG16 implementation in your country? Are there recommendations in these reports that can support a more just recovery as your country rebuilds from COVID-19?
  • Engage on social media: follow along with discussions online using #JusticeForAll #HLPF2020

For more information on past HLPF’s and background on the event please see this link.

The full 2020 HLPF Official Programme can be found here. For a list of events that may be of interest to Legal Empowerment Network members, please see this link.

Finally, we are excited to promote the video campaign Voices of SDG16+, which highlights the achievements of organizations working at the grassroots level to advance justice in their communities. On Wednesday 15 July, these activists will showcase their videos in an interactive, virtual HLPF side-event. We would like to congratulate the International Legal Foundation Palestine staff, along with ILF Director of Advocacy and Partnerships Rachel Aicher (@rachelaicher), who will be honored among the winners of the video showcase campaign. You can register to attend the side-event here.

Please feel free to ask any questions so we can help overcome challenges together!