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High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the UN’s main platform for discussing and promoting issues relating to sustainable development. It is the main forum for States to follow-up and review the progress made on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What does it do?

The HLPF serves to provide leadership and guidance on issues of sustainable development; review States’ progress on implementing the goals throughout society; improve cooperation and allowing for engagement with stakeholders; and share best practice on implementation. Every year, the Forum meets in New York, with Ministers from each State taking part. Every four years, the Heads of State and Government of the UN members also meet for two days to discuss progress.

Why Does it Matter?

The Sustainable Development Goals are a crucial tool in ensuring a more equal world and combating the effects of climate change. As part of the agreement to reach the goals by 2030, States agreed that all signatories should “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels”. The purpose of these Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), is to allow each State to share their approach to implementation of the goals, discuss their successes and challenges, and learn from other countries.

Ireland was one of the two co-facilitators of the final agreement on the 2030 Agenda in 2015 and it is therefore important that we participate fully and openly in the VNR process. Ireland wants to continue to be a leader on sustainable development and to show that, while implementation of the goals is government-led, the best results are achieved by regarding the goals as a shared responsibility, requiring a whole-of-society approach.

While much has been achieved to date, there is still work to be done in the years ahead and Ireland looks forward to the opportunities, and challenges, that come with being a leader on this issue. Our full VNR is now available on the HLPF website, and will be presented in New York on 17 July.

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