Summary Reports
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HLPF 2019
9-19 July 2019 | UN Headquarters, New York

The global response to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has not been ambitious enough, and a renewed commitment and accelerated action is needed to deliver the SDGs in time. This was the key message from the 2019 High-level Political Forum (HLPF), which concluded on Friday, 19 July, having completed the first four-year cycle of its mandate to review the 17 SDGs and assess progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda).

The Forum identified new threats to SDG implementation in line with its mandate to identify emerging issues, such as climate change, a reduced pace of economic growth, the threat of a further decline in the economy, and the “double-edged” sword of new technologies. The Forum reviewed six SDGs: SDG 4 (quality education);  SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth);  SDG 10 (reduced inequalities); SDG 13 (climate action); SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) targets; and  SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals). VNRs were presented by 47 countries during the Ministerial Segment, with seven countries presenting for the second time.

In advance of the upcoming review by the UN General Assembly, while many believe the HLPF has fulfilled its functions, there were also many useful suggestions for improvement, including making better use of regional institutions and fora; focusing on interlinkages between goals; and ministerial declarations that capture the discussions of the annual Forum and identify follow-up action. Read full report

Daily Reports
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ISA-25 Part 2
22 July 2019 | Kingston, Jamaica

On Monday, the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) started its deliberations, addressing organizational matters; electing Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, as Assembly President for its 25th session; considering requests for observer status from four entities; hearing the report of the ISA25 Council President; introducing the discussion on the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2019-2023; and discussing the development of guidelines for observer status requests.

In the breezeways, the ENB notes that substantive discussions focused on the draft guidelines for observer status of NGOs. A variety of shortcomings were identified by delegates and observers, including a heavy reliance on the International Maritime Organization’s relevant guidelines, and the requirement for observers’ objectives and functions to be “in consonance” with the Authority. Read full report