IISD/ENB @ HLPF 2018 | 9-18 Jul 2018 | New York, US | IISD Reporting Services
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2018 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF 2018)

Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

9 - 18 July 2018 | UN Headquarters, New York

Summary Highlights, 9 - 18 July 2018

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HLP 2018

UN Secretary-General António Guterres shakes hands with Marie Chatardová, President, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as the 2018 HLPF draws to a close


Highlights for Wednesday, 18 July 2017

The 2018 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) concluded on Wednesday, following a full day of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), and the continuation of the High-Level General Debate in the afternoon. A Ministerial Declaration was adopted during the closing session on the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,” after voting on three paragraphs relating to: means of implementation and global partnerships; peace and security; and gender equality. The Ministerial Declaration as a whole was also put to a vote following a request from the US. The Declaration was adopted without any amendments.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from HLPF 2018.

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The Trusteeship Council is filled to capacity as delegates gather for the closing session


Marie Chatardová, President of ECOSOC

UN Secretary-General António Guterres


Delegates read the draft Ministerial Declaration


Marc-André Blanchard, Canada

Jan Kickert, EU


Delegates vote on elements of the Ministerial Declaration


The US raises a point of order during the vote


Highlights for Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The High-level Segment/ Ministerial Meeting of HLPF 2018 on Tuesday included three sessions on Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), where 21 countries presented their reports: Albania, Latvia, Niger, Sudan, Armenia, Ireland, Namibia, Jamaica, State of Palestine, Togo, Bhutan, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Australia, Andorra, Canada, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), and Senegal.

In the afternoon, the general debate continued in parallel.

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Delegates gather for the General Debate


Prime Minister Komi Sélom Klassou, Togo

Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Ireland


Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR

Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Canada

Mame Thierno Dieng, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal


Maria Ubach Font, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andorra

Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica


Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, Canada


Highlights for Monday, 16 July 2018

The High-level Segment/ Ministerial Meeting of HLPF 2018 opened on Monday at UN Headquarters in New York. The opening session was followed by two sessions on Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), where 14 countries presented their reports: Ecuador, Kiribati, Lithuania, Mali, Republic of Guinea, Greece, Mexico, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Benin, Cabo Verde, Slovak Republic, Bahrain, Colombia, and Viet Nam. A parallel session in the afternoon included:

  • reporting on regional forums;
  • an address by the President of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA);
  • an introduction to the UN Secretary-General’s reports on ECOSOC’s main theme and thematic discussion; and
  • an introduction to the report of the Committee for Development Policy.

A general debate started on Monday afternoon.

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Delegates gather for the opening of the High-Level Segment


Miroslav Lajčák, President, UNGA

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed


Marie Chatardová, President, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Michelle Yeoh, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador and Actress

Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth


Alicia Beatriz Pucheta de Correa, Vice-President, Paraguay, speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, EU

President Thomas Esang Remengesau Jr., Palau, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS)


Delegates gather in the Trusteeship Council for the report on regional forums


Highlights for Friday, 13 July 2018

HLPF 2018 continued on Friday at UN Headquarters in New York, with sessions on:

  • A review of SDG 15 (life on land)
  • A review of SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals)
  • Leaving no one behind: are we succeeding?
  • Wrap-up of the first week

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Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)


Moderator Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute (WRI)

Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


Kavaljit Singh, Madhyam, and Financing for Development (FFD) Civil Society Group

Ridha Bouabid, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN


Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and Marie Chatardová, ECOSOC President, draw the first week to a close



Highlights for Thursday, 12 July 2018

On Thursday morning, HLPF 2018 at UN Headquarters in New York conducted thematic reviews on:

  • Implementing the SDGs: lessons from the regions; and
  • Perspectives of society: session organized with major groups and other stakeholders.

In the afternoon, the review of SDG implementation continued, with a session on SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).

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Jerry Matthews Matjila, Vice-President of ECOSOC, welcomed participants to the session


Jolly Amatya, Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY)

Moderator Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga, Co-Chair of the HLPF Coordination Mechanism, and Women's Major Group


Inga Rhonda King, Vice-President of ECOSOC

Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean



Highlights for Wednesday, 11 July 2018

HLPF 2018 continued on Wednesday at UN Headquarters in New York. In the morning, two thematic reviews based on the theme of transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies took place:

  • perspectives of small island developing States (SIDS); and
  • perspectives of least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and middle-income countries (MICs).

In the afternoon, the review of SDG implementation continued, with a session on SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

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Moderator Elizabeth Thompson, Permanent Representative-designate of Barbados to the UN

Marc Pecsteen, Vice-President of ECOSOC


Moderator Rohit T. Aggarwala, Columbia University

Jean Todt, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety

Meera Al Shaikh, Member of the SDG 11 Global Council, and Smart Dubai, UAE



Highlights for Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) continued on Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York. In the morning, thematic reviews were held on:

  • Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies - building resilience; and
  • Advancing science, technology and innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the afternoon, the review of SDG implementation continued, with a session on SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy).

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View of the dais during the session


David Smith, Institute for Sustainable Development, University of the West Indies (UWI)

Moderator Emily Wilkinson, Overseas Development Institute, UK


Nebojša Nakićenović, Deputy Executive Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Endah Murniningtyas, Co-Chair, Group of Scientists for the Global Sustainable Development Report, Indonesia

Ernest Foli, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana


Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa


Highlights for Monday, 9 July 2018

The 2018 meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) convened Monday at UN Headquarters in New York. In the morning, the opening session focused on progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A session on implementing the 2030 Agenda for resilient societies followed, with sub-sessions on:

  • reviewing progress in achieving the SDGs; and
  • better data for sustainable development.

In the afternoon, a review of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) took place.

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View of the dais during the opening session


Marie Chatardová, President, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General, Economic and Social Affairs


María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, UNSG Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility

Jeffrey Sachs, Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University

Alex Steffen, Co-founder, Worldchanging.com



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Specific funding for coverage of HLPF 2018 has been provided by the
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the European Union (EU)
SDC EU

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2018 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, the Wallonia, and the Institute of La Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).