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Editor's Note: Preparing for HLPF? 

Issue #280 | 27 June 2018

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By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Group Director, SDG Knowledge, IISD <>

Are you preparing for the discussions at the annual review of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (aka the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development)?

The 2018 session of the HLPF will take place from 9-18 July. These eight days provide an annual convening event for actors at the international, national and local levels to assess progress on the SDGs within individual countries and at the global level. Many preparations are underway to feed into the discussions during these eight days, and the SDG Knowledge Hub has been tracking them for you.

Forty-seven countries are preparing Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). These reports are based on each country’s consultations with stakeholders and assessments of national planning to implement the SDGs. All 47 of these countries have released the main messages of their reports, although many countries are still putting the final touches on their full VNR reports.

The 2018 session of the HLPF will review progress on a sub-set of five SDGs. The three-hour discussion window during HLPF for each of these five SDGs will be the tip of the iceberg of the preparations for each of these goals, which included the following activities:

  • SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation): UN-Water led the preparation of a synthesis report on the status of implementation of this SDG.
  • SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy): A global SDG 7 conference convened in February, and a publication titled, ‘Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report,’ was released during the 4th Sustainable Energy for All Forum in May.
  • SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities): A side event discussed SDG 11 during the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February.
  • SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production): An expert group meeting on SDG 12 convened in May.
  • SDG 15 (life on land): An expert group meeting on SDG 15 also convened in May.

In addition to these Goals, HLPF 2018 will also discuss progress on SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals), which was the subject of an expert group meeting in June.

Each of the global regions have also convened events to prepare for the discussions at HLPF. Our summary of the outcomes from these discussions is highlighted in this issue of Linkages Update. This policy brief highlights, in conclusion, that the regional meetings point to an increasing focus in the international discourse on the “potential synergies and tradeoffs among the SDGs to promote policy coherence, as well as the continued importance of tackling data gaps and collecting disaggregated data and increasing financing for targeted interventions.”

IISD, though its work on the SDG Knowledge Hub and Earth Negotiations Bulletin reporting, will be listening for the key messages during the HLPF and striving to help our readers keep up with the fruits of the preparations that have gone into this annual event.