On the penultimate day of the 2022 session of the HLPF, as participants sped through 11 VNRs and 42 ministerial statements, they also considered the fate of the Ministerial Declaration. HLPF delegates spent time listening to reports from the UN Environment Assembly as well as from regional meetings on sustainable development during the morning.
Leaders of the five Regional Forums on Sustainable Development highlighted some needs identified during the Forums, including:
- enhancing social protection, education, gender equality, inclusive and green economies, and support for developing countries (Asia-Pacific);
- improving care services and flexible working arrangements to promote gender equality, investing in nature-based solutions, and bridging the global digital divide (Europe);
- promoting multilateralism, in particular financing for development, improving policy implementation, increasing resilience of institutions, and overcoming conflicts (Latin America and the Caribbean);
- ensuring COVID-19 vaccine availability and adequate financing for climate change, investing in education, digitalization, and data collection, and promoting regional value chains (Africa); and
- addressing education losses and tailoring curricula to correspond with labor market and societal requirements, and promoting women’s participation in public life (Western Asia).
During the ministerial roundtable, national leaders outlined ways in which challenges related to the pandemic, the climate crisis, and the war in Ukraine have impacted their countries. Additional – and related – challenges highlighted included worsening inequality, economic and structural reforms and debt distress, inflation, fertilizer scarcity and rising prices of agricultural goods, food and water insecurity, pollution, biodiversity loss, sea level rise and drought.
Success stories included:
- cooperation with development partners to achieve a 90% vaccination rate among adults;
- creation of distance education resources; the value of localizing the SDGs;
- co-organizing a national SDG Forum with civil society organizations;
- more than 30% of marine area already designated as protected and 14 million trees planted;
- introduction of extended sickness insurance; and
- pursuing pandemic interventions based on a consultative, science-based process.
Proposals for further action included:
- establishment of a fund for the development of mountainous countries, and a financing mechanism for blue economy projects;
- bridging the digital divide and enhancing internet access for households;
- investing in flexible and quality education systems;
- “future-proofing” the public health system;
- support to build productive capacity and improve food security;
- development of a smooth graduation process for graduating countries; and
- a call for leaders to continue to express a strong message of optimism.
Many called for strengthened multilateralism in the face of the multiple crises facing the world. Some called for an end to unilateral sanctions.
Voluntary National Reviews were presented throughout the day by: Grenada, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, the Netherlands, Andorra, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, and Sudan.
The Ministerial Declaration is not yet agreed. The co-facilitators of the draft have forwarded it to the HLPF ministerial segment for consideration during the closing session on Friday afternoon.