The 2022 session of the HLPF adopted a Ministerial Declaration that identifies challenges and opportunities related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review at the session, on education, gender, the ocean, biodiversity, forests and land, and means of implementation.
The adoption of the 142-paragraph document followed a vote on whether to retain a paragraph related to removing the “obstacles to the full realization of the right to self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation.” Only three Member States voted to remove the paragraph, so it was retained.
After it was adopted, delegates took the floor to comment on the Ministerial Declaration, and, inter alia:
- regretted that language opposing unilateral coercive measures was not included (Pakistan for G-77/China);
- regretted the Declaration does not include language on the inalienable right to development and on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of national circumstances (Pakistan for G-77/China);
- rejected the term vulnerable middle-income countries (Pakistan for G-77/China, and Colombia for the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries);
- underlined the right of women and girls to have control over all aspects of their sexuality, and regretted that negotiations on language around gender had been “unnecessarily challenging” (Canada on behalf of range of countries, echoed by the Czech Republic on behalf of the EU);
- noted that sustainable development challenges have been exacerbated by the “atrocious, unprovoked, and unjustified aggression” of Russia against Ukraine, and the declaration does not make links between food production and biodiversity loss and includes unambitious language on climate action (Czech Republic for the EU); and
- noted “deep concerns” with procedural inconsistencies compared to previous meetings (Antigua and Barbuda for AOSIS).
Several countries expressed reservations regarding language on reproductive rights and their potential connection to abortion. Some noted the lack of consensus on the phrase “multiple and intersecting forms of discriminations,” with one disassociating themselves from paragraphs related to migrants.
In her closing statement, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said the HLPF had demonstrated “unwavering commitment” to achieving the 2030 Agenda. She urged delegates to come together to make the 2023 Summit “a turning point for saving the SDGs.”
ECOSOC President Collen Vixen Kelapile said that while the complex challenges of the present day threaten the SDGs, they also form an opportunity for multilateralism and innovation that challenge the status quo. He stressed: “we know the challenges and solutions, and we have the tools and means if we only shared them equitably.” He announced that Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, would be leaving at the end of the month, thanking him for his service.
Kelapile gavelled HLPF 2022 to a close at 6:35 pm.
All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the HLPF 2022, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth.
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