2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2020)

Accelerated Action and Transformative Pathways: Realizing the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development

7-16 July 2020 | UN Headquarters, New York

Highlights for Wednesday, 15 July 2020

On Wednesday, HLPF 2020 heard messages from the regions on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and 10 countries presented their voluntary national reviews (VNRs).
  • Omar Hilale

A session on messages from the UN regions on Wednesday presented a more vivid picture of the severe impacts of COVID-19 around the world. The Africa region highlighted that the predicted GDP growth rate for Africa had fallen from 3.2% before the pandemic struck, to 1.8% or even negative figures after, according to some forecasts. The Latin America and the Caribbean region, meanwhile, is projected to suffer the worst contraction in GDP growth in its history as a result of the pandemic, of -5.3%.

  • Vera Songwe

Other regions also described the impacts of the pandemic, and progress, challenges, and priorities towards achieving the SDGs. Their statements were based mainly on virtual meetings – only the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development took place physically before the pandemic struck. The overall picture was mixed, with modest progress in some areas, but many challenges, including: statistical capacities for disaggregated and quality data; mainstreaming gender equality; redirecting financial flows towards circular growth, carbon neutrality, and nature-based solutions; and enhancing accountability, including through partnerships with civil society.

  • Paul Mavima

The presentation of VNRs continued after the messages from the regions. The Finance Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said SDG 17 (global partnerships) is “the most significant and transformative pillar” of the 2030 Agenda. Without development finance, capacity building, technology transfer, fair and open trade, cooperative partnerships, and genuine systemic reform, he said “sustainable development will remain illusory, pursued diligently, but never attained.”

  • Samantha Jayasuriya

Estonia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Austria, Seychelles, Syrian Arab Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Mozambique, and Papua New Guinea presented their VNRs on Wednesday.

  • Maurice Loustau-Lalanne

For more details on the day’s negotiations and to read what delegates said in the cyber-corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Images from the Meeting

Videos from the Meeting

Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe, and Chair, 6th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development
Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Cuba, and Chair, 4th Session of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for UNECE
Samantha Jayasuriya, Chair, 7th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development
Vaqif Sadiqov, Chair, 4th Session of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for UNECE
Lolwa Al-Khater, Assistant Foreign Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, and Information Technology, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

HLPF Resources

IISD ENB/ENB+ Meeting Coverage

IISD Resources