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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
UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivers an address at the opening of the HLPF 2019 High-level segment.

The 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York in July, but any potential physical participation will be limited to New York-based delegates only in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The format and programme of the 2020 HLPF has been adjusted accordingly by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Bureau, and virtual sessions and interactions will likely take place, including for the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The theme of this year’s HLPF is "Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development." Drawing from the Political Declaration adopted at the September 2019 SDG Summit and the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report, the 2020 HLPF is expected to discuss ways to operationalize a decade of accelerated international action. Initial plans for the “thematic review” section of the HLPF have been replaced by sessions focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on implementation of the SDGs, and on how the international community can respond to get back on track.

Sessions during the first week will address:

  • Launching the decade of action at a time of crisis: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19;
  • Building back better after COVID-19 and acting where we will have the greatest impact on the SDGs;
  • Mobilizing international solidarity, accelerating action and embarking on new pathways to realize the 2030 Agenda and the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway); and
  • Means of implementation to match the scope of the crisis and the breadth of our ambition for 2030

Regional UN forums will also present main messages, and 47 countries will present their VNRs. While the general debate will not take place, a ministerial declaration is expected to be adopted at the conclusion of the session. Discussions on the declaration are underway, co-facilitated by the Permanent Representatives of Bulgaria and Lebanon.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary and analysis of HLPF 2019 highlighted that the world was not on track to deliver the SDGs on time. The COVID-19 crisis represents a further setback, as highlighted by the UN Secretary-General’s report on progress towards the SDGs.

A summary and analysis for HLPF 2020 is available in HTML and PDF.

HLPF Resources

IISD ENB/ENB+ Meeting Coverage

IISD Resources