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High-Level Event
“Towards Thematic Reviews for an Integrated Follow-Up & Review of the 2030 Agenda”

7-8 July 2016 | New York, US

Highlights for Thursday, 7 July 2016

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 7 Jul | 8 Jul | Summary
A view of New York City

Delegates gather for the start of the High-level Event


Participants to the High-level Event Thematic Reviews for an Integrated Follow-Up and Review of the 2030 Agenda discussed “why” and “how” thematic reviews should be conducted under the High-level Political Forum (HLPF). Opening the meeting, the Permanent Representatives to the UN of Colombia, Germany and Sierra Leone reported on experiences and challenges in starting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation in their countries. In a panel discussion on why thematic reviews should be conducted, speakers stressed, among other issues, that they can: strengthen the understanding of synergies and trade-offs among SDGs; contribute to the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda; support countries in ensuring that the Agenda’s principles and ambitions are achieved; and provide complementary information to global indicators and statistics. Speakers also underlined the role of national parliaments and sustainability councils in the process and that the clusters for thematic reviews can be a lens through which countries can reflect on their goals and targets.

In the afternoon, participants met in three working groups. The first group discussed ways to reduce complexity and ensure integration, including challenges for data integration from local to global levels and the need to better link informal reporting to the HLPF. The second group discussed links to the HLPF process, highlighting that the UN currently has the right institutional architecture to support stakeholder participation, but it needs strong leadership from all stakeholders at all levels. The third group considered accountability and empowerment, noting that thematic reviews should report quantitatively and qualitatively, and be designed as learning process for all stakeholders.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage from the High-Level Event “Towards Thematic Reviews for an Integrated Follow-Up & Review of the 2030 Agenda.” In addition, IISD Reporting Services has produced a summary report, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Welcome and Morning Session



Jes Weigelt, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS


María Emma Mejía Vélez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN

Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN

Vandi Chidi Minah, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN


Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability,
George Washington University

Alexander Müller, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Agriculture and Food, and German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)


David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (video message)

Felix Dodds, University of North Carolina

Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN


Janine Felson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Belize to the UN



Afternoon Session: Working Groups


Working group on reducing complexity and ensuring integration


Francesca Perucci, Statistics Division, UN

David Le Blanc, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Nandhini Krishna, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Liaison Office


Participants during the discussion


Working group on links to the official HLPF process


Jeffery Huffines, World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS)

Tonya Vaturi, UNDESA


During the session


Working group on accountability and empowerment


Amy Soar, UK Mission to the UN

Lena Kahler, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)

Layla Saad, World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), UN Development Programme (UNDP)


Ideas captured during the working group


Wrap Up Session



Working Group 1 Facilitator Matheus Zanella, IASS

Moderator Alexander Müller, TEEB and RNE


Working Group 3 Rapporteur Nathaniel Don Marquez, Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC)

Working Group 2 Facilitator Franziska Linz, IASS


Evening Reception


Delegates gather for the evening reception




Around the Venue


Participants gather for the start of the meeting


Jes Weigelt and Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS

Meeting agenda


Participants meet informally



Participants during the sessions


Materials on display



Around the venue


View of the Chrysler Building from the venue


Daily Web CoverageAbout | 7 Jul | 8 Jul | Summary
Funding for coverage of the High-Level Event “Towards Thematic Reviews for an Integrated Follow-Up & Review of the 2030 Agenda,” has been provided by IASS Potsdam, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
and the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.
IASS BMEL FNR