The co-facilitators for the negotiated outcome of the 2021 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development have issued an outline for consideration. The proposed structure includes sections on: the impact of COVID-19 on the 2030 Agenda; progress towards the SDGs under review in 2021; and accelerated actions to achieve the SDGs.
In February 2021, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) appointed the Permanent Representatives of Finland and Iraq to lead consultations on the Ministerial Declaration. They expressed their intent to produce an ambitious outcome for the 2021 HLPF and 2020-2021 ECOSOC cycle, which focuses on “recovering better in the Decade of Action and Delivery” for the SDGs.
In March, the co-facilitators held meetings with each of the five UN regional groups as well as the UN major groups and other stakeholders, gathering views on the process and content of the Declaration. A draft outline of the Declaration was circulated for governments’ consideration on 22 March. The co-facilitators said they had incorporated the “common points” voiced in consultations, including that the 2021 outcome document should follow the structure of the 2018 Ministerial Declaration and include new developments.
The structure of the 2021 Declaration is proposed to include an introduction emphasizing the 2030 Agenda as “our first line of defense” in the COVID-19 crisis. In the section on the impact of the pandemic on the 2030 Agenda, the Declaration would make recommendations for measures for a sustainable and resilient recovery.
The section assessing the SDGs under in-depth review would include recommendations on the way forward for each Goal and the 2020 targets. It would highlight key inputs from the UN system, such as the 2021 SDG Progress Report and reports from the regional commissions. This section would encourage countries to present second-time and third-time Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).
In the final section, governments would call for accelerated actions to achieve the SDGs as part of recovering better from the pandemic, reaffirming the ten areas for accelerated action identified by leaders during the 2019 SDG Summit. It would also address using the key findings and evidence yielded by the 2021 VNRs.
The co-facilitators intend to provide a zero draft of the Ministerial Declaration by 16 April 2021. A virtual meeting of the HLPF membership was planned for 7 April to exchange views on the draft outline and inform the content of the zero draft. [Draft outline of 2021 HLPF Ministerial Declaration] [Timeline of consultation process]