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UN holds high-level forum to step up action on Sustainable Development Goals

The eight-day forum, convened under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), "takes place as multiple crises around the world.

United Nations: The United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) commenced Tuesday to determine the best way forward to revive the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The eight-day forum, convened under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), “takes place as multiple crises around the world are putting the very viability of achieving the SDGs by 2030 at risk”, Xinhua news agency quoted a UN press release as saying.

“An urgent rescue effort and collective actions are needed to rapidly change course and set the world on track towards a sustainable future, guided by a renewed commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation,” the release said.

“We are facing continued vaccine inequity, rising inflation, major supply-chain disruptions, and crippling geopolitical uncertainties,” said ECOSOC President Collen Vixen Kelapile. “We are on a dangerous path to harming future generations, if we do not act now. It is within our power to turn the tide.”

Thousands of participants, including heads of state, over 100 ministers, and leaders and representatives of the UN system, business and civil society will convene in person to respond to the impacts of the lingering pandemic and the military conflict in Ukraine, including global economic inflation, rising inequalities and closely interrelated crises in food security, energy supplies and finance.

Member states will discuss what actions to take to build back better to secure accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda during the Decade of Action for sustainable development, said the release.

This year, the forum will review in depth Goal 4 on education, Goal 5 on gender equality, Goal 14 on life below water and Goal 15 on life on land as well as Goal 17 on partnerships for the goals, which is considered each year.

The HLPF will demonstrate the continuing commitment of the international community to step up international solidarity and to launch ambitious recovery policies that advance the SDGs. “Both are indispensable in tackling conflicts around the world,” the release said.

“The urgent need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation cannot be stressed enough,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin. “We need to act swiftly to drive transformative change. We must remain committed to the people-centered and planet-focused path to prosperity that we set out in the 2030 Agenda. This can only happen if we all act together.”

This year, 44 countries, both developed and developing, will present their Voluntary National Reviews of national implementation of the SDGs.

The forum will also mark the official launch of The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022.

This annual progress report provides a global overview of progress towards the SDGs based on the most recent data. The 2022 report is expected to demonstrate the devastating impacts of the multiple and interlinked global crises — the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere — across the SDGs.

The forum will culminate in the adoption of a ministerial declaration. It will also kick off preparations for the Sustainable Development Goals Summit to be held in 2023, the press release said.

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