What is HLPF?

If you follow the international development space, you may have seen or heard about the “HLPF” event happening this month. You may have even pretended that you knew what it was. If you’re confused, don’t feel alone and read below for some more information on what exactly HLPF is.



HLPF stands for High-level Political Forum and is a series of mid-year meetings at the United Nations focused on sustainable development. It also begins to set the agenda for the UN General Assembly Week (commonly referred to as “UNGA”) which takes place in late September.


Here are some key facts:


The Forum’s first meeting was held on 24 September 2013. It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993.


The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.


The 2021 HLPF is primarily virtual but it remains a key annual review of progress, challenges and lessons learned. The two-week Forum brings together all levels of governments, civil society, businesses and many others to look at how different sectors can advance the Sustainable Development Goals. The ministerial segment of the Forum is taking place from July 13 to 15.


The establishment of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), "The Future We Want". The format and organizational aspects of the Forum are outlined in General Assembly resolution 67/290.


The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The Forum adopts intergovernmental negotiated political declarations.


"The 2030 Agenda is our roadmap and its goals and targets are tools to get there." - Secretary-General António Guterres

The SDG Media Zone, a collaboration between PVBLIC Foundation and the UN Department of Global Communications, is hosting a series of virtual panels for HLPF 2021. The conversations, developed to showcase local solutions for global challenges, will look at how people can seize the opportunity for change and transform their communities in a post-pandemic world You can view those sessions here and by following #SDGLive and @SDGMediaZone.


Learn more about the #HLPF2021 here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021



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