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Insider Perspective: Key takeaways from the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, the UN’s central platform for follow-up and review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), took place at the UN headquarters in New York City from 9 to 18 July 2019.

The event gathered some 2,000 representatives from UN member states, civil society, and the private sector at 33 UN-level meetings and over 150 side events.

The key theme of this year’s HLPF was “Empowering People and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,” with a specific focus on progress and challenges in relation to SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

During the eight-day Forum, ministers from 47 countries presented Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on their SDG progress so far, bringing the total number of countries that have submitted in-depth reviews to 142 over the past four years, since the SDGs were launched in 2015.

The HLPF also provides a critical opportunity for wider groups of stakeholders, including business, to engage and share solutions to SDG implementation. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and its member companies again played an active role across a variety of important dialogues.

Through a series of side events and dialogues, WBCSD brought business and a broader coalition of stakeholders together to explore ways in which the private sector can continue to enhance its efforts to both integrate the SDGs into its strategic planning and report on impacts and progress in a robust and comparable manner.

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