What is the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)?

The High-level Political Forum is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States Members of specialized agencies.

Tasked with ambitious governance goals ranging from providing political leadership for action on sustainable development; setting the sustainable development agenda; and follow up on progress in implementation of the SDGs, the HLPF is granted with limited authority and resources. Even its main task of reviewing the national implementation of SDGs is voluntary thus weakly holding governments accountable for their commitments.

What is happening this year at the HLPF?

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2017 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council will be held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.  It is the second round of review of the SDG implementation.

The theme will be "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world." The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be the following, including Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, which will be considered each year:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development

At the end of the HLPF, a Ministerial Declaration will be released which details the summary of the review, the status of the goals reviewed, and the next steps.

How is the HLPF important for CPDE?

There is widespread consensus that sustainable development can only be realised when all actors work together towards its achievement. Realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires the mobilisation and effective use of all types of development resources through strong, dynamic, and innovative partnerships The principles of effective development cooperation— country ownership, inclusive partnerships, a focus on results and transparency and accountability— can guide all development actors in taking collective and individual actions.[i]
Effective development co-operation is key, not only aid effectiveness, but other forms of development including development finance. In turn, development finance is the means of ensuring successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The HLPF, being the primary global-level venue for the review of the 2030 Agenda, provides the opportunity for CPDE to forward its core advocacy. As the global civil society platform for development effectiveness, we are uniquely placed to advance the implementation of an effective development co-operation framework, particularly in relation to the implementation of 2030 Agenda.

[i] Informal Note of the GPEDC JST on ‘effective development co-operation and HLPF 2017’

What are CPDE’s objectives at this year’s HLPF?


Effective Development Co-operation framework at the 2017 HLPF document is referenced. This includes emphases on accountability of all actors in development co-operation, and references to human rights-based approaches.


Importance of a genuine multi-stakeholder partnership to the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review process is elevated.


The value of CSO participation in multi-stakeholder partnerships (Goal 17) and in all of the sustainable development goals. Specifically, the necessity of effective monitoring of multi-stakeholder partnerships, especially as it relates to building an enabling environment for CSOs is reinforced to contribute fully to the development process.

How will CPDE engage this year’s HLPF?

The main thrust of the platform’s engagement is its official delegation that is made up of 4 representatives and three of our Co-chairs as well as other CPDE members who are coming on their own. The Co-chairs present in New York will hold a CPDE members’ meeting to help coordinate and maximise the efforts of all the attending CPDE members to influence the outcome of the HLPF.

CPDE members are slotted to attend and participate at numerous official and side meetings at the UN.CPDE members are also part of many Major Groups and Other Stakeholders system. Relating with these Major Groups, other CSOs, and most especially respective government delegation will also be crucial if not more important in making sure CPDE messages are carried and heard at the HLPF. Members are also set to meet with ministerial representatives to share CSO views on their respective government’s reported VNRs.
Due to the inadequacy of the HLPF spaces for thorough consultations with governments for CSOs, a space organised by civil society and people's’ movements organised the Ground Level People’s Forum to have their voices heard. Co-hosted by CPDE, the GLPF aims to showcase the voices of people from the ground that often has varying differences from what is being reported by Member States in their VNRs.

CPDE is also launching a social media campaign, media releases, and blogs in the lead up to and until after the event. The focal point of CPDE efforts will culminate to an assessment of the HLPF Ministerial Declaration which will be published after the HLPF.

How will CPDE engage this year’s HLPF?

  • Commit to 0.7 percent GNI for ODA from donor countriesthat is transparent, focused, and untied


  • Take urgent action and reverse the trend of shrinking and closing civic spaces to maximise civil society contribution to attainment of SDGs,


  • The language on mandate for review at the global, regional, and national sections should be strengthened to emphasize inclusive and participatory approaches. In particular, those referring to the voluntary nature of reporting and participation.


  • Member States must set standards and measures to assess the impacts of private sector contributions in development cooperation 


  • Global partnerships for sustainable development should be transparent, accountable, and inclusive where all actors participate on equal-footing to enhance the proper implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Session 13 Thematic review: SDG 17: Investing in and Financing for SDGs

A speech by Tetet Nera-Lauron, CPDE Co-Chair
July 13, 2017
Conference Room 4

Good afternoon. I am Tetet Nera-Lauron  from the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, representing the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM).

The SDGs set a high bar that require concerted and collective action if we are to even come close to achieving these.

We face huge social, political, economic and environmental problems that add on to the burden especially of poor people in poor countries. We are deeply concerned that we will not be able to make good on the promise of ‘LNOB’ if we continue to fail to recognize and address the systemic and structural barriers before us. Without an accurate diagnosis of the problems, we might end up treating the symptoms, rather than the causes – which will lead us to giving ‘band-aid solutions’ that aggravate, rather than alleviate poverty, inequality and exclusion.

How do we begin to tackle problems brought about by a continuing legacy of neo-colonialism and corporate capture, land and resource grabs, privatization, racism, militarism, patriarchy and fundamentalisms?

We have some proposals to set the SDG wheels into motion:

  1. On trade, include a comprehensive regional and national SDG compatibility and human rights  impact assessment of the trade and investment agreements. Genuine civil society engagements and participation in the process in important to ensure a genuine and transparent assessment.
  2. On financing, we ask for: (a) continued research, analysis and consensus building initiatives in the areas of financing for development to enhance global, regional and national knowledge of infrastructure financing, including public-private partnerships; and (b) critically enhancing effectiveness and accountability mechanisms on PPPs.(c) making  Data for Development partnerships transparent and accountable
  3. On racism, patriarchy, and fundamentalisms, repeal and remove punitive and discriminatory laws that put the most marginalized communities in situations of risk and vulnerabilities and put in place enabling conditions for the meaningful engagement of these communities in all aspects of SDG implementation and review.   
  4. We call upon the Member States to renew discussions on the Regional tax forum so that at the regional level, developing and least developed country voices are better included in the planning and implementation of tax cooperation mechanisms between countries, so that issue of the illicit financial flows is addressed.
  5. Finally we ask you to uphold the principles of people’s democratic rights to participations and engagement and provide institutional space and financial support to facilitate and improve this engagement. These rights are currently under threats as civil societies have to work in the face of repression and limitation in resources.

The whole of the Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism chooses NOT to be left behind. Unless deliberately left out, we remain emboldened to work with you in implementation and accountability of the Agenda 2030 in the spirit of Development Justice!

We want a strong Ministerial Declaration with strong commitment to Means of Implementation, Gender Equality, Women’s Human Rights.

Thank you.

We need to change the way we approach development

A blog by  by Reasey Seng

Reasey Seng is a CSO leader from Cambodia representing the Women’s Major Group and the Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism to the High-level Political Forum on sutainable development and the High-Level Segement of ECOSOC last 17 July 2017 in New York.

As a woman CSO leader from the Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism, eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity for all requires dancing to the beat of a new song. Having struggled all my life against restrictive norms in Cambodia, I say we need structural change to create a just world for people and planet.  We must rewrite legacies of colonialism, corporate capture, privatization, racism, militarism, patriarchy and fundamentalisms. And so we ask:

  • How can poverty be eradicated and prosperity promoted without development justice, where just 8 men hold the same wealth as the poorest half of the world?
  • How can governments allow corporations to sue them?
  • How can the SDGs leave no one behind when just two per cent of aid on peace and security targets gender equality, and when one F-35 plane has same budget as the entire global women’s movement?  
  • How can human rights obligations be met when states with large development gaps spend huge portions of their national budgets on the military?
  • Why are women human rights defenders, environmental, LGBTQI , indigenous activists, workers, and others who call for increased wages, social and environment protection, being targeted, arrested, and silenced?  
  • How can the SDGs be a universal agenda when arms exporters are not held accountable for the violence beyond their borders, including sexual and gender based violence?
  • Why are millions of people from our countries forced to leave families to look for any work abroad?

Two years into the SDGs, we are still dancing to the beat of a broken record.  We need a new song.

We call for a structural transformation of the relations between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, men and women, the elites and those without resources, the dominant and the marginalised peoples. This is the beat to which 7 billion people on this planet will dance.

Watch Addys Then Marte's intervention at the HLPF, representing CPDE and the NGO major group