High-Level Political Forum 2019 - An overview of the key events CSPPS attended
The High-Level Political Forum (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 global level. It takes place every year in New York in July.
This year was special because for the first time since the advent of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, SDG 16 - among a group of other SDGs (namely 4, 8, 10, 13, and 17) - went for a detailed review. SDG 16 seeks to promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. It thereby lies at the heart of CSPPS' mission.
This year was special because for the first time since the advent of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, SDG 16 went for a detailed review. And CSPPS was there.
A CSPPS delegation made up of civil society delegates from Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and an expert consultant from Cameroon – and accompanied by Secretariat members - was put together to attend and participate in SDG16-related side-events happening on the margins of the HLPF and sometimes (co-)organized by CSPPS partners. International members - FriEnt, Saferworld, UNOY, GPPAC and World Vision - were also present. The CSPPS Secretariat is pleased to look back at two productive and gratifying weeks.
Here are a few highlights from this year's Forum:
- The engagements around the High-level Political Forum (HLPF2019) started with a joint workshop organised by CSPPS in coordination with Namati, GPPAC, TAP Network and Saferworld where we showcased best practices on how civil society has been driving progress on SDG16+. The side-event provided an opportunity for us to highlight the work done in context of the Ready for Review project and the national SDG16 workshops organised and hosted by CSPPS, TAP network and a range of our local partners. The meeting also allowed for reflections on the Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+
- The first Thursday focused on the Voices of SDG16+ - Stories for Global Action video campaign. As earlier reported CSPPS partnered in this campaign together with eleven other organizations. The Voices events included a closed door roundtable discussion and a policy forum both very well attended. Bringing these voices to New York/HLPF and putting a spotlight on local initiatives implementing SDG16+ has been a true highlight of this year's HLPF. We received very good feedback on it. We have initiated discussions with the campaign partners on how to continue this in the future (both at the SDG summit and beyond).
- Next happening was a side-event at the Korean Mission on Friday where a joint CSO Report on Empowering Civil Society for National Reporting and Action on SDG16 was launched. CSPPS did contribute a chapter to this publication and we were also invited to provide a response in context of the side-event.
- The Friday afternoon was dedicated to the Thematic Review of SDG16. In context of the meeting CSPPS Secretariat staff Marina de Paiva spoke on behalf of civil society and addressed the need for accelerated action on achieving the vision of Goal 16 and on leaving no one behind. Marina also eluded to the Rome Civil Society Declaration in which civil society calls upon all actors to fulfil their commitments to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies [see video link].
- Over the weekend the GPEDC Senior High-level meeting was held in which Diakalia Ouattara and Eloi Kouzoundji, CSPPS civil society delegates from respectivaly Côte d'Ivoire and Central African Republic, together with CPDE, participated in a panel that addressed challenges and opportunities around effective development cooperation in fragile contexts.
- The second week the VNR-presentations commenced and CSPPS delegates from CAR, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Chad, Cameroon, Ghana and Timor Leste attended their respective VNR-presentations.
- On Monday 15th July the IDPS Secretariat hosted a Ministerial Meeting at the Canadian Permanent Mission to the U.N. to officially launch the IDPS 2019-2021 Peace Vision. Theophilus Ekpon spoke on the panel of the event as CSPPS EC Chair and Nigeria Focal Point.
- The next day CSPPS/Marina had a second speaking slot during the Umbrella Event on SDG16+ and the Future We Want where again she could make reference to the Rome Declaration and urge for accelerated action on SDG16+ (see video link).
- That same day, CSPPS-member FriEnt hosted the side-event "Breaking Silos: Showcasing integrated Solutions to Help Achieve SDG 16, Gender and Land-related SDGs" at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the U.N. This engaging side-event showcased how struggles can be a positive force for catalytic change - for example, when previously landless poor are taken seriously and gain access to land. FriEnt also launched their report "Land and Conflict Prevention: How integrated solutions can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals", which you can read here.
- Sofia Ramyar, from Afghans for Progressive Thinking (APT), a CSPPS partner organisation, delivered a speech on Youth, Peace and Security to the United Nations Security Council.
- Throughout the two weeks CSPPS also engaged in various bilateral meetings with key partners in New York (i.e. WFUNA, UNDP, TAP Network, etc.) to discuss and agree upon next steps in collaboration and partnerships - also towards SDG Summit, the 16+ Forum and other next engagements.