Sustainable Development GoalsSince the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the United Nations has made significant progress in meeting these goals. The idea of these 17 goals is to reduce poverty, promote health care and education for countries all over the world and overall make the planet more sustainable for humanity. Recently the U.N. held a High-Level Political Forum meeting in which it renewed its commitment to reaching the SDGs.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the success of many countries in reaching the SDGs over the last several years, they need to continue their progress to meet the goals by 2030. The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has certainly made addressing these issues more difficult. The U.N. recently held its annual High-Level Political Forum which lasted from July 5th until July 15th and was the first time that the group had met in person in two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic still exist and the socio-economic complications remain a top priority for the U.N. High-Level Political Forum. However, the main theme of this meeting was how a global community can quickly move past these issues to get back on track for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Summary of the Meeting

The main purpose of the meeting was for the countries in the U.N. to revitalize their agenda for ending the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that no country gets left behind in the recovery process. The U.N. will evaluate any country that struggles with the recovery process of the pandemic era for how social protection aid can increase its economic recovery speed.

Over 100 political delegates and 40 heads of state were a part of the discussion during the entire two-week period. The discussion revolved around each nation’s commitment to leave no country behind in economic recovery and in economic prosperity for the future.

Voluntary National Reviews

One of the biggest successes of the High-Level Political Forum meeting was the promise of 44 nations to conduct voluntary national reviews (VNRs) on their nation’s progress with the implementation of the SDGs to determine if they are on pace with the 2030 goal deadline. These national reviews are evidence of the U.N.’s commitment to reach the SDGs because dozens of countries will now be actively monitoring their progress and changing policy as necessary in order to stay on pace with these goals.

Calls for Progress

Another major aspect of the High-Level Political Forum was Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal calling for the U.N. to update an emergency plan of action to assist poor nations with food production and economic supply chain issues, especially in the face of a global pandemic. Pakistan has played a key role in providing necessary action for struggling developing countries and proposed that the U.N. address the systemic issues behind the lack of food production in developing countries so that no one is left behind.

A Renewal For the Future

The meeting of the High-Level Political Forum was overall very optimistic for all of the countries in attendance. The promise to conduct national reviews and the advocacy for more emergency preparedness in the face of dire food shortages or economic turmoil are just some of the successes of the High-Level Political Forum. The U.N.’s renewed commitment to reach the SDGs by 2030 is excellent news for the fight against global poverty.

– Declan Harkness
Photo: Flickr