HLPF 2018 – Day 3

The third day of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018 took place on 11 July 2018 at the UN headquarters in New York.

Financing for Development

Trade unions participated in a side event organised by Major Groups and Other Stakeholders on financing for sustainable development. Financing for development constitutes a parallel field of work within the United Nations. Framed by the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, this work is reviewed annually at the UN Financing for Development Forum (FfD Forum – see here for the trade union overview of the April 2018 edition). Critics argue that the two processes, the HLPF and the FfD Forum, are not integrated enough to secure the resources needed to realise the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The panel featured prominent civil society representatives, including Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Rosa Pavanelli (PSI), Wardarina (Asia-Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development), Meja Vitalice (Reality of Aid – Africa) and Stefano Prato (SID international). The systemic barriers that impede progress towards the SDGs were explored. Panellists were highly critical of the selective reporting of the official Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018, which failed to reflect the most worrying negative trends, including the growing inequalities within and between countries.

SDG 11

Day 3 saw the review of SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Trade unions are working increasingly closely with local authorities on a number of issues. Cities are increasingly have to adopt specific policies to address property speculation that result in many working people being priced out of their neighbourhood. Public transport and waste collection are also of key relevance working people. Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International, delivered a statement highlighting these issues. Further analysis on SDG 11 is available in the Spotlight Report here.

Ministerial Declaration update

One of the outcomes of the HLPF is a joint ministerial declaration. The drafting process for this document has been ongoing for the weeks prior to the event. From the off, drafts lacked the ambition to provide the political direction that is meant to come out of the Ministerial. The drafting process is now entering the final stages.

On Day 2, the co-facilitators shared the latest draft of the HLPF 2018 Ministerial Declaration under “silent procedure”. If no further comments/rejections are received from Members States, it will be considered finalised on Day 5 (13 July). The final text lacks ambition and an action-oriented agenda on how to overcome the obstacles to meet the SDGs. Different sectors, including trade unions, are currently assessing this text. Our key flags for this year’s HLPF the “just transition” agenda is not even mentioned, and decent work only once in the “opening” paragraphs. Starting now we have lot of work to do for next year when Decent Work (SDG8) and Climate Change (SDG13) will be under review.

Further information: