HLPF 2018 – Ministerial Segment

The second week (16-18 July 2018) of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) hosts the Ministerial Segment. The Ministerial Segment has two parts: a General Debate among Member States, as well, as the presentation of a series of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Photo by IISD/ENB

As part of its follow-up and review, the 2030 Agenda encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews on progress by the HLPF and aim at facilitating the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilise multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The VNR are voluntary, state-led and undertaken by both developed and developing countries. This year 47 countries presented a VNR. An ITUC delegation of nine trade union representatives from eight different countries (Colombia, France, Germany, Mali, Mexico, Norway, Republic of Congo and Senegal) was present. Providing a trade union perspective, they participated in official meetings with their government delegations, in side events and in the VNR sessions of their respective governments.

The VNRs are also an opportunity for civil society, and trade unions, to report to government representatives at the HLPF on their own assessment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. ). Trade unions have been highly involved in the elaboration of these reports, together with other civil society actors, especially around the following countries: Colombia, Mali, Mexico, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Spain. Furthermore, ITUC representatives from Mali and Senegal officially presented the Major Group and Other Stakeholders collective statement during the VNR sessions for Mali and Senegal.

On the last day of the HLPF Ministerial Segment governments adopted the Ministerial Declaration with two votes against. As mentioned in the previous week, negotiations around the Ministerial Declaration have been hard, especially around the following issues: climate change, water related issues, references to occupied territories, gender and trade. Thus, not a surprise the Ministerial Declaration was adopted with two countries voting against. Although there is some good language in areas of interest for workers and trade unions, similarly to previous years, the final document lacks ambition and action-oriented commitments. The Workers and Trade Unions statement to the adopted Ministerial Declaration is available here.

A summary of the statement was presented during the ECOSOC ECOSOC The United Nations Economic and Social Council coordinates the economic and social work of 14 UN specialised agencies. It serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system. High-Level Segment. For further information or questions about the HLPF High Level Segment please contact dce@ituc-csi.org.

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