UN acknowledges that the implementation of SGDs is not advancing fast enough

Officials meeting for the annual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at UN headquarters in New York called for an escalation in progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their respective targets, while conducting reviews of specific SDGs and discussing Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) from 46 countries. In a ministerial declaration the HLPF acknowledged that while progress had been made with some goals and targets, it is not advancing fast enough to achieve the SDGs. It further noted that progress has been uneven across countries and regions, emphasising the need to “urgently accelerate progress toward all targets, in particular those with a timeframe of 2020.” The HLPF is the central body that provides guidance and recommendations on sustainable development to UN member states, as well as overseeing the voluntary, state-led national review process. At the close of the HLPF, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a speech, welcoming the progress achieved so far, but acknowledging that efforts are “lagging or even backtracking in other areas.” He noted that the number of undernourished people has increased, rather than abated. He also cited persistent gender inequality and a lack of investment in sustainable infrastructure as areas of concern. The Secretary-General reaffirmed his plans to convene a Climate Summit in September 2019 in order to galvanise greater climate ambition. He also confirmed plans to convene a High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda in September 2018, along with calling for better use of technological advances and for strengthening institutions.