24-25 September 2019 | NEW YORK – On 25 September 2015, global leaders agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved 15 years later in 2030. To monitor the progress, High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is organised; and to review the progress, every fourth year, global leaders meet under the auspices of UN General Assembly. This year marked the first organised global leaders’ meeting at the High-Level Political Forum 2019 – SDGs Summit. Recalling the previous HLPF (July 2019) addressing environment and climate related matters, this HLPF – SDGs Summit was organised back-to-back with Climate Summit 2019. HLPF 2019 – SDGs Summit ensured accelerated SDGs efforts conducted in the next 10-year period, eyeing for “a decisive decade of action and delivery” (sustainabledevelopment.un.org) so that #NoOneLeftBehind.

Dialogue covered emerging issues in urban areas that may impact the achievement of SDGs. During the discussion, key point was made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Ghana) mentioning that choices made to manage megatrends such as demographic transition, economic growth and climate change will be key to achieve SDGs. Topic of discussion also included measures to leverage progress across SDGs. This session saw participation of heads of state and/or government such as Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, and many others.

Enriching discussion on Localising SDGs session, UCLG ASPAC President, Mayor Tri Rismaharini of Surabaya, showcased Surabaya’s concrete initiatives to achieve the #2030Agenda which include ensuring adequate education for local people in highly populated areas, provision of adequate housing, and disaster risk reduction policies. In addition to that, Mayor Tri Rismaharini, at the 2nd Local and Regional Governments Forum organised by UN-Habitat, UN-DESA, Global Taskforce and LOCAL2030, also mentioned, “Surabaya is working tirelessly on improving our transparency, accountability and innovation. We want our communities to feel involved in the policies that will transform their lives. Surabaya is the only place in the world where our citizens can pay for bus rides by presenting plastic bottles to the driver. We want to be plastic-free by 2030!”

Discussion also invited high-level participants to reflect on their current status in revitalising global partnership for sustainable development. With the heightened pressure to meet the 2030 deadline, the meeting also discussed anticipated issue, which is to achieve 2030 targets without losing the ambition intended.

This event also gave opportunity for distinguished leaders, be it heads of state, heads of government, ministers, and other key positions, to deliver their statements, expressing their commitment towards the achievement of #2030Agenda.

UCLG ASPAC has continuously assisted local governments within Asia and Pacific Region in localising SDGs through various programmes, such as Sanitation, Climate and Energy, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. LOCALISE SDGs and LEAD for SDGs are the two programmes directly related with the attainment of SDGs in Indonesia and Pakistan.

 (photo: Twitter @GlobalTaskforce)