Local and regional governments are taking part in HLPF 2021!

7 juillet 2021

The meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is held from Tuesday 6 July to Thursday 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday 13 July to Thursday 15 July as part of the high-level segment of the Council.

The theme this year is « Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development« .

This year, the UN decided to review a defined set of SDGs: 1 on No Poverty, 2 on Zero Hunger, 3 on Good Health and Well-Being, 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10 on Reduced Inequalities, 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, 13 on Climate Action, 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and 17 on Partnerships in depth. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the 2021 HLPF, participants will be able to explore various aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures and types of international cooperation that can control the pandemic and its impacts and put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, within the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.

You can find the official programme of the HLPF here: The programme at a glance / Full annotated programme with detailed concept notes of the sessions.

Background documents that will help feed into the discussion can be found here. Because of the COVID crisis, all of the events will be held virtually.

You can find below the calendar of activities of local and regional governments throughout the HLPF.

Wednesday 7 July

  • Global Taskforce Preparatory Meeting – from 18.00 to 19.00 (CEST): The meeting will have the objective to prepare for the next convening of the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments next year within the framework of the Quito+5 process which is becoming all the more relevant in view of the UN Taskforce on the Future of Cities. This will act as an internal meeting of the GTF with representation expected at the principal level and will occur directly before the Local Authorities Major Group Official Side event.

    Link to the draft concept note

    Speaker from the European Section:
    Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General
  • Local Authorities Major Group Side Event gathered within the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments – from 19.00 to 20.30 (CEST). Organized by the GTF. The session will have a special focus on the SDGs in review in the 2021 HLPF as well as social inclusion and the concept of a caring society, resilience and biodiversity, and governance and local democracy.

    Link to the draft concept note

    Speakers from the European section (tbc):
    Gunn Marit Helgesen, Member of the County Council of Telemark og Vestfold in Norway, First deputy President of KS and CEMR Co-President;
    Carlos Martinez Minguez, Mayor of Soria in Spain, CEMR Spokesperson on SDGs and member of FEMP.

Thursday 8 July

  • PLATFORMA-CEMR webinar on SDGs – from 10.00 to 11.30 (CEST): This webinar will be the occasion to engage with the European Union, the UN and key stakeholders from Europe and how Europe’s local and regional governments are localising SDGs, also with their peers across the globe. It will notably be the occasion to officially launch the PLATFORMA-CEMR 2021 SDG Study (available in EN and FR)

    Link to register
    Link to the agenda

  • Venice City Solutions Event – from 13.30 to 15.00 (CEST): Organized by UCLG, AICCRE and UN-Habitat. The session will be presenting the final results of the previous Venice City Solutions event, and showcase different solutions presented by partners to implement the 2030 Agenda.

    Agenda / Registration link

  • Reinventing Social Welfare – Examples to Combat Inequalities and exclusion at the local level – from 13.30 to 15.00 (CEST): The seminar will explore experiences from Sweden and different parts of the world in bridging social gaps through welfare institutions and program at the local level, ensuring that no one is left behind when developing policy solutions to combat inequality and exclusion.

    Live Stream

  • Scaling up Voluntary Local Reviews in Africa: Responding to COVID-19 and Meeting the needs of the Decade of Action – from 13.30 to 15.00 (CEST): This event will review progress made towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through the use of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) and voluntary local reviews (VLRs) in Africa and discuss how these reviews could facilitate countries’ efforts to make stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Building cities’ resilience for socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and achievement of the SDGs – from 13.30 to 15.00 (CEST): This session will examine how the local action plans and VLRs can effectively support sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and promote sustainable urban development.

  • UN official session on “Going Local” – from 18.15 to 19.15 (CEST): How can we support local authorities in implementing the SDGs and how can we best build on voluntary local reviews?

Friday 9 July

  • Local and Regional Governments Day: Organised by the Global Taskforce. The objective of the LRG Day is to bring together the delegation of local and regional governments to discuss the findings of the report on the state of localization, discuss and agree on the constituency’s Statement to the HLPF, and define the priorities of the constituency for the post-COVID-19 era.

    Concept note and agenda

    Speaker from the European Section:
    Wim Dries, Mayor of Genk in Belgium and President of VVSG.

Monday 12 July and Tuesday 13 July

  • Local and Regional Governments Forum: Organised by the GTF, UN-DESA, UN-Habitat, UNDP and Local 2030. The fourth Local and Regional Governments Forum will bring together local, regional and national governments to discuss how decentralized cooperation among local and regional governments and their associations and networks, national authorities and the international community can contribute to the achievement of the global goals.

    Concept note and agenda

    Speakers from the European Section:
    Jan van Zanen, Mayor of the Hague in Netherlands, President of VNG, Executive President of CEMR and Co-President of UCLG will make some preliminary remarks;
    Carola Gunnarsson, Lord Mayor of Sala and UCLG Vice-President for the European Section will represent our constituency on the Panel 2 “Reducing inequalities and fostering social inclusion and prosperity”.
  • Island Economy Responses to COVID 19 – In the Context of Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development through the Local2030 Islands Network – from 00:00 to 1:30 (CEST): This event will showcase the ways in which islands are coming together through the Local2030 Island Network to achieve the SDGs during the Decade of Action, despite the current challenges streaming from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

    Registration link

Wednesday 14 July, Thursday 15 July and Friday 16 July

  • Launch of the Second Volume of UN-Habitat-UCLG Guidelines for VLRs and of the VLR Communiqué – from 16:00 to 18:00 (CEST): This session will launch the second volume of the UN-Habitat-UCLG guidelines for VLRs entitled Towards a new Generation of VLRs: Exploring the Local-National Link and the VLR Communiqué. The main findings and recommendations of the guidelines will be presented along with interventions from the key local and central governments that have inspired the research.

    Registration link

  • Voluntary Local/Subnational Review Days: Organised by UCLG and UN-Habitat. The objective of the VLR-VSR Days is to provide a space for exchange, mutual learning and common reflection for all governments and stakeholders engaged in advancing the localization, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs. European associations which produced a VSR in 2021 include DST (Germany), SALAR (Sweden) and KS (Norway).

Thursday 15 July

  • Local 2030 Coalition – from 19:00 to 21:00 (CEST): Member states, local and regional governments and their associations, UN agencies, businesses (including small and medium sized-enterprises, social enterprises, and major corporations), finance, academic and civil society leaders, youth, entrepreneurs and solution-makers will come together to discuss advancing the localisation of the SDGs.

    Registration link

  • Metropolises and Voluntary Local Reviews: launch of the VLR of the Metropolitan City of Florence – from 11:00 to 12:00 (CEST): This session will discuss the Metropolitan City of Florence’s first VLR, the role of metropolises in achieving the SDGs, and the reporting and monitoring of the VLR tool.

    Registration link
  • Voluntary Subnational Reviews Session – from 15:00 to 17:00 (CEST): Eight countries prepared Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) or Local Governments Voluntary Reviews in 2021: Cape Verde, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. This session will present the main finding of the VSRs developed in 2021 and facilitate discussion of the reports.

    Registration link

Friday 16 July

  • Data and Indicators in VLR and VSR processes – from 11:00 to 12:30 (CEST): UN-Habitat has led the development of a set of indicators to track the progress of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda at the local level – the Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF). This session will discuss how these indicators allow deeper thematic analysis and create understanding of differences experiences at district and sub-district levels of cities.

    Registration link

  • Social Inclusion and Participatory Processes in VLRs and VSRs – from 16:00 to 17:30 (CEST): The session will allow stakeholders that working on VLRs and VSRs to share best practices in community engagement and social inclusion throughout the different stages of the process.

    Registration link


Check the Global Taskforce Joint Statement to the 2021 High-Level Political Forum on  Sustainable Development of the organized constituency of local and  regional governments

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