HLPF 2020: everything virtual but real talks with local and regional governments

8 July 2020

The 2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nations on Sustainable Development was officially opened yesterday all over the world, since all events are taking place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Held from 7 to 16 July, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, this year’s HLPF theme is “Accelerated action and transformative paths: realizing the decade of action and implementation for sustainable development.”

A particular focus will be brought on making sure that the world can recovery swiftly from the COVID-19 pandemic, using the framework of the 2030 Agenda – it will also analyse how progress on SDG implementation has been affected by the outbreak.

The official programme of the HLPF is available here: 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.

Despite the virtual dimension of the HLPF, PLATFORMA is once again actively taking part with its partners. We contributed to the Joint statement of the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments. Let’s discover our calendar of activities:

Wednesday 8 July from 16.00 to 18.00 (CEST) – UCLG and UN-Habitat: launch of the VLR series

This launch session will present the first volume of guidelines for Voluntary local reviews (VLRs) of the VLR series developed jointly by UCLG and UN-Habitat. It will show the importance that VLRs play not only in monitoring and evaluating progress towards the SDGs, but also in the contribution towards multilevel governance and the transformation necessary to achieve just, resilient cities, territories and societies, which guarantee the protection of all citizens during and beyond crisis periods.

PLATFORMA/CEMR Speakers include:

  • Cllr Steven Heddle, COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson, CEMR Territorial Development spokesperson and Former Councillor of Orkney Islands Council, Scotland
  • Moderation by Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of CEMR, PLATFORMA lead partner

Follow live on YouTube.

Thursday 9 July from 16.30 to 18.00 (CEST): UN DESA High-level segment on “Bolstering Local Action to accelerate implementation”

This session is part of the high-level segment of the United Nations, focusing on the 6th thematic review of the HLPF. Unfortunately, the programme was reserved for pre-designated speakers and Member States. You can follow the live streaming on the UN TV here.

Please note that CEMR and PLATFORMA have been contributing to an online consultation process to help shape the background note and content for this session. More information can be found here.

Friday 10 July from 12.30 to 17.30 (CEST) UCLG’s Local and Regional Governments’ Day

UCLG, on behalf of the GTF, is organizing a special event for the collective of local and regional governments during the HLPF. The objective of this GLR day is to bring together the entire delegation of local and regional governments to debate and agree on the collective declaration with the HLPF, strengthen ties with partners from the UN, civil society and other stakeholders, and define the collective priorities for the decade of action.

PLATFORMA/CEMR speakers include:

  • Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of the Hague, Representing VNG, PLATFORMA, CEMR and UCLG Co-President
  • Carola Gunnarsson, Lord Mayor of Sala Municipality, CEMR Spokesperson for International Affairs, Representing SKL, UCLG Vice-President for the European Section
  • Pilar Diaz Romero, Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat, Representing DIBA and PLATFORMA
  • Carlos Martinez, Mayor of Soria, CEMR Spokesperson on SDGs, Representing FEMP, PLATFORMA and CEMR
  • Valérie Dumontet, Vice-President of the Aude Département in France, President of the SDGs Working group at Cités Unies France (CUF) and PLATFORMA representative
  • Bernart Solé, Regional Minister of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency of Catalonia, PLATFORMA representative

Link to participate on Zoom (no registration required).

Monday 13 July from 14.30 to 18.30 – The Global Taskforce’s 3rd Local and Regional Governments Forum

GTF will co-organize the third edition of the Forum of Local and Regional Governments with UN DESA, UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The general objective of the Forum is to produce a fruitful debate and strong commitments from local and regional governments, national authorities and the international community, to support a bottom-up transformation process, based on multi-level governance and on achievement of the SDGs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, while contributing to the decade of action.

PLATFORMA / CEMR Speakers include:

  • Wim Dries, Mayor of Genk, VVSG Chairman and PLATFORMA representative

Link to participate on Zoom (registration ahead required here).

Tuesday 14 July from 13.30 to 15.00 (CEST): Dialogue between UCLG and the UHC2030

Co-organized with the World Health Organisation (WHO), this session will aim to envision the future of health services and the essential role that local governments can play in ensuring that no one is left behind in our communities, ensuring the link between science and developing health care policies, and protecting those who need it most, and the public servants who care for us. The format will be an open dialogue between experts and high-level health authorities.

Speaking slots are still open – If you wish to nominate a speaker, let Sarah know!

Link to participate on Zoom (no registration required) / (ID: 844 4434 8022 / Password: 131266)

Wednesday 15 July from 14.00 to 15.00 (CEST): AICCRE HLPF side event “Cities as bridges between SDGs and citizens in a post-COVID-19 world: elements for socio-economic recovery”

This side event, co-organised by AICCRE, UNDP, SDG Action Campaign, UCLG, UN HABITAT and with the support of PLATFORMA, will gather representatives of local and regional governments, their associations, Mayors, Governors and other governmental representatives and selected partners to discuss the way ahead for SDG implementation at local level. The event will also serve to report to the HLPF the conclusions and recommendations of the Venice City Solutions 2019 edition, entitled “Creating citizenship: the SDG as an opportunity for all”.

Register here to the side event.

Wednesday 15 July from 15.30 to 17.00 (CEST) : PLATFORMA Webinar on the 2030 Agenda through the eyes of LRGs

The fifth session of PLATFORMA’s cycle of webinars will be dedicated to the Localisation of the SDGs, the role that LRGs play in assuring a sustainable recovery to the COVID19 outbreak as well as how decentralised cooperation can help bolster action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. It will also be the occasion for PLATFORMA and CEMR to launch our latest publication on the “2030 Agenda through the eyes of Local and Regional Governments and their associations”.

Register to our webinar here.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Wobine Buijs, Mayor of Oss, Representing VNG International
  • Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of the European Commission DG DEVCO’s Unit on Cities, Local Authorities, Digitalisation, Infrastructures (DEVCO.C.5)
  • Stephanie Rambler, Sustainable Development Officer at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Tine Soens, Member of City Council of Kortrijk, Belgium, Member of VVSG political commission on international affairs, CEMR and PLATFORMA Spokesperson on 2030 Agenda
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