Reflections on the High Level Political Forum

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‘High-hype’ characterized the one year build up towards the High Level Political Forum 2016 (HLPF). Many people anticipated that since the Sustainable Development Goals process had been deeply consultative and had emanated from a largely progressive and forward looking outcome document of the United Nations General Assembly of 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the first review process would be a game changer.

The HLPF was therefore a largely interesting event but one that drew a mix of reactions. There are many things side events and a lot on the main program. The two week‟s program was a very exciting one on paper. There were over 1500 civil society actors present as well as various expert groups in the first week. The sessions and side events of the first week were interesting. There was an assumption that these sessions would be based on country level experiences of implementing the SDGs but they ended up as largely theoretical postulations of how to implement the SDGs. The challenge of course was that while the first week was a technical session, many of the Ministers who are the decision makers that could have used the lessons from these sessions were still at home, since the Ministerial segment of the HLPF was happening in the second week.

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