GNDR policy asks for the 2021 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
The 2021 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is held from 6th to 15th July. During this time, national governments, Intergovernmental agencies and other stakeholders are meeting to review progress towards achieving the SDGs. The main theme of 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".
In this critical meeting we would urge member states and global leaders to take on board the following:
1. COVID-19 has adversely impacted all aspects of our lives and livelihoods. The only way for all of us to remain safe is by ensuring that everyone has access to Covid vaccines.
- Ensure COVID-19 vaccine is available for all, free of cost, as a global common good. SDG 3 risks serious setbacks if this does not happen.
- Encourage production of COVID-19 vaccines widely across the globe by sharing know-how and making it free from patents.
- G20 member countries should invest in the process of making vaccines widely available to citizens of developing and least developed countries.
We stand with the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which outlines five specific asks for governments to ensure equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Read them here: https://peoplesvaccine.org/our-demands/
2. Continue to put the resilience of communities most at risk at the top of the political agenda and build coherence of policies and practices.
- The pandemic shows that risk cuts across all the three dimensions of sustainable development as outlined in the Agenda 2030: economic, social and environmental. Hence, cross-sectoral solutions are essential to avoid further cascading effects of this disaster. Risk assessments must map the multi-faceted nature of risk.
- Integrate the inter-related risks into all sectors and all levels of society, and work to strengthen understanding of all aspects of risk: without resilience building, SDGs will not be achieved.
- All development actors need to initiate a structural change towards risk-informed development, starting from the national and local development plans and DRR strategies: they need to ensure integration among all sectors of government and all levels of society.
3. National governments should focus on supporting local action as the only way to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
- By virtue of being those most at risk, local actors must be enabled to participate, influence and take decisions on risk-informed development policies and practices. They have critical knowledge and experience of the threats they face and the actions which would help to reduce existing risks.
- In many countries local actors such as CSOs have been the first responders to the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching communities where the national government often cannot reach.
- Covid-19 shows we are increasingly reliant on local actors for resilience building hence they should have increased representation in decision-making forums.
4. Recognise the role of CSOs and partner with them: CSOs can support governments to learn from communities most at risk and engage them in the development process.
- There is a need to transform the way society interacts and place greater emphasis on citizens disproportionately impacted by disasters. The Covid-19 pandemic has made SDG 10 significantly harder to achieve.
- We need to enhance collaboration and solidarity among multiple actors so that we are able to work together effectively across countries and continents and build a global movement for transformative change.
- Civil society organisations around the world are responding to this disaster on the ground and building a wealth of knowledge that need not be wasted.
5. Commit to resource mobilisation that assists those most in need, and support a shift towards localisation.
- The recent news of agreements among governments to impose a minimum 15% global corporate tax to be paid in countries where the customers live is a welcome move. With more than 130 countries endorsing it, a beginning has been made. It will be important that these additional resources are spent to enhance the resilience of communities most at risk.
- It is crucial that, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, developed countries continue to respect the target of allocating 0.7% of their Gross National Income to overseas development assistance. This contribution makes a huge difference in advancing development and resilience among developing and least developed countries.
- SDG 17 continues to be crucial: strengthening partnerships r to promote localisation is key, especially when particular attention is given to local leadership, local capacity and funding local initiatives.