The second workshop on “Making the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Work: How to build an effective ‘Review Mechanism”’ took place in New York, US, on 15 May 2014. The workshop was sponsored by the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Egypt, Liechtenstein, Norway, Peru, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland, and organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Invited participants included representatives of governments, the UN Secretariat, including an Assistant Secretary-General from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and NGOs.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) established the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2012 when it adopted the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In 2013, the UNGA decided that the HLPF should conduct regular reviews, beginning in 2016, on the follow-up and implementation of sustainable development commitments and objectives, including those related to the means of implementation, within the context of the post-2015 development agenda (A/RES/67/290).
The first IISD workshop, held on 20 February 2014, was aimed at identifying potential “landing zones” for consensus on the design of the review mechanism. The second workshop sought to intensify discussion on issues that emerged during the first workshop, narrow down the range of options within each issue, and identify key challenges to be negotiated. A background paper for the workshop prepared by IISD elaborated five questions for consideration by participants: Who is to be reviewed, by whom and how often? What is to be reviewed? What might be the incentives to participate? What is the optimal approach for national and systemic reviews? And how will the review outputs link to other elements of the HLPF/SDG/Post-2015 puzzle, and to the wider geography of sustainable development endeavor?
During the workshop, participants heard presentations from selected participants, and then divided into five groups to discuss the five questions outlined in the background paper. The five groups reported on their discussions to the group as a whole, which had a general exchange of views. More...