High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Overwhelmingly Adopts Ministerial Declaration

Sustainable Development – Implementation of 2030 Agenda

.
High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Overwhelmingly Adopts Ministerial Declaration by 164 Votes in Favour, 2 Against
18 July 2018
ECOSOC/6943
[Editor’s text bolding]
Adopting its Ministerial Declaration by a vote of 164 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development reaffirmed today its commitment to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for all people, everywhere.

Held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”, the Forum, in adopting the Declaration (document E/HLPF/2018/L.2), stressed that the 2030 Agenda is people-centred, universal and transformative.

Ministers and high representatives also reaffirmed their commitment to eradicating poverty, expressing concern that poverty remains a principle cause of hunger, and stressed the importance of taking collective measures to make an impact, among other goals. They further reaffirmed their commitment to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, stressing that much work remains to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda three years into its implementation. They also commended the 46 countries that delivered voluntary national reviews.

They committed to embracing diversity in cities and other human settlements, and to strengthening social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and tolerance. They noted with concern that 844 million people lack basic water services, 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, 4.5 billion people have no access to safely managed sanitation, and 892 million still practise open defecation. They also acknowledged that owing to rapid urbanization, many cities and local authorities face challenges in providing access to adequate housing and that migration and forced displacement further exacerbates these challenges. They called on all stakeholders to adopt a sustainable-food systems approach and develop effective strategies to reduce food waste. They underlined the challenges related to plastic waste, especially in the oceans, stressed the critical role of science, technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and endeavoured to take immediate steps to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The Forum recognized that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security and that peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. “We call for further effective measures and actions to be taken, in conformity with international law, to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the right to self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation,” the Declaration reads.

It also reaffirms the Forum’s commitment to gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and full realization of the human rights of all women and girls. “To achieve inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies, we call for the leadership and full, effective and equal participation of women in decision-making in the design, budgeting, implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes that affect their livelihoods, well-being and resilience,” the document reads. We reiterate the urgency to ensure women’s equal access to, and control over, land and nature resources, it adds.

Voting on an amendment submitted by the United States (document E/HLPF/2018/L.3), proposing to replace the words “mutually beneficial” in paragraph 28 with “international cooperation”, the Forum rejected that proposal by a vote of 107 against to 50 in favour, with 3 abstentions (Norway, Republic of Moldova, Seychelles). It rejected another amendment proposed by the United States — by 155 votes against to 2 in favour (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (Japan, Nigeria, Republic of Korea) — to replace the sentence “will continue to promote a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, as well as meaningful trade liberalization”, in paragraph 28, with the following sentence: “We reaffirm that trade can contribute to the promotion of sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty, as recognized in the 2030 Agenda.”

The Forum also voted to retain paragraph 12 of the Declaration, rejecting Israel’s proposal to delete it, by 109 votes in favour to 5 against (Australia, Canada, Honduras, Israel, United States), with 45 abstentions. It further voted to retain paragraph 16 of the Declaration — by 133 in favour to 11 against, with 10 abstentions (Algeria, Bahrain, China, Egypt, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Zimbabwe) after the Russian Federation requested a recorded vote seeking the paragraph’s deletion…

12. Recognize that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security and that peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights, including the right to development, on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Factors that give rise to violence, insecurity and injustice, such as inequality, corruption, poor governance and illicit financial and arms flows, are addressed in the 2030 Agenda. We must redouble our efforts to resolve or prevent conflict and to support post-conflict countries, including by ensuring that women have a role in peacebuilding and State-building. We call for further effective measures and actions to be taken, in conformity with international law, to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the right to self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development as well as their environment;

16. Reaffirm our commitment to achieving gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and the full realization of the human rights of all women and girls. To achieve inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies, we call for the leadership and full, effective and equal participation of women in decision-making in the design, budgeting, implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes that affect their livelihoods, well-being and resilience, and we recognize that unequal gender roles as reflected in women’s disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work holds women back in the economy and other areas. We reiterate the urgency to ensure women’s equal access to, and control over, land and natural resources. We reaffirm our commitment to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment and harmful practices. Our efforts will reinforce the linkages between Sustainable Development Goal 5 and the other Sustainable Development Goals. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is crucial;