Speaking at the opening plenary of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the top body of the United Nations which monitors the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka said that the good news is that the SDGs have hit the ground running and countries have already geared up to implement the 2030 Agenda. The agenda was adopted by the United Nations nearly a year back in September 2015. However, he said that the bad news is that the current global policy environment is a drag on the effective implementation of the agenda at country level. The session was held on 11 July 2016 in New York.
He pointed out that most of the countries have already integrated the SDGs in respective national plans, but they are facing challenges in the areas of institutional capacity, availability of financial resources and access to necessary data and information. Moreover, the global economy is presently experiencing faltering growth, rising inequality, new pandemics and dearth of peace and security. He emphasised the need to improve the global economic governance to bolster SDG delivery at national level.
Debapriya, who is also the chair of Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Goals – a network of 49 think tanks drawn from Africa, Asia and Latin America – was speaking at the first annual review by the United Nation as regards progress in implementation of the SDGs. Earlier, Wu Hongbo, UN Under Secretary General (USG) for Economic and Social Affairs presented the 2016 SDG Progress Report on behalf of the UN Secretary General. Presenting the report, USG Hongbo pointed out the importance of political leadership in delivering the new global agenda.
Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the other panelist at the session, underscored the need to have a strong baseline for kick starting the 2030 Agenda.
The session was chaired by Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).