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Updated On: Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Sustainable Development Forum Opens

Content by: South-South News

12 July 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Elliot Harris said the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “at the heart” of the High-Level Political Forum that opened on July 9 in New York.

Speaking a press conference at UN Headquarters, Harris said the Sustainable Development Agenda is a “roadmap for people, for the planet, and for prosperity; and central to the vision of that future is a commitment to leave no one behind.” He said the Forum, which is taking place from 9 to 18 July, is expected to “take stock of progress towards the SDGs and to provide political leadership and guidance for sustainable development.”

The Assistant Secretary-General said the theme of the Forum is transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies and will focus on SDG 6 (water and sanitation), 7 (energy), 11 (cities), and 15 (terrestrial ecosystems). He said progress towards achieving the SDGs was being made, but noted that major challenges persist.

Harris said, “For the first time in a decade, the number of people who are undernourished has increased from 770 million in 2015, to 815 million in 2016; mainly the result of conflict, drought, and climate-linked disasters. So overall, progress under the SDGs has been uneven and some are at risk of being left behind.”

Harris said 47 countries from different regions with various levels of development will share their experiences and lessons learned during the Forum. He expected the forum to have 2,000 participants from different sectors, including 80 Ministers and Vice-Ministers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector representatives. He stressed that the High-Level Forum aims to mobilize policy makers and provide a space for decision makers to learn from each other’s experiences.

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