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HLPF in the Times of Covid-19: UNRISD’s Contribution

31 Jul 2020

HLPF in the Times of Covid-19: UNRISD’s Contribution
The 2020 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF, the UN’s central body to review progress on the Sustainable Development Goals) was marked, of course, by the COVID-19 pandemic. UNRISD contributions rose to a double challenge: clear-headed analysis of ways to mitigate the aggravated social impact of the pandemic and the consequences for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the technical challenges of holding a global meeting virtually.

Evidence from UNRISD research was a vital component at a number of elements of the HLPF, ranging from thematic consultations to online workshops and interventions in official sessions. Discussions with national policy makers and civil society representatives were enriched by UNRISD arguments founded in cutting-edge research and the groundbreaking analysis for which the Institute has a well-deserved reputation.

Preparing the ground

UNRISD was a co-convenor of the HLPF Virtual Thematic Consultation on Sharing Economic Benefits which has the purpose of shaping discussions at the HLPF, together with UN-DESA, ILO, UN-WOMEN and the World Bank. It looked at addressing inequality within and among countries, decoupling growth from environmental degradation, and achieving sustainable development for future generations. Read the outcome document here .

UNRISD Senior Research Coordinator Ilcheong Yi also contributed evidence-based insights to the pre-HLPF Thematic Session Bolstering Local Action to Control the Pandemic and Accelerate Implementation.

On the day

UNRISD Director Paul Ladd participated in the Official Meeting "Are we leaving no one behind in eradicating poverty and working towards the 2030 Agenda?”. His statement as an official respondent highlighted UNRISD’s unique assessment of the impacts of Covid-19 policy interventions on vulnerable groups, based on the Institute’s report launched the day of the meeting. It was flanked by interventions from other high-ranking UN officials as well as statements from national delegates, taking its place in this international debate. View Paul’s intervention (from 2:03:21) in the video available on the meeting’s webpage.

Research uptake and training

UNRISD co-hosted an online workshop on Sustainable and Just Economies: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Crisis and Enabling Factors for the SDGs at the SDGs Learning, Training & Practice  component of the HLPF with a contribution on just transition, the idea that justice and equity must form an integral part of the transition towards a low-carbon world. Over 1000 participants registered from all round the world. If you missed it, you can view the recording here.

Photo: Kruusamägi, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.