New UN High Level Political Forum to Focus on Sustainable Development through Head of State Meetings

What is the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF)?

The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) agreed to establish the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), a new UN body to replace the Commission on Sustainable Development. In June 2013, Member States concluded several months of political negotiations to define the “Format and Organizational Aspects of the high-level political forum.”  This new body is expected to play a central role in framing the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The new high-level political forum, consistent with its intergovernmental universal character, will:

  • Provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development;
  • Follow up on implementation of all UN activities related to sustainable development, including the SDGs;
  • Enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental);
  • Have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges

When will the HLPF meet?

The date for its first meeting is September 24, 2013 during the opening of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.  The first meeting will be an inaugural event and substantive sessions will be scheduled later in the year.  The HLPF will conveneannually at the ministerial level under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and it will, every four years, bring together heads of State and Government, under the auspices of the UN General Assembly, to provide political momentum for sustainable development.

How to participate and the role of business:

USCIB, working with the ICC and other business groups, has represented U.S. business in UN sustainability meetings since 1992. The creation of the HLPF offers USCIB an opportunity to provide U.S. business views on economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability, and to offer practical private sector experiences relating to the enabling conditions needed for investment, innovation and job creation.

The HLPF will be open to all “Major Groups” and “other stakeholders,” e.g. education and academic entities, volunteer groups, etc., who will be able to:

  • Attend all official meetings of the forum;
  • Have access to all official information and documents;
  • Intervene in official meetings, submit documents and present written and oral contributions, to make recommendations, and to organize side-events and roundtables

Business and industry organizations have submitted recommendations for a dedicated and recognized business channel to the HLPF.

Staff contacts: Norine Kennedy and Adam Greene

Staff Contact:   Norine Kennedy

Senior VP, Policy and Global Strategy
Tel: 212.703.5052

Norine Kennedy promotes U.S. business participation in international environmental policy and management initiatives, and works closely with industry, government and NGOs to promote sustainable development and green growth. She also spearheads USCIB’s strategic international engagement initiative, which seeks to advance meaningful business participation and regulatory diplomacy in inter-governmental organizations.
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