We’re in New York for the High Level Political Forum


This week, IWDA’s Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) team leader Jo Crawford is in New York for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). IWDA will discuss the Individual Deprivation Measure in an official side event of the HLPF, hosted by the Australia Government. The event will focus on the need to close gender data gaps in order to understand what is working to create real change for women and girls and where efforts must be concentrated to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

What is the High Level Political Forum?

The High Level Political Forum is the key international event for reviewing progress in achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (commonly known as the Global Goals or SDGs). The Forum, which runs for 10 days, brings together representatives from all 193 member states of the United Nations and provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations to Governments on the implementation of the Global Goals.

At the end of the HLPF member states will agree on a Ministerial Declaration, which reaffirms the commitments of governments to achieve the Global Goals, sets out agreed priorities for action and outlines current progress, challenges and improvement needed.

What’s new at the HLPF this year?

Each year the HLPF has a specific theme that will be the focus of discussions. This year’s theme is “eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. A set of specific Goals will also be reviewed in detail each year. This year is particularly important for women’s rights and gender equality, because Goal 5, the gender equality goal, with be one of the Goals reviewed in depth. This gives governments and civil society an important opportunity to assess progress in achieving gender equality and women’s rights and to hold Governments accountable for inaction against these agreed targets.

The Role of Civil Society

While the HLPF is primarily a space for governments, civil society, including women’s organisations and networks, are critical partners in achieving the Global Goals and monitoring their progress. Recognising this, the HLPF has some key ways that civil society can engage in the Forum. The first is through side events. Civil society will hold a number of events, some in collaboration with governments,that run alongside the HLPF and focus on specific topics relevant to the Global Goals, like partnership or grassroots participation in achieving the Goals.

Another key way is through Major Groups, which represent specific groups, like Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), children and youth, and women. Major Groups are able to attend official UN meetings and events These Groups are important spaces for members to share information and to ensure the participation of civil society in UN processes. IWDA is a member of both the NGO Major Group and the Women’s Major Group.

The Women’s Major Group

The Women’s Major Group is responsible for facilitating the input of women’s civil society into key United Nations spaces through participation in meetings and events, submission of proposals, development of sessions and events and access to key UN documents.

As a member of the Women’s Major Group, IWDA was called on to speak at a session of the HLPF focussed on measuring the multiple dimensions of poverty. While current poverty measures measure poverty at a household level, we raised the importance of measuring poverty at an individual level, particularly if we are to better understand how women are affected by poverty.

Want to know more?

The HLPF is being webcast by UN WebTV; you can watch the sessions live here.

Keep an eye out for the next articles in our Global Goals Blog Series, where we will discuss the Global Goals at the international level in more detail and update you on the outcomes of the Forum.

You can also follow what’s happening at the HLPF on Twitter using #HLPF2017 and #SDGs and by following us @iwda and the Individual Deprivation Measure @IDMData.