Reflecting On The 2016 High-Level Political Forum

By Madison Chapman

Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, addresses the High-Level Political Forum. (Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe)

On 11-20 July, 2016, the UN Division for Sustainable Development Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) facilitated the first annual High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF). This year prioritised the theme “Ensuring No One Is Left Behind.” As part of our work to strengthen conflict prevention and promote accountability on gender equality and peace, WILPF monitored the forum for gender and conflict issues. We also leveraged this space to build momentum on strengthening accountability and financing of gender equality and peace through a workshop and follow up side side event on WPS Financing.

The HLPF included several key plenary sessions to address Agenda 2030, including a session entitled “Ensuring that No One is Left Behind: Creating Peaceful and More Inclusive Societies and Empowering Women and Girls.” It also included submission of National Voluntary Reviews from 22 Member States. Of these states, 16 (72%) mentioned SDG 5, which focuses on empowering women and girls, while only 14 (59%) directly mentioned SDG 16, which promotes stable and peaceful societies.

While the HLPF shared good practices and key gaps in implementation, it lacked a strong and consistent gender or militarism perspective and had significant gaps in terms of inclusiveness of processes. Unfortunately, we are off to a to a rocky start in implementing Agenda 2030 on issues of gender equality and stable and peaceful societies. WILPF reminds states that there can be no development without disarmament and women’s full and equal participation and rights.

The full report on WILPF/ PeaceWomen monitoring of the 2016 HLPF can be accessed here.