9 July 2018: The UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is underway at UN Headquarters in New York, US. On the first day, governments began an “in-depth review” of selected SDGs, with a session on global progress towards SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation). Delegates heard that “the world is not on track” to meet the SDG 6 targets by 2030, in view of increasing freshwater pollution, water stress, and a declining share of official development assistance (ODA) for water-related activities.
6 July 2018: Stopping deforestation, managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded forests, and increasing tree cover worldwide is critical to avoid “damaging consequences for the planet and its people,” according to the ‘State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) 2018.’ The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), underscores the importance of forests in supporting human livelihoods and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
4 July 2018: The 20th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) suffered difficult negotiations and failed to come to agreement on several decisions which will need to be addressed at the next Board meeting.
9 July 2018: The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) gathered in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, aiming to increase funding for DRR and advance disaster prevention efforts. The conference concluded with the adoption of the Ulaanbaatar Declaration, which calls for greater accountability for disaster losses in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region, as well as a two-year action plan to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR in Asia.
9 July 2018: UN Member States are meeting in New York, US, for the final round of negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. On 9 July 2018, delegations began sharing comments on the third revised draft of the compact (‘Draft Rev 3’), circulated by the co-facilitators on 29 June 2018. Many found the text balanced, and several delegations said they were looking forward to finalizing the compact by Friday, 13 July.
6 July 2018: In the latest posts to the blog series on the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), UN officials and civil society leaders highlight: the importance of public transport, walking and cycling; findings on the roots of gender inequality; and progress “in the wrong direction” for countries in Asia-Pacific.
5 July 2018: The UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) launched an interactive mapping program that supports informed decision-making on biodiversity conservation and development challenges. The groups launched the ‘UN Biodiversity Lab’ at the 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22).
5 July 2018: The annual report of the International Gender Champions network was presented at the UN, highlighting that 205 champions from over 60 countries have made 600 commitments to advance gender equality, since the network was launched in 2015.
4 July 2018: The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held a panel discussion on helping countries meet their human rights obligations while taking steps to achieve the SDGs. Speakers highlighted the need for technical cooperation, especially in the area of setting indicators and gathering data, and concluded that human rights and the SDGs are “mutually dependent and reinforcing,” and technical cooperation is necessary for identifying and addressing issues of discrimination and human rights abuses.
3 July 2018: Planners for Climate Action issued a statement calling on cities and urban planners to address climate change through planning practices, capacity building and knowledge development. The communiqué notes that the group should be a key voice in discussions on how to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, given planners’ experience and the relevance of cities.
3 July 2018: Limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels (the lower level of what was agreed under the Paris Agreement on climate change) could save many lives in Europe by avoiding heat stress, according to research published by the University of Bristol. The study’s release coincides with ongoing heatwaves in much of Europe, where citizens are being warned to take extra care.
July 2018: The UN’s Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued an open call for contributions for the 2019 edition of the World Public Sector Report (WPSR), to address progress on the institutional dimensions of SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). SDG 16 will be one of the Goals reviewed in-depth at the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
21 June 2018: Foreign firms and investors in African cities can play a critical role in the region’s development, according to a UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) report that examines the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa’s cities.
23 May 2018: A Regional Dialogue on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) showcased Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian countries’ climate actions taken to date and demonstrated their linkages to the SDGs. The dialogue served as a springboard for knowledge exchange among countries in the region as they push forward on increasingly ambitious long-term development strategies.