SivCMoe - Photo:August R Jacobsen
August R Jacobsen

Review of ECOSOC and the HLPF

Statement by Minister Counsellor Siv Cathrine Moe on the Review of the ECOSOC and the HLPF, 10 February 2020.

Thank you for convening this informal meeting on the review of ECOSOC and HLPF.

Our overall purpose is to achieve the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. We assure you of our full support in this important endeavor.

We appreciate the opportunity to review ECOSOC and HLPF together, and we are open to having one joint outcome document.

The best possible outcome, seen from Norway’s perspective, is to improve the ability of both ECOSOC and HLPF to provide robust, comprehensive, inclusive and transparent follow-up of the entire 2030 Agenda, to inspire transformative and accelerated action. 

The High-Level Political Forum is our main arena to discuss sustainable development.

The ten action points from the SDG Summit set out our key priorities. The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) offers vital insights that we can build on. Hence, we believe it should inform the next cycle of the High-level Political Forum.

HLPF is an important global arena for peer learning. We are expecting record high numbers of VNRs this summer. This indicates that the ownership and commitment of member states to the 2030 Agenda is robust. How to handle this very positive and encouraging demand for VNR presentations warrants further consultations.

We know that we need the input of all stakeholders to successfully implement the SDGs. During the VNRs, more time should be allocated to accommodate comments and questions from stakeholders, as well as from member states.

This is why Norway supports broad and diverse participation of all relevant stakeholders in the work of ECOSOC and at HLPF. We need more voices, more participation – not less, as we enter the Decade of Action and Delivery.  

Critical issues to be addressed in the review of HLPF, in addition to those related to the thematic reviews and VNRs, are the timing and duration of HLPF itself and its cycles.

When we review how to strengthen ECOSOC, we should focus on further improving those elements that contribute the most to achieving our common goals. 

Enough time should be allocated to the most substantial ECOSOC segments and fora, while keeping a fresh view on the use of ECOSOC’s time and resources.

We should take this opportunity to discuss the current organisation in three substantive clusters.

We believe the cluster on means of implementation should continue to include the Financing for Development Forum, the Development Cooperation Forum and the STI Forum.

The second cluster, on operational activities, should still consist of the Operational Activities Segment and the Humanitarian Affairs Segment, but we need to discuss the timing. We believe the OAS should take place earlier, to feed into the annual meetings of governing bodies.

The OAS is of crucial importance as the main forum for oversight and system-wide guidance of the UN development system. It is also the main arena for assessing progress of the reform of the UN’s development system. We would therefore like to reiterate our opinion that the CEB-report should be presented to the OAS.

The third cluster would then continue to be the HLPF. Norway would be open to consider including the Integration Segment and the Partnership Forum together with the HLPF.

Integration is a key function of the ECOSOC, but the potential for improvement of the current integration segment is significant. The objective should be to strengthen the impact of the integration efforts of ECOSOC rather than strengthening the integration segment per se. Norway is open to explore using the day currently allocated to the integration segment where it could have significant added value in strengthening integration.

We look forward to engaging actively in this process.

You have our full support.