Loretto at the UN attends the High Level Political Forum
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is an annual forum where member states (countries) of the United Nations gather to report on how they are progressing toward completing the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 by all U.N. member states as a “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.” This year’s theme was “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.” This year’s conference focused on the following sustainable development goals:
- SDG 6 – Clean water/sanitation
- SDG 7 – Clean energy
- SDG 9 – Industry and infrastructure
- SDG 11 – Sustainable cities
- SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
At the HLPF, Loretto at the UN attended information sessions to learn new information about the SDGs, countries’ approaches, provide a faith-based perspective and research the realities of women and girls around the world. We also took the lead on conducting a longitudinal research project for the Working Group on Girls, which is a U.N. NGO that “promotes the human rights of the girl child in all stages of her life.”
At the opening ceremony this year, the keynote address was given by Mr. Edward (Eddie) Ndopu, a youth representative who was also the first disabled speaker to address the HLPF. In his speech, Eddie underscored the importance of youth participation and said that “young people hold a unique perspective, viewing the world through a lens of hope and possibility.”
Earlier that same day, Beth Blissman, the Loretto at the UN representative, spoke on a panel focusing on “Ensuring Equitable Access to Clean Drinking Water for Women and Girls Using Clean Energy Technology.” The event was sponsored by the Green Hope Foundation, and Beth provided a faith-based perspective on the importance of access to clean drinking water as a basic human right, especially for girls in vulnerable communities.
While countries gave their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) about the SDGs, Loretto at the UN examined what countries on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women said about gender equality and girls’ rights in the presentation. This year, 38 countries presented VNRs, and volunteers helped collect data and research on what countries did, or did not, say about women and girls in their reports.
The HLPF was an informative conference that furthered our understanding of sustainability and worldwide development. Click here to view more pictures from the conference. More information is available on our social media here: @LorettoattheUN.