Follow up and Review

The 2030 Agenda will be led by the recommendations of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the central platform for the review of the 2030 Agenda, which will be informed by State-led reviews. The HLPF will collate the review findings and ensure the SDGs remain relevant over the next 15 years. The follow-up and review framework is currently being developed and more details will be provided in July 2016.

General Assembly Resolution 67/290 and the Outcome Document of the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda (as the 2030 Agenda was formerly known) provide broad guiding principles for the HLPF’s structure and functions; however, the architecture for a coherent monitoring and review process has not yet been established.

The lynchpin of follow-up and review in implementing the SDGs is the national level. The HLPF review mechanism is intended to track progress in implementing the SDGs. Its review is to be on a voluntary and country-led basis, taking into account varying national realities, capacities, and levels of development. Outcomes from national-level processes are envisaged as the foundation for regional and global reviews, given that the global review will be based on official national data sources.

Overview of the High Level Political Forum

UN General Assembly (UNGA)

  • The UNGA committees are expected to translate the findings and broad political guidance of the HLPF into more detailed high-level guidance.
  • The UNGA, supported by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is also the main platform for reviewing the UN system’s contribution to the implementation of the Agenda. As such the UNGA needs to review both how the UN system works and how it performs on helping Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

  • Rio+20 referred to ECOSOC`s “key role in achieving a balanced integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development”.
  • The HLPF thematic focus will be aligned with the annual theme of ECOSOC, providing an opportunity to make system-wide review more coherent.
  • ECOSOC also has critical responsibilities in the follow-up to the Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development through the new Financing for Development (FFD) Forum, the Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), all of which inform discussions at the HLPF.

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF)

  • Meeting annually under the auspices of ECOSOC and every four years under UNGA1, the HLPF provides “political leadership, guidance and recommendations for follow-up” to accelerate progress in an integrated manner, based on good practices and scientific findings.
  • The Annual HLPF could typically include four parts: (i) Review of overall progress, with the review of the SDG progress report, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), National Reviews, and Regional Reviews; (ii) Review of progress in specific areas, with a thematic review on the annual HLPF theme accompanied by in-depth Reviews of a subset of SDGs; (iii) Review of SDG 17 and other inputs on the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and (iv) Focus on new and emerging issues and looking to the long term.
  • According to the proposal of the President of ECOSOC, the theme of the HLPF for 2016 will be “Ensuring that no one is left behind”. SDGs 1, 6, 8, 10 and 17 will be selected for thematic reviews.


  • Member States should conduct regular and inclusive country-led and country-driven progress reviews at the national and sub-national levels. Those national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the Voluntary National Reviews by the HLPF.
  • Each country could consider carrying out up to two Voluntary National Reviews at the HLPF between now and 2030. Those reviews will be timed by countries so that they are most useful to their own national policy-making process.
  • Volunteering countries should be able to present written national reports highlighting the conclusions and main messages of their national reviews. Those reports will be uploaded on an online platform being developed by the Secretariat. In addition, ministers will share main findings during the HLPF meetings.
  • Common reporting guidelines could be adopted to facilitate comparability and lessons learnt across countries, but should not limit flexibility and ambition of countries.

UN Functional commissions and other intergovernmental bodies

  • The 2030 Agenda can give new impetus to this network of intergovernmental bodies and forums, providing opportunities to feature their work prominently at the HLPF. Each forum should seize this opportunity, participate in the review of the 2030 Agenda in accordance with its mandate and follow-up on guidance provided by the HLPF with regard to their contribution to its work.

UN Regional commissions, organizations and fora

  • Reviews supported by regional commissions and other regional organizations can provide important inputs to countries of the region as well as to the HLPF.

Non-UN organizations and non-state actors

  • Many Member States have recognized their important role, while also pointing to the potential risk of duplicating efforts. It is important to ensure that all reviews fed to the HLPF are consistent with the principles set out in the 2030 Agenda regarding content, approach, ambition, breadth and rigour.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations, business and other major groups and stakeholders could be encouraged to announce their commitments for achieving the SDGs, with measurable milestones and deliverables. They should also be given ample space to organize events before and during the HLPF, with links to official meetings.

UNEP/United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) role includes:

  • Supporting the HLPF`s thematic reviews of progress on the SDGs: (i) an assessment of areas of progress and setbacks at global level; (ii) the identification of areas requiring urgent attention; (iii) valuable lessons learned; (iv) emerging issues; (v) areas where political guidance by the HLPF is required; and (vi) policy recommendations and tools to accelerate progress.
  • Supporting sub-regional and regional follow-up efforts and reviews.
  • Encouraging engagement of non-state actors including business, scientists, academia, parliamentarians, local governments, youth representatives and other major groups and stakeholders in its discussions, decisions and inputs to make sure they all have the opportunity to contribute.
  • Strengthening information and data systems.

1 This means that all seventeen SDGs should be reviewed in the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC within a period of four years.


High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

11-20 July, UN Headquarters, New York - #17days17goals