Peace Boat US attends the continuing UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Ministerial Segment

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On Monday July 6th, the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development continued in the Trusteeship Council, and touched upon two topics—“ A transformative integrated agenda: how can governments, societies and the UN rise to the challenge” and “Thinking ahead: emerging issues that will matter in the future.”

In the first forum, “A transformative integrated agenda,” delegates from member states shared their unique experiences with confronting sustainable development challenges from economic and social perspectives. Two of the major challenges addressed by a delegate from Africa were “transformation” and “youth education.” He pointed out that his country, which bases 60% of it economy on agriculture, is facing challenges when it comes to financial support. In the purpose of building a sustainable country out of his nation, creating sustainable jobs and educational support for youth who do not have enough employment opportunities is absolutely necessary. He argued that his nation needs funding to support professional training for these jobs, and to ensure sustainable development. Besides the financial challenge, youth in his country also faces a real threatening security issue—terrorism. To solve these problems, he indicated that income tax could be an effective solution—that all citizens must pay their taxes to their nation based on the level of their income, in order to provide the resources that match the nation’s goals. His argument triggered questions amongst delegates, but it was recognized that many issues need to be considered in different countries’ circumstances, and all nations should adopt what work the best for them.

In the second forum, ““Thinking ahead: emerging issues that will matter in the future,” a wide range of topics were discussed by member states, panelists, and major groups, touching on issues such as finance, food security, environmental sustainability, and migration. It was also recognized by the forum that many challenges are interconnected and relevant to reaching the goals of the sustainable development agenda. At the beginning of the forum, the chair indicated that a small local problem could possibly become a global disaster. Therefore, it is important to predict what are the new trends that policy makers should pay attention to. The Japanese delegation also pointed out in their opening speech that to ensure sustainable development, worldwide cooperation is necessary when it comes to massive natural disasters that can bring tragedy to many countries, like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the Nepal earthquake that happened not long ago. While discussing environmental issues, one of the panelists raised concern about how to get more scientists engaged in this forum and other social science events, and how to close the gap between science and policy making.

This week, the forum will touch upon more topics related to sustainability such as “Communicating and implementing a universal agenda at home,” “Reviewing and monitoring process: What have we learned and how can it advance implementation,” “Matching ambitions with commensurate means of implementation – resources, technology and capacities.”

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Sustainable development website:
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2015

This post was created and published by Weijia Shi (Intern from Peace Boat US).

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