‘Leaving No One Behind’: How to Make the High-level Political Forum Transformative

In this paper, Micah Grzywnowicz outlines how the HLPF can be more practical and create a more inclusive space for all stakeholders.

Publication details

Title:‘Leaving No One Behind’: How to Make the High-level Political Forum Transformative
Type:Making the HLPF More Inclusive
Author:Micah Grzywnowicz
Published:25 February 2020
Licence: All rights reserved

When Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015, it signified a commitment by states to create a better future for all. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals was to be guided by an almost utopian principle that promised to leave no one behind.

It was also succinctly accompanied by a catchy phrase of ‘no more business as usual’, which was used by diplomats and civil society alike in various statements and meetings. Both of them combined could be read as a vow to create a new approach to development, power and redistribution of resources. It also expressed a sense of urgency that things needed to change. It was, after all, supposed to incorporate all the lessons learnt from the Millennium Development Goals, which lacked efficient monitoring or evaluation mechanisms, and consequently left pockets of populations behind, making them continuously invisible in programs and policies.

Since leaving no one behind is not a goal or a target, it has not been reviewed systematically during the meetings of the High-level Political Forum. While it has been discussed as a theme, the discussions have never focused enough on the substantial operationalisation of the principle, which shows an obvious gap in its meaningful application.


Making the HLPF More Inclusive

This publication is part of a series that aims to contribute with reflections on how the HLPF process can become more inclusive of a broad range of stakeholders and more purposefully focused on the implementation of the principle of leaving no one behind.

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