Highlights: UNU-IAS at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021

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  • 2021•07•16

    UN Photo

    During 6-15 July 2021, UNU-IAS contributed to global policy dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development, with a central role in the follow-up and review of the SDGs. The 2021 meeting took place online, under the theme “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

    UNU-IAS contributed expertise across the SDGs, organising a series of side events that showcased the institute’s research and networks in governance, higher education, biodiversity, and climate change.

    A common message across these events was the vital need for a science-based and inclusive approach in tackling the multiple crisis facing the globe. The far-reaching human, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to derail efforts to achieve the SDGs, halt biodiversity loss, and address the climate crisis — which remains the single greatest threat to sustainable development globally. Overcoming these challenges requires a deep transformation in our economic and social systems, which will bring new opportunities but also new challenges. We must ensure that the transition to a carbon-neutral world, where people live in harmony with nature, is an inclusive process that lives up to the 2030 Agenda’s principle of “leaving no-one behind”. Realising this transformation will require solution-oriented research to inform policymaking, and multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise action across society, to ensure a sustainable future for all.

    UNU-IAS Events

    Carbon Neutrality & Social Transformation: Are We on Track to Arrive at a Justice-based Transition?
    6 July 2021


    UNU-IAS brought together leading experts to discuss the social and economic transformation needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and how to ensure a transition that is just and inclusive. This online side event identified key requirements for achieving carbon neutrality and opportunities for a green transition in Africa. It explored pathways to a transformation that stays true to the principle of leaving no one behind, and synergies between carbon neutrality and the SDGs during the Decade of Action to deliver on the goals.

    Read more: HLPF Side Event Explores Just & Inclusive Transition to a Carbon-Neutral World

    Higher Education Sustainability Initiative Special Event
    7 July 2021


    This Special Event of the 2021 HLPF highlighted the critical role of further education in achieving sustainable development and ensuring a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised by UNU-IAS and other members of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), it brought together key actors from the higher education sector to discuss how education could be redefined to deliver on these critical agendas.

    Read more: HLPF Special Event Highlights Role of Further Education in a Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19

    Healthy Planet, Healthy People: The Role of the Satoyama Initiative for Green & Blue Recovery
    9 July 2021


    UNU-IAS co-organised this online side event exploring the role of the Satoyama Initiative in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers emphasised the need for a green and blue recovery, underlining that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected every aspect of life and that solutions were all around us, in nature. The event was organised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, and co-organised by MOEJ; UNDP; the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP); the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES); and UNU-IAS.

    Read more: Green & Blue Recovery Emphasised in HLPF Side Event Focusing on Satoyama Initiative