Heard at the 2020 UN High-level Political Forum

UN Monitor #18

By Barbara Adams, Carter Boyd and Karen Judd

“The world is going through a public health crisis which is turning into a global economic and social crisis. The HLPF is one of the first major intergovernmental meetings with universal participation and broad stakeholder engagement since the onset of the crisis.

“It is critical that the United Nations send a strong message to all people demonstrating that we can forge consensus and give a multilateral response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that we are committed to rebuilding better after the pandemic, with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as our roadmap. Countries, societies, youth and the media will all be looking to the United Nations for its guidance.”

How did the 2020 HLPF, which met 7-17 July 2020 in virtual format, respond to these words from the ‘presiding officer’, the President of ECOSOC Mona Juul, who said in her concluding remarks: we “cannot revert to the old normal…normal was part of the problem--all of our discussions have underlined recovery presents a rare opportunity to shape the new normal”.

Here are some of the voices heard at the 2020 HLPF, reverberating around the themes of building back better, leave no one behind, COVID-19, inequalities, data and accountability.