HLPF 2024 update: day three

11 July 2024


During HLPF 2024, GNDR is in New York representing civil society, advocating for our members’ call to action messages and supporting Sendai stakeholders in integrating disaster risk reduction into the sustainable development goals. 

Becky Murphy, GNDR’s Policy Lead and Marcos Concepcion Raba, GNDR’s Executive Director, are in New York and will be sharing an HLPF GNDR members briefing throughout the week.

These are the key messages coming from the third day’s key sessions:

Wednesday 10 July 2024

High Level Session: SDG 13 and interlinkages with other SDGs – Climate action

  • Sophie Rigg represented GNDR from the floor
  • Becky and Marcos observed from the balcony


  • Countries and stakeholders highlighted how far off track we are on SDG13 and the desperate need to act between now and 2030. 
  • Economically wealthy nations predominantly focused on the work they are doing domestically on cutting emissions. 
  • Economically disadvantaged nations spoke of the need for climate finance and the importance of collective action

Interventions of particular note:

  • WEDO – they spoke powerfully of the frustration that we have not progressed more since the Rio summit. They highlighted how the current patriarchal and white supremacist global power system prevents progress. They called for transformational systems change and for us to stop ‘tinkering at the edges’.  
  • Ukraine and Russia both spoke:
    • Ukraine highlighted the environmental costs and carbon footprint of war, they called for an end to all wars and also expressed their commitment to global efforts to reduce emission and tackle the climate crisis ;
    • Russia spoke of their support for broad COP processes; they also spoke of the need for carbon capture and storage and an emissions trading system to enable a just transition. They did not speak of the war. They had not finished their statement after three minutes and were cut off.  
  • India and China – both spoke of the importance of climate finance by those that are historically responsible under the UNFCCC and the importance of common but differentiated responsibility. As such they removed responsibility from themselves for contributing to climate finance.   
  • United States: They spoke of their domestic work on reducing emissions and transforming the economy with the inflation reduction act. They also spoke of their adaptation and resilience development work – they did not speak meaningfully on climate finance. 
  • UNDRR– they spoke of Cyclone Beryl and how the relatively low loss of life is thanks to DRR approaches. They highlighted the need for integrating climate, DRR and development and the importance of a risk-informed approach going forward.
  • UNHCR – spoke of the importance of Leave No One Behind (LNOB) and that climate finance reaches the most vulnerable, with a particular focus on migrants.
  • UNEP – they highlighted the importance of climate action for the other SDGs and integrating climate into development planning. They see an opportunity for sustainable development through climate action. But they stressed how this all needs finance.

A conclusion:

  • Nations reiterated their existing positions, stakeholders called for transformational change and UN agencies stood ready to support nations in their climate action 
  • Much more is needed on all fronts, but the energy and ambition was lacking in the room

UNDRR closed door side event hosted by the Swiss Mission on the road to the global platform for DRR

Marcos spoke on the round table and Becky interjected from the floor.

  • Becky and Marcos were invited to join UNDRR’s side event at the Swiss Mission focusing on the road to the Global Platform for DRR
  • Here the friends of DRR group, member states hosting the regional and global platforms shared the plans, progress and aims of the coming few months as we lead up to both the regional and global platforms
  • Key issues discussed included the need for the whole of society approach, the need for financing for development to integrate a risk-informed approach and the continued demand for localisation 
  • Here, Marcos represented the Sendai SEM and shared what the SEM is doing to engage non member state stakeholders ahead of the regional and global platforms, reinforcing the importance of having a formal structure for non member state stakeholders to engage with the implementation and monitoring of the Sendai framework and supporting risk reduction to be integrated into the SDGs and Paris agreement too
  • Becky spoke from the floor, asking member states what they would like to see the SEM to bring to the table at the regional and global platforms and what they would like us to focus our efforts on in the path ahead
  • Members states and Kamal Kishore, the new UNDRR SRSG, called for support from the SEM and civil society to make sure we take the space provided for us at the regional and global platforms, to make sure we support UNDRR and member states in raising the energy and pressure around risk reduction and support in reaching the most marginalised and hard to access members of society, who often member states cannot reach
Marcos speaking at the UNDRR closed door side event, hosted by the Swiss Mission

High Level Session: Transforming from the ground up: local action

  • Analysis of 348 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) in the last few years shows that the local level and local authorities are not involved in SDGs
  • “Territorial approach” led by the Economic Commission of Europe (ECE)
    • Local authorities are the power for transformational capacities to progress in SDGs
    • VNRs are a powerful tool to track progress and contribution from the local level to SDGs
    • The role of Urban observators is crucial to identify priorities for local and global progress
    • Tailored approaches are needed to small cities and villages in tackling challenges for SDGs
    • Localisation of SDGs is a joint responsibility
  • From MGoS:
    • Progress through “peoples’ councils” have been made, but improvement is needed.
    • Grassroot solutions need to be taken into account; and meaningful participation of people at local level is not an option.
    • For a more inclusive sustainable development, participatory localisation is needed.
  • The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe states the need of strengthening local authorities by offering space in national and global debate and enable tools and funding to achieve SDGs
    • Marcos represented observer from the balcony 
    •  Need to pay attention to the local level because is where the action happens

Lastly, we spent some time interviewing our member from Honduras, José Ramón Ávila on his experience at HLPF, his engagement with the Voluntary National Review Process and what key demands he would like those in the room at HLPF to take away with him. Watch this space for the interview which will be shared soon across our social media platforms.

More information

  • To see the full HLPF 2024 programme and learn more about the SDGs you can visit the official HLPF website, under ECOSOC here: 
  • You can follow all of the high level sessions on the UN web TV
  • Are you at HLPF? To connect with us this year or find out more about our policy work you can email Becky Murphy, our head of policy at: 
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