News.Jul 04, 2022

SIWI raises water perspectives at the High-Level Political Forum

SIWI will be attending the UN High-level Political Forum to show why freshwater is important for gender equality, education, life on land, and ocean health. Participating in New York are Tove Lexén, International Policy Programme Officer and Joshua Newton, International Policy Consultant.

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is an annual stocktaking moment for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development held at the UN headquarters in New York. Each year focuses on a different set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SIWI takes part to draw attention to how water impacts and is impacted by the SDGs themes under review.

This year’s conference, running from 5 July to 15 July, tackles the theme “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The forum will give specific attention to an in-depth review of the SDG 4 on quality education, SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 14 on life below water, and SDG 15 on life on land. Progress on SDG 17 on partnerships for the Goals is assessed on a yearly basis.

“The 2022 High-level Political Forum is of crucial importance because we are now halfway to 2030 when all the SDGs should be fulfilled. Unfortunately, we are not on track to succeed, as recently described in a report from the UN Secretary-General. To rescue the 2030 Agenda, the report calls for a completely new approach. Water is one of the most powerful tools to achieve this since it connects all the SDGs,” explains Tove Lexén.

Representing SIWI, she will be joining the official Swedish Delegation to the HLPF alongside other Swedish stakeholders such as state agencies, local governments, research institutes, and a handful of civil society actors. This provides SIWI the opportunity to participate in daily meetings with Swedish government representatives at the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN, attend the official sessions of the HLPF seated alongside the Swedish delegation, and network with decision-makers and various stakeholders.


“Water is one of the most powerful tools to achieve this since it connects all the SDGs.”

Tove Lexén, International Policy Programme Officer at SIWI

Tove Lexén and Joshua Newton will also have meetings with key representatives from the gender, education, land, and oceans communities to discuss how water can help them advance their agendas. For example, how investment in water and sanitation can increase gender equality and access to education, especially for girls. Another perspective is how countries need to change how they manage land, rivers, coasts, and oceans to tackle threats such as climate change and biodiversity loss. At the United Nations Oceans Conference (27 June to 1 July), SIWI has received a great deal of attention for its work on holistic governance of natural resources, from source to sea, and that topic is expected to meet significant interest also at the High-level Political Forum.

At the HLPF, SIWI will also help raise awareness about next year’s United Nations 2023 Water Conference, the first since 1977. “SIWI’s presence at the 2022 HLPF will emphasize that the historic UN 2023 Water Conference set for March 2023 is right around the corner, offering new opportunities to fast-track progress on the 2030 Agenda. In meetings, we want to promote the Water Conference and explore various ideas for engaging stakeholders from the gender, education, land and oceans communities as partners in the UN Water Action Decade and in the 2023 Water Conference,” says Joshua Newton. This important message will also be emphasized by SIWI Swedish Water House Director Thomas Rebermark during the SDG 6 Special Event Virtual Dialogue at the HLPF on 14 July at 14:30-16:30 CEST.

What happens at the 2022 High-level Political Forum?

  • The HLPF will review SDGs 4, 5, 14, and 15, but it also recognizes the interdependency of all SDGs and thereby the holistic nature of the 2030 Agenda.
  • The programme consists of official segments, side events, exhibitions, special events, and Voluntary National Review labs.
  • This year, 44 countries will present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), including Argentina, the Netherlands, and Senegal.
  • A negotiated Ministerial Declaration and a summary of the key messages, authored by ECOSOC, will be the two official outcome documents from the HLPF.

Learn more about The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)