The High-Level Political Forum has started on 6 July 2021 with a focus on sustainable, resilient, and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The HLPF is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The 2021 meeting will be held virtually between Tuesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 15, 2021, and will focus on sustainable, resilient and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this year’s HLPF edition, UN-Habitat and its partners have prepared a series of high-level events centred on local action and SDG localization. In this regard, we are also glad to announce that UN-Habitat and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) are organizing the VLR-VSR Days, three days of discussions dedicated to Voluntary Local Reviews and Voluntary Subnational Reviews, taking place virtually on July 14-16. VLR-VSR Days provide a space for exchange, mutual learning and common reflection for all governments and stakeholders engaged in advancing the localization, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs. You can find more information on the sessions planned in the list below.

Concept Note (PDF)


High-Level Political Forum Events

Homelessness, SDG 1 and Sustainable Recovery from COVID19: Poverty left behind

6 July 2021, 7:30 EST / 13:30 CEST / 14:30 EAT

This event aims at understanding to what extent the lack of standardized data collection methodologies on homelessness hampers the reporting process for SDG1, and the sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19.

Partners: Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH).

Speakers: FEANTSA, ILO, UN DESA, UK Statistical Commission, Ministry for Social Development of Uruguay.



Reinventing Social Welfare – Examples to Combat Inequalities and exclusion at the local level

July 8: 07:30am – 9:00am EDT | 13:30pm – 15:00pm CEST | 14:30pm – 16:00p, EAT

This seminar will explore experiences from Sweden and different parts of the world in bridging social gaps through welfare institutions and programs at the local level, ensuring that no one is left behind when developing policy solutions to combat inequality and exclusion.

Live Stream


Scaling up Voluntary Local Reviews in Africa: Responding to COVID-19 and Meeting the needs of the Decade of Action

July 8: 07:30am – 9:00am EDT | 13:30pm – 15:00pm CEST | 14:30pm – 16:00p, EAT

This event will review progress made towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through the use of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) and voluntary local reviews (VLRs) in Africa and discuss how these reviews could facilitate countries’ efforts to take stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration link


Visualizing SDGs in the city – Venice City Solutions

July 8: 07:30am – 9:00am EDT | 13:30pm – 15:00pm CEST | 14:30pm – 16:00p, EAT

Venice City Solutions aims to offer local governments tools about how the SDGs can help them analyze what happens in the city, how the different SDGs interact, who are the involved stakeholders and how to use such data to develop better policies for more efficient service delivery by the year 2030.

Registration link


Building cities’ resilience for socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and achievement of the SDGs

July 8: 07:30am – 9:00am EDT | 13:30pm – 15:00pm CEST | 14:30pm – 16:00p, EAT

This session will examine how the local action plans and VLRs can effectively support sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and promote sustainable urban development.

Registration link


Island Economy Responses to COVID 19 - In the Context of Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development through the Local2030 Islands Network

July 12: 18:00pm – 19:30pm EDT | 00:00am – 01:30am CEST | 01:00am – 02:30am, EAT

This event will showcase the ways in which islands are coming together through the Local2030 Island Network to achieve the SDGs during the Decade of Action, despite the current challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. 

Registration link


Local and Regional Governments Forum

July 12: 08:00am – 10:30am EDT | 14:00pm – 16:30pm CEST | 15:00pm – 17:30p, EAT

The fourth Local and Regional Governments Forum will bring together local, regional, and national governments to discuss how decentralized cooperation among local and regional governments and their associations and networks, national authorities and the international community can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Registration link


Local2030 Coalition

July 15: 13:00pm-15:00pm EDT | 19:00pm-21:00pm CEST | 20:00pm-22:00pm EAT

Member states, local and regional governments and their associations, UN agencies, businesses (including small and medium-sized enterprises, social enterprises, and major corporations), finance, academic and civil society leaders, youth, entrepreneurs and solution-makers will come together to discuss advancing the localization of the SDGs.

Registration link


A Celebration of Local and Regional Government Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary Local Review (VLR)

July 16: 9:00AM - 10:15AM EST

This virtual event will bring together leaders across subnational governments to share key outcomes and lessons learned from their 2021 Voluntary Local Reviews. Representatives will also highlight their commitment to the NYC Declaration on the Voluntary Local Review and explore the legacy of the VLR movement.  These conversations will showcase the continued value of the SDGs and the VLR in addressing global challenges locally.

Registration link


Voluntary Local Reviews and Voluntary Subnational Reviews Days

Launch of the Second Volume of the UN-Habitat-UCLG Guidelines for VLRs and the VLR Communiqué

July 14: 10:00am-12:00pm EDT | 16:00pm-18:00pm CEST | 17:00pm-19:00pm EAT

This session will launch the second volume of the UN-Habitat-UCLG guidelines for VLRs entitled Towards a new Generation of VLRs: Exploring the Local-National Link and the VLR Communiqué. The main findings and recommendations of the guidelines will be presented along with interventions from the key local and central governments that have inspired the research.

Registration link


Metropolises and Voluntary Local Reviews: Launch of the VLR of the Metropolitan City of Florence

July 15: 05:00am-06:00am EDT | 11:00am-12:00pm CEST | 12:00pm-13:00pm EAT

This session will discuss the Metropolitan City of Florence’s first VLR, the role of metropolises in achieving the SDGs, and the reporting and monitoring processes of the VLR tool.

Registration link


Voluntary Subnational Reviews Session

July 15: 09:00am-11:00am EDT | 15:00pm-17:00pm CEST | 16:00pm-18:00pm EAT

Eight countries prepared Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) or Local Governments Voluntary Reviews in 2021: Cape Verde, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. This session will present the main findings of the VSRs developed in 2021 and facilitate discussion of the reports.  

Registration link


Data and Indicators in VLR and VSR processes

July 16: 05:00am-06:30am EDT | 11:00am-12:30pm CEST | 12:00pm-13:30pm EAT

UN-Habitat has led the development of a set of indicators to track the progress of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda at the local level - the Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF). This session will discuss how these indicators allow deeper thematic analysis and create understanding of differences experienced at district and sub-district levels of cities.

Registration link


Social Inclusion and Participatory Processes in VLRs and VSRs

July 16: 10:00am-11:30am EDT | 16:00pm-17:30pm CEST | 17:00pm-18:30pm EAT

The session will allow stakeholders that working on VLRs and VSRs to share best practices in community engagement and social inclusion throughout the different stages of the process.

Registration link