The biggest event on in the annual SDG calendar, the High-Level Political Forum is an opportunity for taking stock of progress towards the goals of the United Nation’s (UN) 2030 Agenda, sharing innovations, and identifying priorities. IFLA will for the first time have a delegation made up of librarians from every world region, sharing stories of how libraries deliver development, and engaging with governments. 

This year’s Forum has the theme: accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.

It has a particular importance, coming at the half-way point in the Agenda, with growing alarm about whether the world can achieve its goals. At the same time, there will also be a strong focus on two key opportunities to reset – the SDG Summit in September, and the Summit of the Future in 2024.

IFLA will participate with the following four objectives:

  • To raise awareness among all stakeholders of the potential of libraries to deliver development across the board, both alone and in partnership with others
  • To shape the workstreams of the upcoming Summit of the Future, in particular those focusing on information integrity and the Global Digital Compact in order to recognise and draw on the strengths of libraries
  • To advocate for explicit recognition of culture in the SDG Summit Declaration
  • To build new and strong links within national development authorities that support subsequent library advocacy

For the first time, IFLA will have a delegation with librarian representatives from all six of our regions: Nina Nakaora (Fiji), Muhamad Ikram (Maldives), Athra Al Alawi (Bahrain), Damilare Oyedele (Nigeria), Magdalena Gomulka (Poland), Stuart Hamilton (Ireland), Paula Larrain Larrain (Chile), Christina de Castell (Canada), Julius C Jefferson Jr (United States) and Loida Garcia Febo (United States).

In addition to engaging strongly in sessions organised by the UN and others, we will also organise our own event on the place of libraries in national development strategies on 13 July, and will organise one alongside our Culture2030Goal campaign partners on 12 July, focusing on the role of a culture goal.

The American Library Association is also organising two webinars strongly connected to the goals, focused on Indigenous Agency and Abundance on 11 July, and Libraries and Women’s Empowerment at the Intersection of Development on 18 July.

We look forward to sharing more about the issues on the agenda, and the work of the library team in New York. Many events are also live-streamed, so you can also follow – take a look at the HLPF website for more.