With a focus on the 2023 High Level Political Forum, IFLA has developed a range of materials that, we hope, will not only offer useful insights to colleagues around the world, but also tools that can help you in your advocacy.

First of all, we are very happy to release the latest edition of our annual analysis of the place of libraries in Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This highlights the very good news that 2023 is a record year for references to libraries in these reports – for the first time, more than half of reports released do so. It also underlines the wide range of ways in which libraries contribute to sustainable development, as recognised by governments, and which can serve as an examples for others.

We look forward, shortly, to sharing an analysis of the place of culture in general in the 2023 Voluntary National Reviews. This will highlight how far governments are already drawing on culture to help achieve the 2030 Agenda, as well as how feasible an explicit culture goal would be. Watch this space for more!

Secondly, read about the perspectives and goals of our team at the 2023 High-Level Political Forum in New York. In response to the questions we asked, they shared more about their experience of working with the SDGs, their message to the wider development community, and their hopes for their participation.

Another aspect of our work has been to demonstrate how meaningfully the library field – and in particular – library associations have integrated the SDGs into their work. Associations have an essential role in bringing people together, both to support professional development and make it possible to advocate effectively.

The results of our recent survey made clear that associations have indeed answered the call of the UN. Importantly, it is not just a case of awareness, but also of working with and through the SDGs in strategy planning and advocacy. This is a great story to tell to the UN any any other stakeholders invested in making a success of the 2030 Agenda.

Looking ahead, there will be strong focus in the coming year on preparation for the Summit of the Future – a major meeting planned for September 2024 which will agree a Pact for the Future aimed to improve ‘how’ the United Nations can deliver on its goals. Work is already underway around this, with eleven initiatives covering a wide range of issues.

Of these, the proposed Global Digital Compact and Code of Conduct on Information Integrity are particularly relevant for libraries, but there are opportunities to create space for library contributions across all of the areas which have already been the subject of policy briefs. We have also developed and shared an infographic highlighting ten different roles of libraries that contribute to this work.

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