In the last of our series, find out what IFLA’s representatives at the 2023 High Level Political Forum are looking to achieve, for libraries and their users, nationally and globally.

The High-Level Political Forum offers a unique opportunity for learning, sharing, and building up contacts that can enable the achievement of adovcacy goals. There is much easier access to decision-makers, as well as unexpected opportunities to make new connections.

We therefore asked the IFLA delegates to the High-Level Political Forum, whose participation in the Forum was made possible by a grant from Stichting IFLA Global Libraries, to share what they are hoping to achieve in New York:

Athra Al Alawi (Bahrain): I want to show libraries’ role and contributions towards the SDGs. I strongly believe that libraries should be included in the national SDG agenda to reach the UN goals. Therefore, I will work to promote libraries’ role and contributions in achieving the SDGs.

Christina de Castell (Canada): Libraries are governed in Canada at a provincial and local level, not nationally. We have an opportunity through the HLPF to raise the Canadian government’s awareness of the important role that libraries can have in supporting development and Canada’s priorities with the SDGs. I’m looking forward to the HLPF as a way to further the conversation about how libraries support our national priorities, as well as demonstrating how long term investment in public libraries, like those in Canada, helps any country to support its residents’ learning and wellbeing.

Damilare Oyedele (Nigeria): Through my engagement at the HLPF, I hope to further participate and contribute in the global discussion to reiterate and share the impact libraries are making and their contribution to the SDGs, more importantly, building a more robust collaboration and support for libraries in African countries. The message is clear, LeaveNoLibraryBehind.

Loida Garcia Febo (United States): At this year’s HLPF, I am aiming to meet with USA representatives to, through stories from libraries in the country, amplify the value of libraries and their role in helping communities, supporting tenants for democratic and equitable societies, and contributing to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere, as the SDGs declared. I also look forward to connect with colleagues working with the SDGs in different regions of the world to exchange ideas and learn from each other. The library team is the best team!

Magda Gomulka (Poland): The upcoming HLPF will be a good opportunity to explain to representatives the possibilities of libraries as important partners in achieving mutual strategies.

Nina Nakaora (Fiji): Advocate for libraries, meet like minded people and understand the United Nations mechanisms.

Paula Larrain Larrain (Chile): First of all, I want to thank IFLA for this invitation to be part of the UN High-Level Political Forum. I look hope to participate fully in this as a space for reflection, discussion, and exchange of experiences, which highlights the profound work that public libraries around the world carry out for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Stuart Hamilton (Ireland):  I’m hoping that I can draw attention the Irish VNR, which has an entire chapter on libraries and the SDGs for the first time. I’d like to raise awareness of this and encourage other librarians to get something similar in their VNR and policymakers to be open to the idea. I want UN delegates to hear about the wonderful things libraries in Ireland are doing on the SDGs.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. IFLA’s engagement at HLPF is made possible through a grant from Stichting IFLA Global Libraries.