IFLA Poster: This library supports the SDGs. Image: SDG icons

The United Nations has agreed on the theme for the 2020 High Level Political Forum, focusing on accelerating actions to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals with only ten years to go until they should be achieved. IFLA and libraries are ready to engage.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a core part of IFLA’s work, in terms of our engagement both with external organisations, and with the library field. This is an ongoing effort, built on the energy, ideas and engagement of thousands of librarians around the world.

Yet while this work is taking place every day, there are key moments in the calendar which give us a particular opportunity to celebrate it, with the High-Level Political Forum – a week and a half of meetings and debates in New York each July, a high point.

The theme for the 2020 meeting has now been announced – accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development

This will not only shape the discussions in July, but also the five regional sustainable development fora which will take place in February and March:

  • Africa: 24 – 27 February 2020, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Western Asia: 11 – 13 March 2020, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Europe: 19 – 20 March 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Asia-Pacific: 25 – 27 March 2020, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 28 – 31 March 2020, Havana, Cuba

IFLA looks forward to being represented in each of these meetings, and will work with libraries locally in each host country. As set out in our blog, the idea of the Decade of Delivery implies the need for new approaches – libraries can both be part of this approach, and build the capacity in government to take better decisions.

We are also working to increase our engagement with Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). In 2020, 50 countries will present reports on their work to implement the SDGs, and we want to see libraries included in as many as possible.

To do this, we will work with libraries in these countries, and of course encourage libraries elsewhere to continue to engage with their own governments to keep access to information on the agenda.

A full list of countries doing VNRs in 2020, as well as further information, is available in our updated Briefing.

Find out more about what IFLA is doing about libraries and the SDGs, and read the Development and Access to Information Report.