The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is a relatively new UN process which took place for the first time in New York in July 2016, and which was put in place to monitor and assess the global implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Similar to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the HLPF has a yearly theme that explores a selection of SDGs which will be reviewed in more depth during the annual event in New York.
The HLPF is meant to build upon other already existing review and accountability mechanisms like the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The outcome documents of these commissions will to feed into the processes of the HLPF. The relationship between the HLPF and human rights mechanisms, like the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and treaty monitoring bodies, like the Commission on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), is less formal but still very important. For instance, their review processes can also take into account the progress towards certain targets from the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition, The HLPF also has a review mechanism called the Voluntary National Review (VNR), which encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress achieved in implementing the SDGs at the national level, by signing up for this voluntary review process. During the review portion of the HLPF, the states under review are asked to prepare and present a report on their progress in implementing the SDGs, with the aim of facilitating a sharing of experiences and lessons learned. The preparation of the VNR is supposed to be a participatory and inclusive process, and civil society is encouraged to take an active role, for example through engaging in shadow reporting.