Influence, connection and recognition: WaterAid at the 2018 UN High Level Political Forum


The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the primary platform for gauging governments’ progress towards the 2030 Agenda (ending extreme poverty) and therefore the most meaningful accountability space surrounding the Sustainable Development Goals.

HLPF 2018's focus on SDG 6 (water and sanitation for all) offered an especially relevant locus of activity through which to galvanize urgent action on the global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) crisis, and to convey WaterAid’s messaging on reaching everyone, everywhere with these essential services by 2030.

Our delegation comprised policy, advocacy and media colleagues from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, who spoke at and/or co-organised 19 public events or sessions between 9 and 18 July. 

During the HLPF meeting we also organised five high-profile side events; spoke at and/or co-organised 19 public events or sessions; gave ten media interviews; held four bilateral meetings with governments; led three civil society advocacy caucus sessions; hosted a dynamic photo exhibition (pictured above); and led an engaging solidarity walk for water (shown below).

HLPF Walk for Water
WaterAid staff and volunteers lead a 'Walk for Water' in New York City to highlight the millions of people who still have to walk to collect water from unsafe sources every day.
Image: WaterAid/Drew Gurian

We are determined, as a civil society organisation, to hold governments to account on their promises to end extreme poverty and ensure access to water and sanitation for everyone, everywhere.

Our coordinated, cross-regional effort at the 2018 meeting of the HLPF marks a shift in our approach to engaging with high-level leaders and institutions on the SDGs, and it is an approach we plan to build on during the countdown to 2030. Our summary report details the successes of our time at the UN, as well as our hopes for occupying this space in the future. Download the summary >

If you were at HLPF, or followed our journey while we were there, and would like to feedback on our activities please email [email protected].

For more on accountability to the SDGs and what we learned at the 2018 HLPF, read our blog >

To explore what we're doing at the July 2019 HLPF meeting, visit our hub page >