Building Back After the Pandemic: Work, Health and Well-being

Building Back After the Pandemic: Work, Health and Well-being

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, launched in 2015, articulates a negotiated international strategy to support environmental and human well-being. The 17 goals and the 169 targets that comprise the agenda are built around three interlinked pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is based on the intensive engagement of Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other local and global actors. It is guided by a spirit of global solidarity and partnership aimed to mobilize the necessary resources to lift the poorest and most vulnerable out of poverty and promote well-being for all.

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the core United Nations platform for following-up and reviewing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The 2021 HLPF will take place in July under the theme: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

The 2021 HLPF will examine progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by taking stock of the setbacks caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic disrupted years of progress in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reversing gains in poverty eradication and in promoting healthcare and education for all. The 2021 HLPF will discuss the various responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and address the international cooperation necessary to minimize and control the effects of the pandemic and promote a transformative and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. It will explore how best to put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, by conducting an in depth review of nine key goals: Goal 1 on no poverty eradication; Goal 2 on zero hunger; Goal 3 on good health and well-being; Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth; Goal 10 on reduced inequalities; Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production; Goal 13 on climate action; Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions; and Goal 17 on partnerships. The Forum will examine these goals not in isolation from each other but will focus on the synergies between goals and within an integrated and interlinked implementation strategy.

 This Virtual Side Event of the HLPF, entitled: “Building Back After the Pandemic: Work, Health and Well-being” will focus on the social development policy aspects related to work, health and well-being. It will discuss post-pandemic recovery by focusing on two critical goals: Goal 3 on good health and well-being; Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. There is no doubt that the pandemic placed unprecedented strain on the healthcare systems, especially in developing countries. Indeed, many countries are struggling with weak health systems, overburdened health facilities, inadequate health infrastructure, and poor access to testing, PPE, vaccines and medications. Preventive social measures such as lockdowns and confinements led to the closing schools, offices, enterprises, restaurants, stores and public entertainment. Many people lost employment and livelihoods and countries experienced drastic reductions in productivity and economic growth. Women and girls have been disproportionately impacted with higher rates of job losses and the increasing burden of unpaid care.  which is disproportionately carried by women. These disruptions continue to exacerbate already existing socio-economic and gender inequalities, and to expose new ones, such as the wide digital divide between developed and developing nations. In 2019, less than 20 percent of people in developing countries had access to the Internet, compared to 87 percent in developed societies.[1] Digital inequalities directly impact the way societies may be able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speakers in this virtual event will consider the impacts of the pandemic on populations in the developing countries and suggest strategies for responding to the effects of the pandemic and ‘build back better’ and more sustainable societies. Based on their areas of expertise, panel members will address health issues in prevention, treatment and access to vaccines and medicines; issues regarding access to decent work and sustainable livelihoods, especially for the youth; transformative social protection issues as they relate to girls and women’s empowerment and equity; as well as youth, climate change and environmental justice

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