Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Statement on the occasion of the informal virtual meeting of
the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its impacts on all people and countries across the globe.

No country can face this crisis alone. Global solidarity and coordination are critical for a robust and resilient short-, medium- and long-term response. We must combat this global crisis together.

The pandemic is fueling economic turmoil on a global scale. We are set to face the deepest recession in generations, as growth will fall significantly below the decade-low growth of 2.3 per cent in 2019.  The shocks to demand and supply, amplified through linkages in trade and finance, are hitting the global economy hard. Forty-four per cent of Least developed and other low income countries already face or are at risk of debt distress – a number that is set to rise in response to the adverse effects of the pandemic.

The 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report of the Inter-agency Taskforce on Financing for Development (FSDR ), which was released this month, highlights both immediate and long-term actions to respond to the COVID19 crisis. The FSDR calls for a globally coordinated stimulus package including increased concessional finance, actions to prevent a debt crisis, immediate actions to stabilize financial markets, partnering with the private sector, building back better for sustainable development, and making good use of digital technologies for sustainable development.

The pandemic will have a profound impact on our ability to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The impacts will be felt across all SDGs and the seven action areas of the Addis Agenda.

The most vulnerable countries and people will be disproportionally hit. We must support countries in gaining the policy space to advance adequate response and recovery efforts. The 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report calls for urgent action to support countries most in need, including by relieving debt. We must ensure that no one is left behind.

To recover from the crisis, we need to advance bold financial measures at the national, and especially regional and global levels. Our actions must be well aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to ensure that we recover better, in a sustainable and resilient way.

All relevant stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, need to mobilize around the 2030 Agenda as a framework for action.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda can act as our roadmap to build a more resilient economy for a post-COVID world.

We must – with common resolve – advance all policy options at our disposal to kickstart the economy, ensure a resilient recovery and leave no one behind.

Through coordination and joint actions we can ensure that our combined efforts will be larger than the sum of their parts.

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