COVID-19 cannot defeat the 2030 Agenda
“We have a responsibility to respond to the anxieties, fears and hopes of the people we serve,” stressed United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, as the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the High-level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) drew to a close on 17 July.
Member States asserted that support for the bold 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development needs to be strengthened in light of current global challenges and the COVID-19 crisis.
Participants highlighted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be the guidepost to “build back better”. “The 2030 Agenda remains our shared roadmap to achieve the future we want. And, to recover better”, said ECOSOC President, Mona Juul.
“As we move forward, let us think critically and creatively about the actions we can take to make positive changes in the world”, stressed Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu Zhenmin.
The more than one thousand registered participants reaffirmed the importance of working together in response to the impacts of the pandemic through inclusive and effective multilateralism.
In the two months leading up to the 2020 High-level Political Forum, submissions to the SDG Acceleration Actions increased by 35 per cent. This resulted in a total of 200 bold commitments to advance the goals.
47 countries, including 26 first-timers, presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), sharing their national experiences including successes, challenges and lessons learnt in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Since the first meeting in 2016, approximately 158 VNRs have been presented at the annual HLPF.
During the two-week virtual gathering, the HLPF brought together 137 High-level Officials of Governments, including 134 speakers who participated in the various panels. In addition, nine special eventsprovided platforms for different communities to engage around the 2030 Agenda, attracting over 6,000 participants across 10 virtual exhibitions, 194 side-events and 17 Voluntary National Review Labs. The SDG Media Zone brought together influencers, experts on the SDGs and eminent personalities to further amplify the topics discussed at the HLPF.
Despite the virtual nature of the HLPF and ECOSOC High-level Segment this year, the meetings and events connected and inspired many participants: “This is the moment for the international community to heed the current wake-up call and move ahead with a collective response in unity and solidarity,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
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