In case you missed it Vol 24, No. 10 - October 2020

SDGs can fill the deep divides exposed by the pandemic, UN DESA chief says

A devastating global pandemic, inequalities, hunger, poverty and a burning climate emergency. As the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, it must contend with an unprecedented onslaught of crises of global magnitude. Luckily, the world has a blueprint and tools to fight these crises and recover better. If we let the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guide our response, the world will rise stronger.

The ravages of COVID-19 are extensive, but the pandemic has also laid bare the underlying conditions, which have been plaguing our societies for decades. In this trying time, UN DESA head Liu Zhenmin appeared at the virtual SDG Action Zone, on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly, to share a message of hope.

“The SDGs can help fill the deep social and economic fissures that the current pandemic has laid bare,” he said in a video statement today. “They can guide us to a greener and more sustainable recovery path. They will not only help us overcome the devastating impacts of the pandemic – but build a stronger foundation for multilateralism and international cooperation, to address future crises.”

Mr. Liu went on to outline how UN DESA is supporting the international community to overcome the crises and to recover better.

“Our experts have been working round the clock to help the world navigate the tough policy choices ahead, including: making stimulus packages inclusive; preventing a global debt crisis; supporting countries in special situations and protecting the most vulnerable; and strengthening the role of science and technology,” he said in his message.

The UN DESA chief stressed that putting down the multiple fires spreading across the world will be ineffective, if our recovery efforts do not contribute to a more sustainable, resilient and just world. The Decade of Action for Sustainable Development can bring about such a change. UN DESA is helping countries to deliver on the Decade’s promise in five key areas:

1. Promoting equality and inclusive growth,
2. Supporting evidence-based decision making through high-quality data and statistics,
3. Strengthening the science-policy interface,
4. Working at the synergies of climate action and SDG achievement, and
5. Supporting countries to incorporate demographic trends into development policy and planning.

The SDG Action Zone will continue over the course of three days during the UN General Assembly, convening leading thinkers, actors, creators, and activists in frank debate, challenging discussions, inspiring showcases and creative experiences to drive the exponential change on three core areas for accelerating action on the Goals: People, Planet and Partnerships.

For more information: SDG Action Zone

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