UN DESA entered 2020 with a concrete plan of action, placing it on firm footing to respond quickly to the needs of Member States, when the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly upended our daily lives. “In responding to this emergency, the Department immediately pivoted our intellectual resources toward understanding and projecting the real and potential socioeconomic fallout of the pandemic and identifying policy recommendations and concrete actions for Member States to consider,” stated Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin in the newly released UN DESA Highlights 2019-2020 report.
The report presents an overview of the support UN DESA has continued to provide to Member States to advance sustainable development, even amidst a global pandemic.
Covering the period of the 74th session of the General Assembly (September 2019-August 2020) the volume showcases UN DESA’s broad expertise across many areas critical to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and demonstrates the Department’s well-structured and integrated work towards sustainable development for all.
As the secretariat to the High-level Political Forum for sustainable development, and as a docking station for financing for sustainable development, UN DESA began the 74th session of the General Assembly by providing critical support to the outcomes of the SDG Summit, High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development and the High-level Midterm review of Implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.
“Our increased focus, in UN DESA publications, on identifying and forecasting the trajectory of persistent and emerging social, economic, demographic, political and environmental megatrends, and on tracking and forecasting their impact on sustainable development, proved a valuable asset as the United Nations sought to shape the multilateral response to the social and economic impacts of intersecting crises,” said Mr. Liu.
“Working with stakeholders across the international community, we will continue to push forward evidence-based policies and build the capacities […] for moving the world towards sustainable development for all.”
UN DESA has come through the period of the 74th General Assembly seeing its impact and relevance grow across the international development sphere. With the 75th session of the General Assembly now underway, UN DESA will build on these achievements to help the world recover better and forge ahead in the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Access the UN DESA Highlights 2019-2020 report here.
Photo: UN DESA Forest Photo Contest/Riccardo Gangale