22 July 2020

No Country Will Truly Progress while Leaving People Behind, Stresses Deputy Secretary-General, in Message for Essay Compilation Launch

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s video message for the launch of “Recovering Better:  Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities”, an essay compilation of the United Nations High‑Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs, in New York today:

I am pleased to be a part of the launch of the “Recovering Better:  Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities”, a timely compilation of essays issued by the United Nations High-Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs.  Over the course of the past two years, the 16 members of the Board have discussed many pressing issues, but the COVID-19 pandemic is our greatest challenge yet.

Earlier this month, the UN’s annual stocktaking report on the Sustainable Development Goals showed that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are being hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic.  As many as 100 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty in 2020 — the first rise in global poverty since 1998.

We need all hands on deck if we are to rebuild our economies sustainably and inclusively.  The policy ideas in this report point the way.  The authors call for better international tax cooperation and more equitable access to digital technologies.  They advocate for sustainable management of natural resources, as well as value-added approaches to commodities trade.

These suggested approaches echo the Secretary-General in his call for shared responsibility and global solidarity in responding to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.  The 2030 Agenda remains our agreed framework for recovering in ways that accelerate progress on climate change, poverty and gender inequality while also addressing the inequalities and fragilities that have been exposed or exacerbated by the pandemic.

I thank the members of the Board for this research, and for the contributions from ECLAC [Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean] and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  Remember, we are in this together.  No one will ever be truly safe until everyone is safe.  No country will truly move forward if we leave people behind.  To recover better together, we must all do more.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.