28 September 2021

Deputy Secretary-General, at First Global Parliamentary Meeting for Sustainable Development, Praises Government Action to Protect Public Health amid COVID-19

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the First Global Parliamentary Meeting on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):  “Turning the challenges of the COVID‑19 pandemic into opportunities for parliaments to achieve the SDGs”, today:

I would like to thank the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia and the Inter‑Parliamentary Union for organizing this timely meeting.

Parliaments have essential roles in advancing the sustainable development agenda and ensuring that Member States can achieve its goals.  Recovery efforts represent an opportunity to shape policies to address the structural vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, inequality, public health disparities and institutional weaknesses.

Excellencies, COVID‑19 has been a tragic illustration of the vital importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a holistic vision for just, prosperous and healthy societies.  In its comprehensive approach to issues such as poverty, inequality, education, gender disparities and the environment – beyond the health commitments included in SDG 3 – the 2030 Agenda is critical in helping Member States build a resilient response, and more sustainable, peaceful and accountable societies.

In 2015, the Inter‑Parliamentary Union Assembly pledged to turn words into action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  Since then, you have worked hard to deliver on that commitment.  The Inter‑Parliamentary Union and parliamentarians have regularly contributed to the work of the United Nations High‑level Political Forum, to help keep up the momentum for SDG action.

At the national level, you have aligned institutional strategies with the 2030 Agenda, established formal mechanisms for oversight and assessment and adopted legislation that helps deliver implementation.

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the international community collectively faced the convergence of health, economic and social crises, parliaments rose to the challenge.  You helped oversee the actions of Governments to manage and respond to this unprecedented crisis, enacted appropriate legislation, adopted budgets to fight the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable and ensured that Governments are accountable to their public.

As the pandemic still rages, parliaments must continue to play this role.  I urge you to double your efforts towards facilitating the just transitions that are needed to achieve the SDGs.  This means avoiding a return to austerity, promoting caring and inclusive societies, decarbonizing economies and transitioning towards sustainable energy.  We need green and blue economies that create jobs, especially for women and young people.

I count on the continued engagement of parliaments in this joint endeavour towards more inclusive, fair and sustainable societies.  I wish you a successful meeting.

For information media. Not an official record.