He personally opened the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) “on a note characterized by high hopes and optimism”, arguing that “we can and will overcome our problems”.
Optimistic, “against all odds”
A senior UN official outlined five reasons for his optimism “against all odds,” starting with success in controlling COVID-19 pandemic in many countries.
Recognizing its detrimental impact on society, people and the global development agenda, he said the pandemic is also “served as a wake up call, exposing many aspects of our society that were wrong“.
Thus, he provided an opportunity to “correct our way of life…[and] fix the resilience of our socioeconomic and health systems.”
Despite rising inflation, severe supply chain disruptions, policy uncertainty and unsustainable debt in developing countries, all of which have slowed the global economy, Mr Kelapile cited the latest forecast in World economic situation and prospects for global growth of 3.1 percent.
“A large number of countries are institutionalizing the social protection measures they introduced during the pandemic… and [many] organizations are turning to a green economy.”
On a right way
Although countries have not reached the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of their population against the virus by mid-year,COVACS, COVID-19 Technology Access Pool and mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Center can help us move forward,” he said as a third reason for hope.
In addition to the potential they bring for global immunization, protecting health systems and reducing the risk of new options, the senior UN official noted a number of existing economic, financial and social solutions that are being implemented, including an increase in the International Monetary Fund. (IMF) Special Drawing Rights.
“We know the problems and the solutions. What we need is determination, courage, trust and solidarity to implement the decisions,” the head of state said. ECOSOC main.
Reasons for hope
He drew attention to the participants of the Forum, who had gathered with the common goal of “reaffirming our commitment to Agenda 2030… [and] agree on ways to fulfill the promise we made in SDG Summit 2019Accelerate action to implement the SDGs in A decade of action and delivery“.
“And fifth, because of all this, I believe we are ready for a successful 2022 HLPF…[that] offers actionable solutions… that strengthen global solidarity, deepen our understanding of our shared challenges, allow us to learn from each other, broaden our common ground, and strengthen our resolve to act together and support each other.”
In conclusion, the ECOSOC Chairman invited the Forum to “deep into discussions with an open heart and mind.”
Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed recalled that the Voluntary National Review (VNR)Hungary) presentations – process by which countries measure and present progress made towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, is now in its seventh year.
“The 44 countries submitting this year bring the total to 187, which means we have achieved almost universal reporting,” she said, praising all the participating States.
The Deputy Head of the United Nations noted that “and bright illustration of failurescaused by the pandemic, conflicts and the triple environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, which have affected education, health care, gender equality and the economy.
However, she said they are also “inspiring hope” – drawing attention to cash transfer programs, debt moratoriums for businesses, national sustainability plans and government stimulus packages that have brought “critical relief”.
“They testify to the unwavering commitment of countries towards sustainable development in the face of ongoing and new crises,” said Ms Mohammed.
Even though the deadline for the 2030 Agenda is halfway there, we do not live in the “halfway world” that we envisioned in 2015.she continued.
She explained that a transition to renewable energy, food systems and digital connectivity, along with “investing in human capital, funding opportunities” is needed to turn multiple crises into opportunities.
The SDG Moment during the General Assembly this September will provide an opportunity to focus on this profound transformation and the work needed to get us back on track. It will also be an important milestone on the way to SDG Summit 2023” she stated.
Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), introduced SDG Progress Report along with another focus on long-term future trends and scenarioswhich analyzes the latest technological and policy trends as they affect the SDGs.
He pointed out that between 75 million and 95 million additional people will fall into extreme poverty in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
” the urgent need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation cannot be overemphasized“, – said the head of DESA.
“We must remain committed to the path to people- and planet-centered prosperity that we set out in the 2030 Agenda. This can only happen if we all work together.”
UN voices in the lead
In her speech, Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) drew attention to how sexual and reproductive health and rights accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
“The right to sexual and reproductive health – the right to make decisions about one’s body and future – key to gender equality” she commented.
Meanwhile, Qu Dongyu, CEO of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed the need to increase the resilience of agricultural and food systems to prevent an acceleration in global food insecurity.
“We are at serious risk of food access crisis now and likely food access crisis for next season,” he warned, jeopardizing efforts to achieve global goals.
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