Launching the decade of action at a time of crisis: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
9:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)
The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a profound effect on progress towards the sustainable development goals. COVID-19 is not only a threat to our health, but a human crisis of multiple dimensions. It might push tens of millions of people back into extreme poverty and hunger and is impacting the livelihoods of half of the global workforce due to unemployment or underemployment. This is happening at a time when we were still not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and we were launching a decade of action to accelerate progress.
The poorest and the most vulnerable people are most affected by the pandemic, including women and girls, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants and refugees, persons in situation of conflict, informal sector workers and other groups. Countries in special situations, including African countries, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states, may be significantly affected in the long term due to their fragile health systems, limited financial and other resources, vulnerability to external shock, and dependence on international trade. Many middle-income countries are also vulnerable and require financial and other support and cooperation to cope with the pandemic and its impacts.
It is vital that, while responding to the crisis and addressing its impacts, countries keep the SDGs and climate commitments in focus so as to hold on to the gains made thus far, and in the recovery, to make investments that propel us toward a more inclusive, sustainable, just and resilient future. A gender sensitive recovery is of utmost importance.
Particular efforts are needed to accelerate progress towards the target scheduled to be achieved by 2020. The HLPF may also give directions on the kind of action to be taken with regard to those targets. Many of the transformations needed to realize the 2030 are possible, yet require strong institutions and integrated, evidence- and data-based policies. Also critical are international and national cooperation, dialogue among countries, multiple stakeholders and regions. At the geopolitical level, the crisis calls for leadership, global solidarity, transparency, trust and multilateral cooperation.
Proposed guiding questions:
- Where do we stand in terms of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs at the time of COVID-19 and how can we protect advances made thus far on the SDGs?
- How can the responses to the impacts of COVID-19 accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs?
- What are the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis that can help increase country resilience and embark on risk-informed sustainable, resilient development pathways?
- What are ways to ensure that actions do not leave anyone behind?
- How can we help countries to strengthen statistical capacities, improve the quantity and quality of disaggregated data and support evidence-based swift decision-making?
- H.E. Ms. Mona Juul, President of Economic and Social Council
- H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan, Vice President of Economic and Social Council, on messages from the Integration Segment of ECOSOC
- Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on the progress towards SDGs
- H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation
- H.E. Mr. Victor Harison, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission
Part 1: 9:35 AM – 10:50 AM: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19: progress on SDGs, regional dimensions and countries at different levels of development including middle-income countries
- Mr. Manish Bapna, Vice President and Managing Executive Director, World Resources Institute
- Mr. Jaouad Mahjour,WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness
- Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, and Coordinator of Regional Commissions
- Ms. Mariana Mazzucato,Founder and Director, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London, and Member of the Committee on Development Policy (CDP)
- Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of City of Al Hoceima, Morocco (Local Authorities Major Group)
Followed by interactive discussion
- H.E. Ms. Pilar Garrido, Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy, Costa Rica
- H.E. Ms. Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment, Netherlands
- Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
Part 2: 10:50 AM – 12:00 PM Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19: 2020 targets, data, institutions for integrated policy making
- Ms. Claire Melamed, Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
- Ms. Ariunzaya Ayush, Co-chair of the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB), Chairperson of National Statistical Office of Mongolia
- Ms. Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-Moleketi, Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), former Minister for the Public Service and Administration of South Africa , and former member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress
- Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF
- Mr. Jack Dangermond, President and founder, ESRI (Geographic Information Systems and location intelligence)
- Ms. Maria Isabel Leon Klenke, President, PERU Employers Federation, Peru (Business & Industry Major Group)
Followed by interactive discussion
- H.E. Ms. Hala Al Said, Minister of Planning, Egypt
- H.E. Mr. Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation, Germany
- Ms. Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP