The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our society’s resilience. The sheer magnitude of the crisis was, in most cases, beyond our society’s capacity to cope. Along with tragic losses of human life, the economic and social impacts of the pandemic could last for an extended period, decades in some countries. Resilience is critical to softening the impacts of such shocks on individuals, households, communities and countries, including the poorest and most vulnerable. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have witnessed various policy and societal responses to the crisis. We have seen multiple dimensions of the resilience of people and societies.
The recovery should be used to increase resilience. It should trigger and accelerate the transition towards a more prosperous and more inclusive world; where economic security and people’s well-being are ensured, where no one is left behind, where sustainable development can proceed based on sustainable infrastructure and a world better equipped to deal with environmental crises, including climate change and biodiversity loss. This session will focus on two important dimensions of the reforms we need, namely the reform of our social protection systems and the mobilization of investment in sustainable infrastructure, including social infrastructure, which is a critical way to support the transformations we need.
The reforms, policies and investments we implement today to restructure and strengthen our social protection systems will impact on our economic, social, and environmental trajectories for the years to come and build resilience for future generations, So the emergency social measures implemented to contain the social impacts of COVID-19 should be maintained and evolve into efforts to achieve universal social protection throughout the life cycle, including for the poorest and most vulnerable.
Sustainable infrastructure has multiple benefits for social development and people’s well-being as well as for economic development. Infrastructure investments are catalysts for the economic recovery from the pandemic and for job creation, thus reducing economic insecurity. Sustainable infrastructure can also increase productive capacity, propel climate action and expand biodiversity protection, while strengthening resilience to withstand risks and shocks. Many developing countries however lack adequate health and education infrastructure as well as hard infrastructure in transport, water, sanitation, energy, ICT, roads and urban systems. Investment in sustainable infrastructure thus need urgent attention in the global strategy for recovering from COVID-19. The vast majority of developing countries do not have the public resources to finance infrastructure investments, nor the capacity to borrow at the low interest rates available to the advanced economies. They will have to find ways to mobilize expanded external financing, including private finance. The international community's resolve to achieve the SDGs requires new efforts and the improvement of mechanisms to mobilize resources for supporting investment in sustainable infrastructure, including social infrastructure, in all countries, especially developing countries. Strategies to mobilize sustainable infrastructure investment aligned with the guideposts provided by the SDGs, will be instrumental to realize the 2030 Agenda to support socio-economic development and build resilience.Proposed guiding questions:
Interactive panel discussionModerator: