While the world has been preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-existing challenges such as rampant inequalities, discrimination and social exclusion have only been exacerbated, and the ongoing climate breakdown continues apace. The COVID-19 economic and health crisis was not a break in the system, it was the product of a deeply unjust system. Thus, we want to take the opportunity of this year’s HLPF to shine a light on short-term as well as longterm challenges ahead of us, and the need for alternative visions for change on the scale we need.
There is broad agreement from governments, institutions and other stakeholders that the coronavirus pandemic has taught the important lesson that ‘there can be no going back to business as usual’. However, in practice transformative actions (particularly in the realm of international cooperation and solidarity) have been thin on the ground. It is undeniable that the COVID-19-pandemic impacts the 2030 agenda and the specific goals being discussed this year. Debt crisis, climate crisis, glaring inequities in human development and planetary imbalances – these issues need to be considered in any reaction to the current situation, and in the longer-term. So what could a just, human rights-aligned and transformative recovery look like? How can we revitalize international cooperation and solidarity to make it meaningful? What principles, actions and incentives can guide us towards the systemic change we need?
The proposed side event provides a space for critical conversations on the manifold challenges to realizing the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda while meeting the objectives of averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis and moving towards a just and transformative post-pandemic future.