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“COVID-19 affects each of the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2020 was held from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, during which UN member states submit their voluntary assessment reports on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. This included the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 14 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. On July 10  Armenia presents the second National Voluntary Assessment Report on the Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The theme was “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development “.


In the 2020 HLPF, participants debated where we stand on the SDGs in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They reflected on how the international community can respond to the pandemic in a way that puts us back on track to achieve the SDGs and accelerate progress during the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.


47 countries carried out voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the 2020 HLPF from Friday, 10 July to Thursday, 16 July 2020.


In his speech at the conference, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting each of the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.


The global crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 is said to have had a major impact on a number of targets, including health systems flooded with patients, businesses closed, 1.6 billion students unable to go to school, and the poor and vulnerable bearing the brunt of the epidemic, tens of millions of people are expected to succumb to extreme hunger and poverty. It is projected that by 2020, up to 49 million people will be trapped in poverty.


Speaking about the elimination of inequality, the UN Secretary General stressed the need to make economies more stable and fair. It is presented as a key strategy for reducing global poverty.


The next topic of Guterres’ report is the reduction of carbon dioxide, it was noted that progress in that direction has slowed down in recent years. The Secretary-General stressed that ambitious and urgent action in this area is the only viable way to curb climate change, protect people, livelihoods and ecosystems. Such actions would have a net economic effect, saving the world economy tens of trillions of dollars.


The head of the organization stressed the need for international cooperation and tolerance after the crisis, which will enable a comprehensive and agreed response to the challenges, reduce the risk of future crises and bring the world closer to the agenda of sustainable development goals.

Real needs assessment and addressing for post-epidemic recovery


“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a serious backlash to the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030,” said Saad Alfaraji, a UN independent human rights expert, during the second working day of the forum.


He called on the participants of the high-level meeting to take agreed steps and measures to fulfill the promise that no one should be ignored. He noted that policies and programs often fail to assess people’s needs and address them.


“If the efforts to achieve the goals are not based on these needs, they cannot succeed,” the speaker said in his speech.


The UN legal expert claims that even today many women, such as members of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, displaced and poor, are “marginalized, powerless, excluded.”


“As long as we do not address the existing inequalities, exceptions, and racial discrimination that these communities face, local inclusive development will remain unrealistic for all,” he said.


The right to development gives every creature, all peoples the right to participate, to contribute, as well as to enjoy economic, social, cultural and political developments.


It is noted that achieving sustainable development requires a comprehensive process with the participation of all stakeholders, from states, international organizations, civil society to marginalized groups in society.


He noted that the priorities should be set by the people who should benefit, that is, “communities should set development agendas, budgets and processes.”


“That is why it is necessary to remove the visible and invisible barriers, which hinder the participation of the community. Such barriers can be considered as lack of legal identity, high financial costs, social restrictions. “The removal of the barriers will lead to the development of all societies,” Saad Alfaraji concluded.


Source Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform


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