The 2021 ECOSOC Integration Segment held on 2 July discussed policy recommendations from ECOSOC subsidiary bodies and the UN system on sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery and effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda to prepare the thematic review of HLPF 2021.
A pandemic that turned into a socio-economic crisis
The unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and further exacerbated multidimensional inequalities across the world, threatening the global progress of achieving the SDGs. Its socio-economic impacts are estimated to be four times worse than the 2008 financial crisis, causing the most devastating global economic recession, putting workers at risk of destroyed livelihoods and pushing millions into extreme poverty. While these impacts are significant to a global extent, most are disproportionately affecting people in developing countries, and those in vulnerable groups such as women and girls, young workers, migrants and refugees, etc. To properly address the socio-economic crisis and attain a sustainable recovery, integrated and transformative policy responses with sustainability criteria at core are needed.
A sustainable and resilient recovery: Paving for the achievement of SDGs
To address SDG16: peace and justice for all and effective institutions in the COVID-19 responses, strengthening institutions, governance and the rule of law is crucial. Governments should ensure a transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory process of decision-making, with full participation of stakeholders including vulnerable and marginalized groups at all stages. In addition, governments should also adopt progressive taxation to redirect fiscal resources to the most vulnerable, such as providing adequate liquidity assistance and debt relief programs. In response to the worsening crime rate and social instability under COVID-19, governments’ efforts in crime prevention, offender rehabilitation and integration, and corruption counteraction are utterly essential to a harmonized and inclusive society.
To promote sustainable and just economies, policy responses should focus on achieving SDG8: decent work and economic growth; SDG10: reduced inequalities; and SDG12: responsible consumption and production. These include market prioritization on clean and efficient energy, electric and hybrid transport, smart agriculture and green infrastructure. Comprehensive support on economic transformation and productive capacity enhancement for developing countries should also be provided through equitable access to finance and education on science, technology and innovation.
Recovery policies focusing on strengthening human well-being and capabilities should be centered around SDG1: no poverty; SDG2: zero hunger; and SDG3: good health and well-being. The development of human-centered policies and science-based solutions, in particular, is imperative to effectively relieve poverty, food insecurity and impacts of climate change in developing countries. Digital connectivity and reliable data are thus required to accelerate the innovation and decision-making process. On the other hand, the implementation of universal health coverage and free COVID-19 vaccination for all should also be executed urgently to ensure equitable access to human rights services.
Although the pandemic has exposed our existing vulnerabilities and reversed the progress of achieving the SDGs, it is certain that with multilateralism at heart of policy responses, there is hope for a sustainable recovery and the achievement of the SDGs.
Meeting Title: 2021 ECOSOC Integration Segment
Date/Location: Friday, 2 July 2021; 09:00-11:00 and 12:00-14:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United
Nations, Vice-President of ECOSOC;
Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations;
Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
Mr. Alessandro Cortese, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Vienna
and Chair of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) at its 30th session;
H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations in New York and Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at its 65th session;
Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and many more
Written by: WIT Representative Iris Sit