The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today urged governments to ensure that recovery plans promote progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and aid in the resolution of the climate problem.
The remarks were given at a High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held by ESCAP with the support of Fiji, Pakistan, and the Philippines (HLPF). Government, commercial sector, and civil society experts shared their thoughts on the problems and opportunities that the pandemic recovery process presents.
The four-point recovery agenda provided in the theme study for the 77th session of the Commission, Beyond the Pandemic: Building Better Recovery from Crisis in Asia and the Pacific, guided the debates. Countries were urged to focus on increasing social protection, investing in long-term recovery, strengthening connectivity and supply chains, and mending the damaged relationship with nature, according to the agenda.
The Hon. Mereseini Rakuita Vuniwaqa, Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, spoke at the ceremony and underlined the significance of strengthening social protection institutions.
“COVID-19 has provided us with a unique opportunity to make our social protection systems more resilient and adaptable to the impact of crises of a magnitude we have never seen before,’ she said. “In building back better, the proposal to widen social protection by spending 2 to 6 percent of GDP is a step in the right direction. If we are to leave no one behind, major investment in social protection is a must, particularly in a world where COVID-19 has amplified and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities in society .”
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the UN’s key venue for monitoring and reviewing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was approved in 2015. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic heavily influencing this year’s Forum topic, discussions focused on how to create a sustainable and resilient recovery that also puts countries on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda.