World Leaders Gather at the United Nations to Aid Pandemic Recovery Efforts

The hybrid (online and in-person) conference will focus on the lessons, successes, flaws, and plans that have emerged from the unprecedented health crisis, and will advocate for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the best way to build more inclusive, resilient, and healthier societies. 

This year, 43 nations will share initiatives they have made to enhance people’s living standards despite the pandemic’s impact; since the first Forum in 2016, 168 countries have presented their progress on the SDGs. 

For example, in the field of climate action, Antigua and Barbuda are executing a $1.3 million project to strengthen civil society access to climate finance. Climate change policies in Norway have resulted in overall greenhouse gas emissions falling to their lowest level since 1993, as has Angola’s choice to pursue policies targeted at reducing the country’s reliance on oil. 

Many countries’ responses to the pandemic have included investing in their residents, improving social protection systems, and expanding labor markets to assist the most vulnerable. Egypt’s “Decent Life” scheme aims to improve the lives of millions of poor people in rural areas; Denmark’s “Children First” project was launched to ensure better conditions for equal opportunities in childhood; and Cyprus approved a 2.6 billion euro support package for employees, self-employed people, vulnerable groups, and businesses. 

Despite these positive measures, ECOSOC cautions that the epidemic has wiped out years of progress on several SDGs, and delegates will identify areas that require further attention as well as policies that will have the greatest impact on reaching the Goals. 

Prior to the pandemic, development had already been deemed unsatisfactory, with widespread disparities, hunger, climate change, a lack of access to education, rising unemployment, and extreme poverty. 

It is intended that by identifying these persisting concerns, countries would be able to build a people-centered recovery path that is supported by economic change, digital transformation, vaccination fairness, and climate action. 

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