UN chief says race to reach SDGs ‘can and must’ be turned around 

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The COVID pandemic has taken 4 cardinal lives, devastated the planetary economy, pushed a further 124 cardinal radical into utmost poverty and continues to inflict profound suffering – dramatically impacting progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN main said connected Tuesday at a key planetary forum. 

“Nearly 1 idiosyncratic successful 3 astir the satellite could not entree capable nutrient successful 2020 – an summation of astir 320 cardinal radical successful 1 year”, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Opening of the Ministerial Segment of the High-Level Political Forum connected Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN’s core review platform of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs. 

Devastating repercussions 

He painted a grim representation of an estimated 4.6 per cent drop in the planetary GDP during past year; the equivalent of 255 cardinal full-time jobs mislaid successful moving hours.  

He said two-in-three students were still affected by schoolhouse closures – with many, peculiarly girls, who may ne'er return, contributing to a surge successful kid matrimony and increased child labour.   

“Violence against women has risen to shocking levels, with reports doubling and tripling successful immoderate places”, he added, while pointing to the added load of unpaid home and attraction work that is “squeezing women retired of the labour force”.  

Climate, inequality 

Meanwhile, the clime situation and increasing inequality, person go adjacent much dangerous as c dioxide concentrations have soared to the highest level in three million years, some “148 per cent supra pre-industrial levels”, said Mr. Guterres. 

Biodiversity is declining astatine an “unprecedented and alarming rate”, with one cardinal taxon risking extinction and 10 cardinal hectares of forests lost annually. 

And inequality is at unsustainable levels as the nett worthy of immoderate 2,500 billionaires increased by implicit $5.2 cardinal per time during the pandemic, while four billion are inactive without immoderate signifier of basal societal protection. 

“All the while, conflicts and crises person near 1 per cent of the world’s colonisation forcibly displaced”, the UN main said. 

Still hope 

Noting that “we are moving farther distant from our goals”, the Secretary-General highlighted that those surviving in poverty is expected to represent seven per cent by 2030 – lone marginally beneath 2015 levels - while temperature increases have enactment america “on the verge of the abyss”. 

However, he maintained that the concern “can and must” be turned around.  

"We person the knowledge, the science, the exertion and the resources”, said the UN chief. “What we request is unity of purpose, effective enactment from each sectors, and urgent, ambitious action”. 

Call to action 

The Secretary-General emphasized that the Forum tin “help crook the tide” during this “pivotal time”. 

To extremity the pandemic and get the SDGs backmost connected track, he called for decisive enactment in four key areas, opening with planetary entree to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and support. 

He stressed the need for “urgent, ambitious clime action, including connected finance”, and thirdly, for investing in much adjacent and inclusive societies. 

Finally, helium said improvement concern would underpin the outgo of decisive action: “Let america renew our determination to physique a strong, sustainable and inclusive betterment from the pandemic, and to instrumentality decisive enactment unneurotic to decision the clime situation and support the committedness of the 2030 Agenda.” 

Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-level governmental  forum connected  sustainable development.

UN Photo/Manuel Elías

Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-level governmental forum connected sustainable development.

Bold solutions needed 

The President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Munir Akram, urged the world to rally astir the SDGs to forestall the adjacent pandemic.  

“Critical times telephone for bold solutions”, helium said. Mr. Akram hailed the HLPF arsenic an accidental to show the solidarity and practice needed for a planetary betterment strategy. 

“At the HLPF, we acceptable people towards the Global Goals and a greener, safer, much conscionable future. Join us”. 

Meanwhile, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, called the aboriginal of sustainable improvement “inclusive, resilient and green” and encouraged the participants to “seize this moment” and physique backmost better.

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