Exclusive High-Level Side Event to UN General Assembly

Published 23 September 2020


Thematic (Global) Session 4: SDG Challenges in Post COVID-19 Era:

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs; however, the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental weaknesses in our global systems and highlighted the need to respond with urgency and determination.
Climate change and the disaster risks it portends has not gone away, even if it has been crowded out of the media headlines by the COVID-19 crisis. But the lockdowns that accompanied the COVID- 19 pandemic have demonstrated the profound impact that human activities have on our environment. Greenhouse gas emissions are declining; water and air quality are improving; birds and wildlife are returning to forsaken habitats.
But we recognize that the economic and social costs of the abrupt economic shutdown are not acceptable. We will need to rebuild better in terms of energy, infrastructure and resilient systems of agriculture that conserve natural resources and biodiversity, while increasing carbon sequestration, improving soil health and water quality, generation of renewable energy, scientific eco-regional planning, etc. In short, a paradigm shift in national priorities.