We Face Greatest Test of Global Solidarity in Generations, as COVID-19 Inflicts Unprecedented Harm, Secretary-General Tells Group of 77 Ministers
12 November 2020
…We are at a historic moment as we face the greatest test of global solidarity in generations. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to inflict unprecedented harm on people, societies and economies around the world. The pandemic has pushed us towards one of the worst recessions in modern times, which is having a devastating effect on the most vulnerable countries and peoples.
The progress we have made together over recent decades on your top priorities — eradicating poverty and hunger, increasing opportunities for all, and reducing inequalities within and between countries — that progress is being eroded in a matter of months.
At the beginning of this year, we launched the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Our aim was to accelerate implementation in those areas where we are off track and to address major financial gaps.
But today, we face even more serious headwinds. But within this crisis lies an opportunity — a chance to embark on a path to revive economies, ensure gender equality, protect our planet and achieve the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] by 2030.
A path that ensures universal access to social protection, health care, quality education and digital connectivity. A path towards a rapid and just transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies that generate investment, growth and employment. A path that nurtures social cohesion, advances human rights and builds peace.
The United Nations is calling for a transformative response and recovery, based on unity and solidarity. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement [on climate change] and the Sendai Framework [for Disaster Risk Reduction] remain our guiding lights. They must be at the heart of all national and global response and recovery efforts…