The report highlights strategies that countries could use to “drive fundamental transformation towards sustainable development”.
It recommends putting in place the necessary legal, policy, and institutional measures to enable all countries, particularly developing nations, to build back better social protection and healthcare systems.
The report suggests that full implementation of the SDGs act as the “overarching framework for the recovery and building back better” from COVID-19.
In preparation for the High-level Segment (HLS) of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UN Secretary-General issued a report on the 2022 annual theme of ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The report urges countries to avoid returning to “business as usual” and to “accelerate the process of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation.”
Released on 4 May 2022, the report (E/HLS /2022/57) recognizes COVID-19 as a “human tragedy,” having resulted in more than six million deaths globally. It recommends that countries pursue an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the pandemic by introducing transformative reforms to improve health and social protection systems, international governance, and multilateral cooperation. The report suggests that full implementation of the SDGs act as the “overarching framework for the recovery and building back better” from COVID-19.
The report highlights strategies that countries could use to “drive fundamental transformation towards sustainable development” and to eradicate poverty and hunger, address inequalities, build resilience, take bold action on climate change, and halt biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. It urges countries to adopt and invest in policies that: build an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economy for accelerating the SDGs; leave no one behind by establishing robust and universal healthcare and social protection systems; promote sustainable pathways to protect the planet; and enhance multilateral cooperation and partnership.
The global system is only as strong as its weakest link.
The report outlines the UN’s efforts in implementing a three-pronged COVID-19 response strategy through: 1) a strengthened health response under the Updated COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan; 2) a humanitarian response led by the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and 3) a transformative and sustainable recovery grounded in the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda led by the UN Sustainable Development Group. Among other UN-led initiatives, the report highlights the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, the Multilateral Leaders’ Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries, the COVAX facility, and the Secretary-General’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Trust Fund.
Noting that the pandemic “has shown that the global system is only as strong as its weakest link,” the report emphasizes that “strengthening of multilateral cooperation and partnership is critical to achieving a sustainable and resilient recovery” globally as well as for individual countries. It recommends, inter alia:
- Ensuring timely and equitable access to and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to “close the vaccination gap”;
- Providing adequate resources from recovery packages for transformative changes in social protection and inclusion, energy and food systems, the macro relationship of the economy to the environment, and natural resource extraction;
- Focusing on reducing income inequality to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030;
- Increasing investment in clean energy infrastructure, renewable energy sources, improved batteries, smart grids, electric vehicles, and carbon capture and sequestration technologies to address climate change as “[h]alf measures are no longer an option”;
- Recommitting to scaling up financial support for climate action in developing countries at the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November; and
- Putting in place the necessary legal, policy, and institutional measures to enable all countries, particularly developing nations, to build back better social protection and healthcare systems as part of their recovery strategies and to implement the SDGs by 2030.
The report seeks to inform the ECOSOC HLS in July 2022 and “can also inform the 2022 HLPF.” It is complemented by the Secretary-General’s report on long-term future trends and scenarios. [Publication: Advance Unedited Version: Building Back Better from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) While Advancing the Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] [HLPF 2022 Documents]