COVID-19 reversing decades of progress on poverty, health and education, warns UN report

COVID-19 reversing decades of progress on poverty, health and education, warns UN report

As the global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 500,000, and more than ten million cases have been confirmed, the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development (7 to 16 July) has taken on even greater significance as countries seek the best way forward to recover from the pandemic and create a future that is healthier, more inclusive and resilient.
Bringing together representatives from government, civil society, business and finance in a virtual gathering, the Forum will look at how the world can effectively respond to the pandemic, through a strengthened multilateral approach and build back better by scaling up global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the blueprint for a more sustainable world.

Under this year’s theme of “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” 47 countries are expected to share their Voluntary National Reviews — plans to advance the SDGs while tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Forum, new actions will be announced – by governments and non-state actors – to support the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development, which urges everyone everywhere to increase

efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The “SDG Acceleration Actions to Build Back Better” event on 14 July will be one of nine virtual special events taking place during the Forum.

The day before the HLPF, on 6 July, Member States of the Economic and Social Council will meet to hear the analysis and recommendations from United Nations entities and the Council’s expert bodies on the impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs and how to recover better and fairer. The HLPF will be followed by a high-level conversation on 17 July on the kind of multilateralism needed today to respond to global crises such as COVID-19.

The ten-day HLPF will attract high-level participants, among them H.E. Ms. Sanna Mirella Marin, Prime Minister of Finland; H.E. Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and SDG Advocate; Mr. Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum; and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 will take place on 7 July – the opening day of the Forum. The annual statistical report shows that the pandemic has reversed decades of progress, especially for the most vulnerable populations.