The world was not on track to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals before COVID-19 struck, and now the challenge has been magnified many times over, according to a new flagship UN report that indicates countries must take critical steps on the road out of pandemic during the next 18 months.
At the annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, member states discussed ways to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and turn the crisis into an opportunity for a major shift towards a more sustainable global economy. The hybrid HLPF took place between 6-15 July 2021, focusing on the lessons, successes, shortcomings and plans to emerge from the unprecedented health crisis. One core issue was how countries use the SDGs as the blueprint for their response to COVID-19. Arguably, the achievement of the SDGs is the the best way to build more inclusive, resilient and healthier societies.
“Countries will share and reflect the actions they have been taking to overcome the pandemic to address its impacts and to build back better “ said Munir Akra, President of ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council).
Furthermore, members noted that disruptions to essential health services have threatened years of progress in improving maternal and child health increasing immunization coverage, and reducing communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. Around 90% of countries are still reporting one or more significant disruptions to essential health services.