Recovering better: Global opportunities to jumpstart the real economy - Un Environment

Every year the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development meets to advance the UN System’s agenda on sustainable development. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) led the discussion on urgent environmental issues through five side-events. This article is part of the coverage of the forum’s 2020 edition.

 

While the coronavirus pandemic presents enormous health and economic challenges, there are also opportunities to jumpstart economies and rebuild societies through green recovery plans that are aligned with the 2030 Agenda. This was the main takeaway of a dialogue that took place at Recovering better: Global opportunities for jumpstarting the real economy #GO4SDGs, a side event at the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2020).

 

Leaders at the event agreed that the only way countries will recover from COVID-19 in a way that ensures prosperity for all and builds resilience is if the international community remains committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris climate change agreement.

 

“The 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement are our roadmaps for building back better,” said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP. “They set the social floors and upper boundaries of the planet’s life support functions. But we must keep our focus on real economy actors, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

 

Lewis Akenji, Executive Director of SEED, warned, however, that local actors are at risk of being overlooked in COVID-19 recovery. Governments, he said, must recognize the role SMEs have played in meeting social and environmental goals, providing jobs, and creating economic and gender equity. SMEs, he added, must be centred in policy and financial mechanisms and provided the resources they need to thrive.

 

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