Thank you Moderator, Mr. Chair, Vice President of ECOSOC,
Excellencies, distinguished delegates ladies and gentlemen,
We meet today to address the issue of building back better while advancing the SDGs.
The world continues to face the challenge of recovery and building back better from COVID-19, the threat of climate change remains unabated, conflict and current geopolitical tensions are contributing to derail the nascent recovery from the pandemic, and our regions remain off-track to achieve the SDGs.
I would like to highlight three key messages common to the five regions:
1. Global asymmetries between developed and developing countries have deepened.
Gaps have widened in access to vaccines, financial resources and capacity to implement initiatives for the economic recovery, just as rising levels of debt are limiting the ability of governments to address the impact of the pandemic commensurately.
2. Geopolitical conflicts are undermining efforts to reach the SDGs.
In addition to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine is compounding SDG financing challenges and exposing fault lines in energy and food systems, in international finance and in social protection.
It is undoing efforts to strengthen food security and systems by putting additional pressure on limited public resources.
3. Our actions are insufficient to ensure the resilience and sustainability of our future
Rising sea levels, extreme weather events and food and water scarcities are projected to be more unprecedented. But the political commitments continue to be vague, and indeed, the gaps between actions and commitments remain highly prevalent.
If we are serious in our efforts to build back better and advance the SDGs, three elements are critical:
1. Transformative policies that leave no one behind are still urgently required
Policies must contribute to improving science and technology capacities for digital cooperation, vaccine manufacturing and self-sufficiency in the health sector.
2. High and sustained levels of financing are required, and innovative solutions are needed
Access to financing for development is urgently required. Potential solutions include reallocation of SDRs, pursuing green and blue bonds, and debt swaps for sustainability. Importantly, developed countries need to follow through on the pledged $100 billion per year for climate action as the threat of climate change has not gone away.
3. Multilateralism and regional cooperation must be more effective
We need to rethink how multilateralism and regional cooperation can effectively overcome transboundary, interlinked challenges, build resilience against shocks and ensure no one is left behind. We need to work together more closely among UN agencies and with member States on a wider range of regional public goods.
Moving forward, the five regional commissions will continue to support member States in their efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.
Thank you very much.