COVID-19 is a human tragedy, having caused more than 6 million deaths globally and bringing the economy and people’s lives to a standstill for considerable periods in many parts of the world. For the building back better from COVID-19 to be sustainable, countries must avoid returning to the “business as usual” patterns and activities of the past and opt to make their societies and economies more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. This makes it imperative that countries pursue a strategy of a more inclusive and sustainable recovery from the pandemic and introduce transformative reforms to improve health, social protection and other systems as well as international governance and multilateral cooperation. It will also be particularly important to accelerate the process of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, including reducing CO2 emissions. Building back better from the pandemic and advancing the full implementation of the SDGs are thus inextricably linked.

The full implementation of the SDGs can serve as the overarching framework for the recovery and building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic during the current Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development. The building back better process should particularly focus on putting in place policies that drive fundamental transformation towards sustainable development; eradicate poverty and hunger; rein in inequalities, including gender inequality; build resilience; and take decisive and effective action against climate change, while halting biodiversity losses and environmental degradation. This present report on the 2022 ECOSOC and HLPF theme serves to inform the ECOSOC high-level segment in July 2022 and is complemented by the report of the Secretary-General E/HLS/2021/_ on “Long-term future trends and scenarios—impacts in the economic, social and environmental areas on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.” It can also inform the 2022 HLPF.






Published May 2022

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