President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Tuesday joined his counterparts in the virtual UN meeting for financing the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development in covid-19 era. This meeting was convened by Canada, Jamaica and the United Nations.
According to UN, the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic crisis it triggered has not only caused immeasurable suffering in the past six months but could also derail five years of global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The pandemic is expected to drive between 71 and 100 million people into extreme poverty, the first such increase since 1998. With progress on SDG 2 (zero hunger) already backsliding before the onset of COVID-19, an estimated additional 270 million people could face acute food shortages by the end of 2020.
Canada, Jamaica and the Secretary-General convened a High-Level Event to join forces with Heads of State and Government, international organizations, and other key partners to enable discussions of concrete financing solutions to the COVID-19 health and development emergency for everyone.
Below is President Kagame’s submission to this meeting.
The sustainable Development Goals are the world’s yardstick for much needed progress on Human development.
I therefore commend the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, along with the secretary General. Thanks for their foresight; we have a robust menu of options to mitigate the socioeconomic effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
The 2030 agenda may be off-track, but that does not mean we have to accept a smaller future. On the contrary, we can build back better and stronger by embarking on new and innovative approached suited to the challenges ahead. That means adopting an implementation mindset and not doing business as usual.
Rwanda was pleased to co-lead the Discussion Group on Recovering Better for Sustainability, together with the European Union, Fiji, and the United Kingdom. Our recommendations focus on four key strategies in close alignment with both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
First build resilient national health systems with universal Health Coverage at the centre.
Second, double down on the digitization of our economies and education systems by investing in new technologies and high speed internet.
Third, orient action toward inclusion and fairness, especially for women and young people.
Fourth, leave no one behind by ensuring adequate social and financial protection for the most vulnerable amongst us.
The financial system can be a force multiplier, but we need to strengthen adherence to global standards and norms by reporting data in a transparent and comparable manner.
The menu of policy options being presented today gives each country the tools to prevail in its unique context. We cannot allow the sustainable Development Goals to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic or any other unexpected shock. Let’s stay focused.