The pandemic is “a defining moment for modern society. This call for action asks every country to step up with public, private, and civic sectors collaborating to suppress transmission and stop the pandemic, cushion the economic effects of people (a large-scale response is needed involving at least 10% of global GDP), and learning from the crisis to build back better. Discusses the many complex impacts of the pandemic, global measures to match the magnitude of the crisis, regional mobilization, national solidarity to leave no one behind, partnerships to accelerate the global response, and implications for the 2030 Agenda of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (a chart on p.12 outlines impacts of each) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. COVID-19 is “likely to have a profound and negative effect on sustainable development efforts.” The most vulnerable—women, children, the elderly, and informal workers—will be hit the hardest. But “with the right actions, the COVID-19 pandemic can mark the rebirthing of society…to one where we protect present and future generations,” and an opportunity to strengthen our commitment to the SDGs.
Note: On April 21 Earth Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the current crisis “an unprecedented wake-up call,” urging that “we need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future” by promoting a “green recovery” of clean energy and new jobs, public funds invested in environment-friendly sectors, financial and public policy decisions shaped around climate risks, ending fossil fuel subsidies, making polluters pay for the damage they cause, and working together as an international community.