On the eve of the (virtual) United Nations 75th anniversary event and the Global Goals Week authors presented this year's global civil society report Spotlight on Sustainable Development. The Global Goals Week is designed as a call for action by partners who unite in their call to “recover better” – five years since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed to by 193 countries and marking the final decade in which to achieve them.
The Spotlight Report’s fundamental message is that the multiple crises can only be overcome if the massive power asymmetries within and between societies can be reduced. With this virtual launching event that took place on 18 September 2020, we presented key findings of the report.
The COVID-19 crisis and the worldwide measures to tackle it have deeply affected communities, societies and economies around the globe. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs has been put at high risk in many countries. COVID-19 is a global wake-up call for enhanced international cooperation and solidarity, and the pandemic has a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities.
"Build Back better" won't be enough
In the Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, adopted on 21 September 2020, Heads of State and Government promise “to mobilize resources, strengthen our efforts and show unprecedented political will and leadership” in response to the current crisis. The call to “build back better” has become a leitmotif of intergovernmental responses to the crisis. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed systemic change? What kind of policies, strategies and structural changes are necessary to ensure the primacy of human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals in all policy areas? Calls for building back better by just pushing the reset button will not change the game. We need structural changes in societies and economies that ensure the primacy of human rights, gender justice and sustainability. This is the key message of the 2020 edition of the Spotlight Report on Sustainable Development “Shifting policies for a systemic change.”
Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch, confirmed this message in the launching event: “It is very clear that we do not need to build back or build better, but that we need fundamental policy changes, transformation policies that I feel tempted to call radical. Yet, most of these are not radical at all, as they are only about implementing the agenda that is already written.”
Eight key political and social areas
As an alternative to the “Great Reset” initiative by the World Economic Forum to supposedly rescue capitalism, the Spotlight Report offers the “8 R”- agenda for transformational recovery. It identifies eight key political and social areas in which re-thinking and re-structuring is indispensable, including the need for reclaiming truly public services and revaluing the central importance of care in our societies; decisively shifting the balance between local and global value chains; reinforcing the shift towards climate justice; a radical redistribution of economic power and resources and bold regulation of global finance for the common good; and – underpinning this all – boosting multilateral solidarity and multilateralism by clearly strengthening the UN and its bodies. Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, emphasized the pressing need for the implementation of the agenda: “This agenda is radical in the sense that it goes to the root of the problem. If 50% of the agenda would be implemented in the time to come it would be considered very radical.”
Concluding the launching event, Barbara Adams, President of the Global Policy Forum, underlined the important role solidarity plays in multilateralism and overcoming silos: “Specifically in the context of Covid-19, a vaccine should be considered a global public good, and not a good available to the highest bidder.”
Watch our video for brief snapshots from the virtual launching event:
The Spotlight Report 2020 is available for download at www.2030spotlight.org.
Countries / regions: Weltweit
Department/Section: Internationale Arbeit | Internationale Entwicklungszusammenarbeit | Globale Politik und Entwicklung