Shifting policies for systemic change

Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis

Friday, 18 September 2020, 9:00-10:00am EDT


The COVID-19 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.

In the Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, to be adopted on 21 September 2020, Heads of State and Government will 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?

These questions are discussed in this year's report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. Its 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, we will present key findings of the report.


Brief snapshots by

  • Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch
  • Ziad Abdel Samad, Executive Director of the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)
  • Vanita Mukherjee, Member of the Executive Committee of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

Policy conclusions by

  • Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Barbara Adams, President of Global Policy Forum


  • Bodo Ellmers, Director of Sustainable Development Finance, Global Policy Forum Europe
  • Elisabeth Bollrich, Global Economy Expert at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung


Please register here: [scroll down for English version]

Participants will receive the login details for the web conversation one day before the event.


+++ with apologies for crossposting +++



More about our work on the subjects of Peace and Security; Climate Change, Energy and Environment; Global Economy and Corporate Responsibility; and International Community and Global Forums can be found at → Shaping a Just World".



Data protection notice for FES-Participants: The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) uses the powerful software of the US company for its webinar offers. You will find important information on data protection under the following link:

If you no longer wish to receive invitations or newsletters, please send us an e-mail without text to


About FES

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the oldest political foundation in Germany with a rich tradition in social democracy dating back to its foundation in 1925. The foundation owes its formation and its mission to the political legacy of its namesake Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically elected German President.

The work of our political foundation focuses on the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice and solidarity. This connects us to social democracy and free trade unions. As a non-profit institution, we organise our work autonomously and independently.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -