UN Chief: Rebirth of the Global Economy to Deliver Sustainable Development

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Opening remarks by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the roundtable untitled “Rebirthing the Global Economy to Deliver Sustainable Development”.

A roundtable series of renowned economists convened by the UN Secretary-General to identify concrete recommendations for building a new global economic system founded on social and economic inclusion, equity and environmental justice to help rebirth the world economy and deliver sustainable development for all.

Now, we launched these discussions to bring new ideas, fresh thinking and different perspectives to the table.

Over these past months, we have greatly benefitted from the insights of distinguished women economists on debt, trade, finance, climate and decent jobs.

This is critical as we face not only an unprecedented crisis — but also the opportunity to make real, foundational, and necessary change.

The challenges loom large.

Much more than 1 million people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty.

Hunger has doubled. Famines loom, inequalities are growing.

Disruption to education is risking to create a “lost generation”, especially for children trapped on the wrong side of the digital divide.

And even the gender equality gap is widening, and women’s labour force participation – a key driver for inclusive growth – has been set back decades.

Now as we face an urgent need for climate action and building a sustainable and circular economy, we need to do different and let’s recognize that developing countries, in particular, are on the precipice of financial ruin.

So we need global solidarity and global coordination.

Since day one, as you know, I’ve pushed for a massive rescue package equivalent to at least 10 per cent of the global economy. Now, the truth is that developed countries have been able to do it by themselves with their own resources but the same is not happening in support to the developing world.

Two days ago, again, at the G20 Summit, I issued an SOS for the needs of developing countries.

Of course, economic progress rests on halting the further spread of the pandemic.

And so, vaccines, tests and treatments must be global public goods, available and affordable for all.

And this is now recognized and I’ve been urging leaders to fully support and to fund the efforts. But we still have a gap – a gap in the COVAX facility, a gap of $28 billion and until the end of the year, a gap of $4.2 billion in order to make, indeed, this new vaccine a global public good, a people’s vaccine able to be affordable and available to all.

We also must mobilize the financing to build forward and put economies on a sustainable path.

Full Remarks [as delivered]: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2020-11-24/secretary-generals-opening-remarks-the-third-roundtable-of-renowned-economists-rebirthing-the-global-economy-delivered