Social development imperative for ‘sustainable and resilient’ world: Amb. Munir Akram
“The difference in amount of stimulus packages between the developed economies and the developing economies would dictate the time of recovery of countries”
UNITED NATIONS, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, has called for tackling the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic, emphasizing that social development was “one of the critical pillars” for making the world more sustainable and resilient.?
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the key role social development plays in protecting people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as the planet”, he told the opening session of the Commission for Social Development held at UN headquarters in New York on Monday.
Despite 25 years of extraordinary progress in human and social development, with a reduction in poverty, higher education standards, employment growth, rising incomes and increased longevity for hundreds of millions, Ambassador Akram said that “today, 26 people own half the world’s wealth”.
And today’s crisis has shone a stark light on existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, it was pointed out.?
“We need to foster transformative resilience by choosing policies that tackles high and rising inequality…[and] policies that empower people and communities to become more resilient and offer multiple opportunities for decent work and social and economic transformation”, the ECOSOC President stated.
“While the virus knows no borders, it is painfully obvious that the poor and vulnerable countries and people are impacted the most,” Ambassador Akram said.
“The difference in amount of stimulus packages between the developed economies and the developing economies would dictate the time of recovery of countries.”
With coronavirus vaccines providing a glimmer of optimism around the world, Ambassador Akram said that it was “painful to witness” the dashed hopes of most people in the Global South who have little chance of receiving an inoculation anytime soon.
He said that advance purchase agreements for the COVID-19 vaccine have also created vaccine inequality among nations.
Under the premise that today’s digital divide could become “the new face of the development divide”, Ambassador underscored the “urgent need” to invest in infrastructure that connects people and strengthens international cooperation “to build a digitalized global economy” guided by regulation and fair competition.
Meanwhile, UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said that the world faces the “largest setback in socio-economic development since the Second World War”, and that decades of gains and untold resources, risk being wiped away “if we do not act”.