President of the UN General Assembly stated that the response during Covid-19 pandemic must focus on “the two-thirds of the world’s population at risk of being left behind”.
“We need to focus on specific actions that will ease the impact on the well-being and livelihoods of people in developing countries and the marginalized around the world”, said Tijjani Muhammad-Bande on Monday.
He made the remarks while speaking to the virtual United Cities and Local Government Forum in the on-going High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, reports UN News.
“We need to address their specific needs now while building back,” he said.
Population in cities could triple by 2030
By 2050, 68 percent of the world’s population is expected to be urban while in developing countries, the urban population will double.
Moreover, the area covered by cities could triple by 2030, with many people projected to live in informal settlements.
“To respond effectively, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must be at the forefront of government strategies for recovery to safeguard our communities against future shocks by building resilient systems”, the Assembly president said.
He stated that this requires a recommitment to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for development financing, along with stemming illicit financial flows, which threaten community development everywhere.
Encouraged the 152 countries that had adopted national urban policies to promote sustainable urbanization, Muhammad-Bande urged all Member States to “emulate this leadership and work to safeguard the future for urban communities”.
Climate change issues
As urban centres along coastal areas are increasing, the threat of climate change is not receding and the negative effects of climate change are also felt by those living in mountainous areas.
The UN Official underscored that “We require climate-resilient urban management and a more concerted effort to utilize culture and innovation.”
He said that “Transformative partnerships…are key to promote people-centered policies and investments for liveable cities that provide decent, sustainable jobs, universal access to vital services including health, education, water, transport, energy and sanitation.”
A ‘Seminal’ year 2020
Against the backdrop of the UN’s 75th anniversary, the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the beginning of the Decade of Action and Delivery on the SDGs, Muhammad-Bande called 2020 “a seminal year”.
He also said that “It’ll, however, be remembered as the year that the world united against the coronavirus pandemic to protect the people we serve.”
He upheld that the General Assembly stands united in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Clearly, the 2030 Agenda is our best way to safeguard the people we serve”, the Assembly president concluded.