The UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates and Alumni Saturday expressed concern over the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and the impacts it is having in every corner of the globe, voicing solidarity with those affected.
The SDG Advocates and Alumni comprise a lineup of public and globally influential figures in all fields, including Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson Founder of Education Above All Foundation; Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Ghana's President Nana Akufo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In their statement, they expressed deep appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for those on the frontlines fighting the virus, saving lives, and keeping essential services running in countries under lockdown, stressing that global, regional, national, and local level policy responses to the outbreak must be designed with a gender lens, and pay special attention to those living in extreme poverty, with disabilities, indigenous communities, the homeless, refugees, and internally displaced persons.
"Responses must be equitable and reach the digitally isolated. Leaders must protect civic space in their countries to ensure policy responses are transparent and inclusive," the statement added.
They also called for urgent global action to protect and support the most vulnerable countries and areas, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America, and Small Island States, emphasising the necessity for leaders, policymakers, and the international community, in particular the G20 and G7, to act quickly and decisively to mobilise the resources needed to stop the spread of Covid-19 in these areas, while also scaling up healthcare support and strengthening social safety nets.
"We stand in solidarity with out-of-school children, millions from vulnerable backgrounds, and call for provision of equitable and inclusive distance education for all, so that learning never stops," the statement read.
Economic policies responding to the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic must meet the needs of affected countries and the most vulnerable.
The approaches governments take will have long-lasting effects, and must avoid deepening the root causes of climate change and conflict.
We urge policymakers to be bold, the state added.
The SDG Advocates and Alumni stressed that "confronting Covid-19 requires coordinated global humanitarian and socio-economic responses.
The virus does not respect borders.
Addressing this crisis requires worldwide collaboration and partnerships, across all aspects of the response," asking member states to work together, guided by the UN and a recognition of common humanity.
They further applaud the Secretary-General for establishing his Response and Recovery Fund, that will support low- and middle-income countries, and crucially, help countries preserve the gains they have made towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.
The group urged member states and all stakeholders, including business, civil society organizations and philanthropy, to accelerate their action and investments in response to Covid-19.
Scaled-up and long-lasting support is fundamental to protect, help, and rebuild for those furthest behind, pointing that the Secretary-General's call for an immediate global ceasefire is essential, They also called on all warring parties to cease hostilities and "focus together on the true fight of our lives."
Selecting HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson Founder of "Education Above All Foundation" as a member of UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates and Alumni for the second consecutive time, came in appreciation of Her Highness' founding and leading roles in a group of institutions and initiatives aimed at providing quality education, youth empowerment and human development at the local and international levels.
The UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates and Alumni group is committed to working to raise public awareness and push for further actions that will accelerate the process of achieving the sustainable development goals adopted by world leaders on September 25, 2015.(QNA)