Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Colleagues,
I have the honour to welcome you all to this session organized by the major groups and other stakeholders.
I am pleased to see that the whole of society approach in the title of this event manifests itself in you, attending this discussion on transformative pathways to realise the 2030 Agenda.
We meet at a time of colossal global upheaval and risk – from COVID-19, to the climate emergency, to racial injustice and rising inequalities.
To effectively address these issues – especially the pandemic with its far-reaching socio-economic consequences – we need dialogue and cooperation, bringing together governments and citizens.
Genuine dialogue is about enhancing participation, and I am proud to say that the HLPF provides an unparalleled space for dialogue on sustainable development.
Here we all meet – Member States, the UN System, representatives from civil society, the private sector, local governments and academia – to discuss how we can collaborate and recover better.
There can be no doubt that the major groups and other stakeholders play a key role in our joint efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We often speak about their role to raise awareness, track the progress towards the SDGs, and hold governments accountable on their efforts. But stakeholders are also critical to the implementation of the SDGs.
You are catalysts of change, linking our global goals to local realities:
- The business sector has a tremendous impact on our daily lives and livelihoods.
- NGOs have a unique capacity to reach the furthest behind.
- And local authorities transform global intentions into community action.
Other major groups also ensure that the voices of the most marginalised are heard, such as persons with disabilities or indigenous people. And, that we keep the focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Moreover, civil society plays an indispensable role in its own right in global governance.
As advocates for policy solutions, channels of public participation, knowledge brokers, and watchdogs.
You help bring the world forward.
Amid so much uncertainty and upheaval, we must rekindle the spirit of solidarity.
I am glad we could still gather virtually here and I hope today’s discussion can identify ways to mobilize all actors and cultivate innovative and powerful partnerships for recovery.
COVID-19 is changing the world we live in. But it should not change our commitment to realising the future we want – together.