"The pandemic has taken four million lives and devastated the global economy. It continues to inflict profound suffering, especially on the most vulnerable people. While some countries plan for recovery, the pandemic is gathering pace in others. As my latest report to this forum indicates, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Rather than progress, we are moving farther away from our goals. Global poverty is now expected to be at seven percent by 2030 – only marginally below the level in 2015. And with the global temperature increase already at 1.2 degrees, we are on the verge of the abyss. I continue to believe that we can and must turn this around. We have the knowledge, the science, the technology, and the resources to do so. We have some inspiring examples of transformative change, including during this pandemic. What we need is unity of purpose; effective leadership from all sectors; and urgent, ambitious action. To end the pandemic everywhere and get the SDGs back on track, I am calling for decisive action.

In advanced economies, fiscal stimulus packages have reached nearly 28 percent of GDP. In middle-income countries, this figure drops to 6.5 percent; in least developed countries, to 1.8 percent. Many developing countries cannot afford to invest in response or recovery, because of crippling interest payments and reduced opportunities to raise taxes. By delaying a strong global recovery, this liquidity crisis could end up costing the world trillions of dollars and create new geographical hotspots of poverty and deprivation. Solidarity and self-interest dictate that advanced economies should extend an economic lifeline.

Let us renew our determination to build a strong, sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic, and to take decisive action together to defeat the climate crisis and keep the promise of the 2030 Agenda."

António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
On the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals'