Participation of the PABSEC International Secretariat to the virtual Parliamentary Forum “The Big Reset: Learning from COVID-19 to fast-track the SDGs” , IPU, 15 July 2020
On 15 July 2020, The PABSEC Deputy Secretary General Mr. Miltiadis Makrygiannis attended the virtual Parliamentary Forum “The Big Reset: Learning from COVID-19 to fast-track the SDGs” at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Opening remarks were made by Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the IPU while moderator of the Forum was Senator Juan Carlos Romero, President of the IPU Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs.
The presentations made by Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi (Secretary-General of UNCTAD), Dr. Kate Roll (Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London), Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda (Board Chair, ActionAid International and Chief Executive, Rosaria Memorial Trust), Mr. Lorenzo Fioramonti (MP, Chamber of Deputies of Italy, and Professor of Political Economy, University of Pretoria), Ms. Wafa Bani Mustafa (MP from Jordan, Vice-President, IPU Standing Committee on Sustainable Development).
The speakers pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted an enormous human toll while leading the world into the economic recession. According to the data they presented, without strong countervailing measures, the number of people living in extreme poverty is estimated to increase up to 130–160 million this year, with vulnerable groups such as women and informal sector workers, disproportionally affected.
The participants exchanged their vires on how to use the opportunity for a major reset – in both thinking and action – for the Sustainable Development Goals and what COVID-19 can tell us about the need for institutional reforms nationally and globally.
All speakers underlined that what is needed most urgently is a more people-centered economy that is truly in harmony with nature and the focused on the role of parliaments and parliamentarians in forging consensus around key reforms to put the SDGs back on track. These reforms mainly concern the mobilization of needed resources for universal health care, social protection, and environmental preservation, the transition toward a green economy to better reconcile economic progress with environmental sustainability, the measure of income and wealth redistribution that needed to make economies more sustainable and improve well-being for all, etc.
The virtual Parliamentary Forum was attended by more than 120 participants, representatives of national parliaments, and international organizations.