The UNECE region has been hit severely by the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has quickly evolved from a public health emergency into an economic and social crisis that has exposed and deepened existing fragilities. Inequalities between and within countries have come to the forefront in health systems, social protection, digital access for all, access to education, and many other areas. As countries are now resetting their priorities and reallocating resources to deal with the pandemic, parliaments should be in a position to influence policies and budgets to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic responses and recovery strategies embrace and incorporate the SDG framework in its entirety. Thanks to their integrated and interlinked nature, the SDGs provide a roadmap that can help countries improve their preparedness to respond to the pandemic and implement recovery plans that deliver social and environmental sustainability in a comprehensive manner.
Jointly organized by the IPU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the webinar will provide parliaments with up-to-date information on the status of SDG implementation, as well as recommendations on how to accelerate transformative change in the region and ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies incorporate the SDG lens. Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff will have a unique space to exchange and discuss common challenges as well as strategies that they could implement to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 despite the pandemic hurdles. The discussions will also focus on the importance for parliaments to be engaged in the Voluntary National Reviews in order to monitor government actions, strengthen national ownership of and build more political support for the SDGs.
The webinar is part of a series of IPU regional webinars on SDG implementation in a time of pandemic, and is intended to contribute to the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, an intergovernmental meeting organized by UNECE to review progress on the SDGs at the regional level.
The working languages of the event will be English, French and Russian.