In 2020, the United Nations launched its most ambitious effort to crowd source priorities and solutions to global challenges through the UN75 report. To begin, Nick Read opened with the question of how policy, civil society, and business have tackled today’s most pressing problems and how we can build back from the pandemic.
During the pandemic, some nations turned their focus inward, while others coordinated responses. Fabrizio Hochschild stressed using digital innovation as a springboard to attain the Sustainable Development Goals and the multilateral approach we must take in doing so.
Responding to the UN75 report, Maria Fernanda Espinosa was struck most by the optimism people had for multilateralism. Filippo Grandi and Patrick Gaspard both stressed a main theme in the report’s conclusions: access to basic food and services is necessary to tackle inequality and attain good governance and inclusive economies. Fernanda Espinosa echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that access to basic services is the foundation of the United Nations and that COVID-19 should be a reminder that basic services are a human right.
As we tackle the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, there should be a renewed focus on the most vulnerable populations in our society, including those without access to food and basic services, women, and refugees.
“International solidarity is the fundamental, most pragmatic response to the global challenges facing us,” Filippo Grandi