On 29 April 2021, Franciscans International and the International Movement ATD Fourth World held a virtual NYC-Geneva dialogue on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action in times of Covid-19 recovery.
The dialogue brought together UN Member State representatives in New York and Geneva, United Nations (UN) agencies, and NGOs to informally share concrete recommendations and discuss ways in which the international community can effectively reach out to those living in extreme poverty. The event opened with interventions from Member States and individuals affected by climate change. Break-out sessions were held to discuss three main subsets of questions:
- How do the contributions shared today by our keynote speakers resonate with your personal or work experience? For example, what would be the priorities for you to address in policy or in advocacy?
- What difference can human rights-based approaches to climate action and sustainable development make for people living in extreme poverty? Do you have any success stories in your work where you were able to ensure that human rights were at the center of climate or development projects or policy?
- How can we ensure better policy coherence between Geneva and New York on issues related to climate action, SDG implementation and human rights in times of Covid-19 recovery?
Participants underscored the severe impacts of Covid-19 and climate change on communities, especially those already living in extreme poverty. The importance of addressing climate change and poverty eradication holistically was stressed. Discussions also addressed the essential role of the human rights framework in empowering affected communities and ensuring better outcomes in terms of advancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By prioritizing human rights, States can ensure an equitable road to recovery and accelerate achievement of the SDGs.