UN Deputy SecretaryGeneral Amina Mohammed highlighted the continued relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), during a meeting with the President of Tunisia, Kais Saied.
She was there to attend the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8). The conference has been organised by Japan since 1993, under the philosophy of ‘African Development for African people.’ It is co-hosted by the UN, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the African Union Commission.
In welcoming the UN deputy chief, President Saied spoke of the new era in the world, citing the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but also in Tunisia. The President said TICAD has already brought important results for Africa, and there will be much to do to implement agreements reached during this latest edition of the conference.
Mohammed recalled that the SDGs remain a very relevant framework in this new era, and TICAD has served as an important reminder. The 17 goals aim to bring about a more just and equitable world, including through ending extreme poverty, achieving gender equality, and spurring economic growth, while also tackling climate change and preserving the natural environment, she said.
In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary-General called for action to confront what she described as “the cascading impacts of multiple crises” facing the world today. She said recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of the war in Ukraine, the climate emergency and the financial crisis, are placing already vulnerable populations under severe stress.
“This ‘perfect storm’ is, in turn, creating a fertile breeding ground exacerbating existing and future conflict and unrest, thus compromising our collective efforts to achieve the SDGs and save lives and livelihoods,” she added. Mohammed said countries have an unprecedented opportunity to overcome these challenges and address security and sustainable development in Africa. She underlined the need to accelerate action across three main areas to benefit African economies and achieve the SDGs.
The first calls for ensuring universal access to energy and a just and equitable transition to renewables. The second area is focused on the need to transform global food systems, which means achieving food security, nutrition, self-sufficiency and jobs for young people across the continent.
Lastly, she stressed that there can be no solution to these interconnected crises unless countries address inequality and its underlying factors.