While sounding the alarm about the inequality of the planet COVID-19 While restoring and significantly reducing public spending for youth, older adults and other vulnerable populations, officials in the United Nations system emphasize that this multi-dimensional crisis has a “temporal pattern.” The decisive face is women”.
Opening the fifth session with the theme “Population and sustainable development, especially sustainable and inclusive economic growth”, marked a success for an agency that had always been entangled in deadlock and inequality. copper.
Population, poverty, economic growth
Commission President Enrique A. Manalo said that efforts to slow population growth, reduce poverty, make economic progress, protect the environment and reduce unsustainable consumption and production are all together increase.
With poverty and inequality in focus again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the insights outlined in the Agenda of Action agreed in 1994 International conference on population and development in Cairo, Egypt today remains as relevant as ever.
“While the world’s challenges are not caused by population growth, they are compounded by it, making it more difficult to tackle,” he said.
Rebecca Grynspan, head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), warns that a systemic debt crisis is brewing for billions in the developing world – with inflation at multi-decade highs and civil unrest erupting all over the world. places in the world.
She has attracted the attention of a large generation of young people around the world, as well as women, expressing the hope that their innovative ideas will help reverse these negative trends.
‘Gathering the storm of adversity’
Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed agreed that the pandemic brings a new level of urgency to the challenges being discussed by the Commission. COVID-19 keeps boys and girls out of school, increases the burden of caregiving – especially for women – and exacerbates gender-based violence.
At the same time, the world has yet to meet its goal of eliminating hunger and malnutrition by 2030, and the number of people affected by hunger is projected to increase by tens of millions as the war in Ukraine drives up wages. real and energy increased rapidly. .
“Faced with this gathering storm of adversity, we must come together as an international community,” she said, adding, “We urgently need to renew our social contract to rebuild trust and social cohesion. ”
High stakes for women, girls
Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Director Natalia Kanem said that COVID-19 has made clear the need to invest heavily in family planning services and a national health system that is universal, flexible, data-driven and fully staffed. force.
“Lack of body autonomy and reproductive options continue to impede women’s path to equality and full participation in economic life.”, she said, expressing concern about the reduction in funding for population-related issues – particularly sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights – as countries shift their priorities in pandemic context.
“We can’t reverse it any further – the stakes for women, girls and young people, and for their society, are too high. ”
UN photo / Manuel Elias
Critical care work
In her keynote address, Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, emphasized that the “perfect storm” of challenges that Ms. Grynspan describes cannot be resolved without the participation of include.
That means reducing inequality, which will always generate backlash and backfire.
She also expressed concern about continued investment in care work, a burden that will only increase amid future demographic challenges and the impacts of climate change.
“If we don’t empower women…we won’t be able to deal with the great challenges facing society.“She warned.