The Sustainable Development Goals are the world’s yardstick for much-needed progress on human development.

I therefore commend the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, along with the Secretary-General. Thanks to their foresight, we have a robust menu of options to mitigate the socioeconomic effects of the Covid pandemic.

The 2030 Agenda may be off-track, but that does not mean we have to accept a smaller future. On the contrary, we can build back better and stronger by embarking on new and innovative approaches suited to the challenges ahead. That means adopting an implementation mindset and not doing business as usual.

Rwanda was pleased to co-lead the Discussion Group on Recovering Better for Sustainability, together with the European Union, Fiji, and the United Kingdom. Our recommendations focus on four key strategies in close alignment with both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

First, build resilient national health systems with Universal Health Coverage at the centre.

Second, double down on the digitalisation of our economies and education systems by investing in new technologies and high-speed internet.

Third, orient action toward inclusion and fairness, especially for women and young people.

Fourth, leave no one behind by ensuring adequate social and financial protection for the most vulnerable amongst us.

The financial system can be a force multiplier, but we need to strengthen adherence to global standards and norms by reporting data in a transparent and comparable manner.

The menu of policy options being presented today gives each country the tools to prevail in its unique context. We cannot allow the Sustainable Development Goals to become a victim of the Covid pandemic or any other unexpected shock. Let’s stay focused.

Thank you.