The high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), which is set to meet next week, will discuss ways to ensure “resilient” recovery that puts coronavirus-hit countries on track to build the better world envisioned in the 2030 Agenda, the President of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, said Thursday. “Countries will share and reflect on the actions they have been taking to overcome the pandemic, to address its impacts and to build back better,” he said. “A core issue would be whether and how they are using the SDGs as the blueprint for their response to COVID-19,” Ambassador Akram added. The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July, under ECOSOC’s auspices. This includes a three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, July 13 to Thursday, July 15. The theme will be “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. HLPF is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on: no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequalities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnerships in depth. “We must take immediate action to avoid a lost decade for development in many countries,” Ambassador Akram said, pointing out that the coronavirus pandemic had caused the worst recession in 90 years, with some 120 million people having fallen back into extreme poverty; and 114 million jobs lost. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the SDGs, he said. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Akram stressed the need for actions that will not only help overcome the pandemic but also achieve SDGs, which, he said, are the roadmap for building back better. “We need proactive national policies, but we also need international solidarity and multilateral solutions, which have eluded us in the early phases of the crisis,” the ECOSOC chief said. “Ensuring access to vaccines for all is a precondition for world recovery.” According to a ECOSOC press release, ministers and other participants will be able to explore various aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. They will discuss the kind of policies and international cooperation that can control the pandemic and its impacts and put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, within the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development. Forty three countries will also carry out voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda. “I hope that some will announce bold plans and solutions to tackle COVID-19 and accelerate efforts towards a healthier, more inclusive, and more sustainable future,” Ambassador Akram said. The HLPF will also adopt a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session, the press release said.