Socially just transition towards sustainable development: The role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”
By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States committed to achieving sustainable development for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society. The Agenda is based on the ideals of inclusiveness and shared prosperity and Member States pledged to leave no one behind and to endeavor to reach the furthest behind first. With 10 years remaining to achieve the 2030 Agenda, addressing the inter-linkages between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development will require pursuing a socially just transition that is people-centered and grounded in the principles of social justice.
The economic and social fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a dramatic impact on social development and well-being worldwide. The crisis risks reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty and exacerbating already high levels of inequality. At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis provides the opportunity to rethink existing socio-economic policy frameworks in order to ‘rebuild better’. It has sparked a global dialogue on ways forward out of the crisis to build more inclusive and equitable societies by aligning policy frameworks with the vision and overarching objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
In this context, the expert group meeting was organized virtually from 4 to 7 August 2020, by the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Development (UNDESA), in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with the cooperation with the United Nations Regional Commissions.
Over 80 experts with diverse backgrounds from the five United Nations geographic regions participated in the virtual Expert Group meeting, to review and formulate concrete recommendations on what it takes to enable a socially just transition towards sustainable development and examine the role of digital technologies in facilitating a transition that is inclusive and more equitable. The following is the outcome of the meeting, which will provide substantive input to the Secretary-General’s report on the priority theme of the Commission for Social Development to be held in February 2021, and is expected to assist Member States in implementing various SDGs, including Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 16.