The Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest immediate challenge, but it represents crisis and opportunity, according to a report from the United Nations (UN).
What started as a public health emergency has morphed into the deepest global recession since the Great Depression.
The report shows that the magnitude of the crisis threatens everything that has been achieved in terms of sustainable development over the past five years, as well as much of the development progress achieved in the previous Millennium Development Goals.
“The pandemic affects us all, but not all equally. It has highlighted and increased the existing inequalities between and within countries, and has been more detrimental to countries and groups that were already more at risk of being left behind”, UN explains.
The crisis is affecting megatrends in different ways. In it there is crisis and opportunity. For example, the rise of teleworking due to confinement has accelerated the digitization of the economy and is driving technological innovation.
But not all jobs can be done remotely, and access to a high-speed internet connection is very patchy.
This means that Covid-19 is accentuating the digital divide and exacerbating inequalities.
Crisis and opportunity
However, a positive aspect of the fact that economic activity has completely stopped is that the generation of greenhouse gas emissions has also been interrupted, as well as air and water pollution; Furthermore, the state of biodiversity has improved.
However, these achievements will be short-lived if recovery is not focused on preserving nature and the climate.
“As damaging as the crisis has been, it is also a great opportunity to rebuild ‘better’, reinvent many of our institutions, economic and social structures, as well as behaviors and activities, in order to definitively orient them towards sustainable development,” UN says.
Many governments have responded to the crisis with bold and creative measures and large-scale interventions.
“With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the master plan for recovery, we have an opportunity to address issues that would have been very difficult to deal with under normal circumstances. Furthermore, we can do it in an innovative way ”, UN concluded, in the context of both sides of the context: crisis and opportunity.