Albert Einstein’s assertion that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them has never been truer than it is today as the world grapples with the global health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2019, representatives from 142 countries gathered for the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) to review progress towards the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to identify areas in urgent need of attention. Progress towards achieving the Agenda’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) had been uneven prior to the pandemic, but its outbreak abruptly disrupted implementation towards many of these goals and, in some cases, reversed decades of progress. The crisis has affected every segment of society and has rocked economies around the world. Unsurprisingly, it is the poorest and most vulnerable populations that will suffer the most. The pandemic has exposed harsh and profound inequalities in societies and is further exacerbating disparities within and between countries. Although the SDGs are broad global goals, their implementation is rooted in action at the local level. The authors of this publication collectively represent the Global South and their expertise touches on some of the key challenges facing us today: water and sanitation (SDG 6), biodiversity (SDG 15), energy (SDG 7), economics (SDG 8), poverty (SDG 1), inequality (SDG 10), urban sustainability (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13) and more. The challenges presented by the pandemic are without precedent in our lifetimes. Robbed of our equilibrium, we decided to focus our thoughts on achieving a deeper understanding of the implications of this crisis for sustainable development, climate protection, and our respective areas of focus. This led us to consider how we could work together and help to forge pathways towards a more sustainable and equitable world.
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- IASS Studies
Sgambatti Monteiro, A., Ramanarayanan, V., Abdelgawad, N., Alusiola, R. A., Anyaoha, K. E., Ardabili, S., Burgos, N., Cuevas Flores, M., Leone, E., Mosavi, A., Nguyen, M. A., Nikravan, M., Owusu, C. K., Castro Prieto, E. M., & Beltran Siñani, M. I. (2021). Sustainable Solutions for the Global South in a Post-Pandemic World. IASS Study, May 2021.
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