Closing Remarks by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of SDG-10 on February 10, 2021

Once again thank the panelists for their excellent reflections on this complex issue; and delegations who have also brought in important points in their interventions.

It was indeed a very thought-provoking discussion today.  Let me highlight some of my take-aways and messages from the discussion:

First, I reiterate my point about the vaccines, which has been the overarching theme today.  As we endeavour to recover from the pandemic, we must ensure access to the Covid-19 vaccine for everyone, everywhere.  The vaccination forecast shared earlier is very telling of the situation.


And I thank OECD for putting forward a very strong economic argument in favour of a more equitable and affordable vaccine distribution.


Second, it is noteworthy that the countries in South Asia, South East Asia and Latin America, those who have strong institutions and productive capacities are likely to rebound fastest from the pandemic. And I am happy to see that Bangladesh features in the list. China, Germany and Republic of Korea are on a relatively good track because of their heavy manufacturing base. But the bad news is that many emerging markets are likely to have slower growth.


Third, there is an opportunity to build back a post-pandemic world that is more just and equal for all. At the national level, we need a whole of society approach to complement global efforts. Governments need to increase public spending and fiscal stimulus to keep economies afloat. It is also important to enhance support in the areas of social security, health, and education. Private sectors need to join hands and contribute strongly to the recovery efforts. There must be more innovative ways to ensure business continuity during the transition for creating better jobs, especially for people in vulnerable situations.


Fourth, we need global solidarity to help developing countries and countries in vulnerable situations including the LDCs, tackling with external financing issues especially the debt crisis, as well as falling remittances and ODA. We must work together to create a more equitable and just global economic and financial system.


Fifth, the climate vulnerable countries are at high risk of growing inequalities. Many of the low-income climate vulnerable countries are likely to feel the immediate impact of rising food prices due to the pandemic.


Sixth, the issue of gender equality has not come up so strongly in the discussion. But we all know about the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and girls and the sharp rise of gender-based violence during this time. It is critical that the deeply entrenched gender norms in societies that disproportionately affect women are addressed in a concerted manner.

Finally, we are seeing an unusual trend of wealth inequality. While stock market indices are rising, employments are declining at an alarming rate. This is going to have a telling impact on labor market. We must reverse this situation and ensure a job-rich recovery. And this can be done by taking advantage of the evolving digital economy, ensuring equal access to job and economic opportunities for women, leveraging STI, reducing gaps in skills etc.

I thank you all.

I now hand over the floor to Ambassador Cho.