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Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (General Assembly President) on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond
28 May 2020 -  Remarks by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the UN General Assembly on the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.
"(...) The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic and financial shocks around the world that left many countries constrained in their response to the pandemic and its social and economic consequences. Even before the crisis, many countries were not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goald (SDGs). Financial constraints were often at the centre of their challenges.
In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 we have to rethink our economic systems.
This requires leadership, political will and collaborative efforts among a wide variety of actors to safeguard the future for generations to come.
We need to act urgently and decisively on the six areas which the Secretary-General has highlighted as constraints. We must focus on the key challenges around public, private and external financial resources that need to be mobilized not only for rapid recovery, but also for longer-term progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
It is clear that many developing countries currently do not have the financial means to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. The most vulnerable countries are further challenged by retreating foreign investors as well as dwindling revenues from remittances, tourism, and commodity exports. Illicit financial flows exacerbate difficulties even further.
Preventing these countries from sliding into disorderly defaults – defaults which would end any long-term development prospects – requires concrete proposals and timely action. These plans must not only address current liquidity shortages, but also provide durable solutions that create vital fiscal space for investments in sustainable development for countries in need (...)" - Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the UN General Assembly [Excerpt].