6 Jul. 2021

Visions for A Just and Transformative Recovery

An Official HLPF Side Event

Watch a recording of the event here.

Tuesday, July 6
7:30am NYC/1:30pm Berlin/7:30pm Manilla

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the central United Nations platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It takes place from July 6-15, 2021 with the theme: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

The 2021 HLPF will enable participants to explore various aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures and types of international cooperation that can control the pandemic and its impacts and put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, within the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.

While the world has been preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-existing challenges such as rampant inequalities, discrimination and social exclusion have only been exacerbated, and the ongoing climate breakdown continues apace. The COVID-19 economic and health crisis was not a break in the system, it was the product of a deeply unjust system. Thus, we want to take the opportunity of this year’s HLPF to shine a light on short-term as well as long-term challenges ahead of us, and the need for alternative visions for change on the scale we need.

There is broad agreement from governments, institutions and other stakeholders that the coronavirus pandemic has taught the important lesson that ‘there can be no going back to business as usual’. However, in practice transformative actions (particularly in the realm of international cooperation and solidarity) have been thin on the ground.

It is undeniable that the COVID-19-pandemic impacts the 2030 agenda and the specific goals being discussed this year. Debt crisis, climate crisis, glaring inequities in human development and planetary imbalances – these issues need to be considered in any reaction to the current situation, and in the longer-term. So what could a just, human rights-aligned and transformative recovery look like? How can we revitalize international cooperation and solidarity to make it meaningful? What principles, actions and incentives can guide us towards the systemic change we need?

This official HLPF Side Event, co-organized by RLS-NYC, Brot für die Welt and the Center for Economic and Social Rights provides a space for critical conversations on the manifold challenges to realizing the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda while meeting the objectives of averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis and moving towards a just and transformative post-pandemic future.


  • Moderator – Tetet Lauron
  • Johannes Grün (Brot für die Welt)
  • Kate Donald (CESR)
  • Wardarina (APWLD)
  • Dunja Krause  (UNRISD)