Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the Conference of Development Banks: “From Pandemic to Recovery”, in New York on 9 September:
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing and exacerbating social, economic and infrastructural inequalities and challenges.
Development banks can play a significant role in supporting the pandemic response and recovery — by providing financing for infrastructure and other public goods and by promoting financial inclusion.
The recovery cannot be a return to old, failed approaches and systems. We must raise our ambitions and recover better, guided by the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I welcome this conference’s focus on financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and on sustainable infrastructure — a critical component of a strong recovery in the areas of health care, transport and digitalization.
A people-centred, rights-based, green recovery from this pandemic will require an integrated response, based on correcting the failures of the past and redoubling our efforts to achieve the SDGs. I send you best wishes for your discussions.