President Kagame made the remarks on Tuesday during the Virtual Leaders Meeting on SDG Financing which brought together leaders from governments and international organizations to discuss specific actions to help countries and people address the devastating financial and socioeconomic impacts caused by COVID-19.
The meeting was convened to reflect the work done over the last five months by finance ministries, the UN and other international organizations and some of the world’s leading economists to find the policy options and solutions that can advance comprehensive multilateral response to the devastating social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The Head of State said that SDGs are the world’s yardstick for much needed progress on human development, thanking the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, together with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, for convening the meeting.
“The 2030 Agenda may be off-track, but that does not mean we have to accept a smaller future. On the contrary, we can build back better and stronger by embarking on new and innovative approaches suited to the challenges ahead. That means adopting an implementation mindset and not doing business as usual,”
“Rwanda was pleased to co-lead the Discussion Group on Recovering Better for Sustainability, together with the European Union, Fiji, and the United Kingdom,” President Kagame said.
He said that Africa’s recommendations focus on four key strategies in close alignment with both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the first one being building resilient national health systems with Universal Health Coverage at the center.
“Second, double down on the digitalization of our economies and education systems by investing in new technologies and high-speed internet,”
“Third, orient action toward inclusion and fairness, especially for women and young people. Fourth, leave no one behind by ensuring adequate social and financial protection for the most vulnerable amongst us,” President Kagame said.
He pointed out that the financial system can be a force multiplier, but there is a need to strengthen adherence to global standards and norms by reporting data in a transparent and comparable manner.
“The menu of policy options being presented today gives each country the tools to prevail in its unique context. We cannot allow the Sustainable Development Goals to become a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic or any other unexpected shock. Let’s stay focused.”