MGA Contributes written statement to UN High Level Political Forum
A written statement by the Sisters of Mercy has been published in the 2021 UN High Level Political Forum. The statement reads as follows.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its emphasis on “leaving no one behind,” is a vital roadmap for recovery from the pandemic, and a guide to resilience to future crises. Country responses will have to deviate far from “business as usual,” leveraging this moment to adopt more equitable and sustainable ways forward. This is the core message of 'Hope in a Time of Pandemic - Responding to COVID-19 through a Mercy Lens,’ a publication that contains experiences and analysis from the Mercy World. The report links grassroots experiences with theological reflection and human rights analysis, revealing systemic inequalities in social, economic, political and environmental areas. It reveals the interconnectedness of people and planet and highlights stories of extraordinary kindness and resilience.
The report invites collaboration and recommends actions to individuals, civil society partners and governments for more just and inclusive responses to the pandemic. These recommendations (in line with existing commitments under the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and relevant international human rights law) cover the issues of physical and mental health, social protection, human mobility, livelihoods, homelessness, political institutions, food and water, the environment, and gender-based violence.
The pandemic has highlighted the urgency of addressing inequalities that leave women, girls, migrants and other marginalized people to constantly bear the brunt of crises. As the effects of climate change continue to accelerate, the 2030 Agenda must be central to building systems to protect our communities from future shocks. In order to protect people’s rights and build more resilient societies, governments must implement recovery policies that uphold the values of dignity and solidarity, remedy the inequalities that have been amplified by the pandemic, redistribute resources and direct us towards a more sustainable economy. Governments need to show leadership and political will by investing in sustainable development, not only in times of crisis, but also to be better prepared for future disasters.
While deeply painful, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an opportunity for us to embrace new ways of working together to shift power, improve accountability, build social connections and strengthen trust in order to be more responsive to the needs of the people we serve. We remain committed to pursuing solutions based on existing good practices that highlight the power and expertise of people at the grassroots and support women’s leadership. We will continue to share models and strategies that support capacity building and resilience, and will unite with other stakeholders to design and implement a new, transformative social contract that places people and the planet at the centre and lays the foundation for just and sustainable societies.