Round Tables

Strengthening health, food and social protection systems towards COVID-19 recovery and resilience
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Session 1-1: The impact of COVID-19 on sustainable development: strengthening health system and social protection
Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 14:00-16:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian

Lead organizer: UN Issue-based Coalition on Health and Well-being, led by WHO | Contributors: ILO, UNFPA, UNDP, ITU

Short Description: COVID-19 is the defining crisis of our time – disrupting and transforming our world with profound consequences for governments, cities, communities, families and individuals. COVID-19 is a reminder that human health and social protection are inextricably connected to planetary, economic, and societal health. This round table discussed what policies are effective to promote health and social protection to build back better.

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Session 1-2: Accelerating SDG progress in the time of a pandemic: improving food systems to make healthy diets accessible to all
Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UN Issue-based Coalition on Sustainable Food Systems (FAO, WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNECE, WMO) | Contributors: UNEP, ITU

Short Description: Promoting healthy diets is key for preserving human health and preventing diseases. Unhealthy diets can lead to conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), that are leading causes of illness and death in the UNECE region. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that people affected by pre-existing medical conditions (including NCDs) have an increased mortality risk. Among other topics, at this round table policies were discussed that governments can put in place to ensure that all people have access healthy diets.

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Session 1-3: Road safety – Changing gear
Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNECE / Sustainable Transport Division

Short Description: The Road Safety crisis with 1.35 million fatalities/year and 20-50 million seriously injured/year impacts not only our daily lives but has also major economic consequences with socio-economic costs of 1.2 per cent of global GDP. SDG target 3.6 already called for a 50 percent reduction of fatalities and serious injuries by 2020. This goal has not been met. The General Assembly has proclaimed the second decade of action for road safety and set as a new target for 2030 to halve the number of road fatalities and serious injuries. This round table highlighted effective actions that governments can put in place to enhance road safety.

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Building back innovative, inclusive and sustainable economies and providing decent and productive jobs for all
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Session 2-1: Recovering from COVID-19: a sustainable and human-centred approach to the future of work
Thursday, 11 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian

Lead Organizers: UNECE/ Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, ILO | Contributors: FAO, UN Women, IOM

Short Description: Efforts to deal with and contain the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted economies, including labour markets and trade patterns in the UNECE region. At this peer learning session, policy makers exchanged experiences on how they are advancing towards SDG 8, bearing on the challenges of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and what measures they envisage to build innovative, sustainable and inclusive economies based on a human-centred approach to the future of work.

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Session 2-2: Young people and COVID-19: Impact and Solutions
Friday, 12 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UN Issue-based Coalition on Adolescent and Youth, led by UNICEF, UNFPA | Contributors: UN Mayor Group on Children and Youth, European Youth Forum, Group of European Youth for Change

Short Description: COVID-19 disproportionally impacted young people. School closures, disruptions to formal and informal work, labour immobility, fractured social networks, and diminished access to services continue to impact young people. This round table highlighted the youth’s experiences, best practice and challenges faced by young people due to COVID-19, and government and youth organisations responses to the crisis.

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Session 2-3: Transforming Tourism for a sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive post COVID-19 world
Thursday, 11 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNEP, UNWTO | Contributors: UNESCO, UNECE/ Environment

Short Description: The tourism sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis has exposed the existing vulnerabilities of many tourism destinations. This peer learning session discussed how the crisis offers an opportunity for transformation of the tourism sector with a focus on building more resilient and sustainable communities and businesses through innovation, circularity, digitalization, and partnerships.

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Pathways to a sustainable COVID-19 recovery for climate and the environment
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Session 3-1: Partnerships for a sustainable recovery: Initiatives to accelerate the achievement of the environment and climate goals of the 2030 Agenda
Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers:UNECE, UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP | Contributors: UN Issue-based Coalition on Environment and Climate Change

Short Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of enhancing effective partnerships among all sectors and stakeholders, as well as mainstreaming environmental and climate change issues to increase resilience. The purpose of this session was to share experiences and examples of partnerships at country and sub regional levels on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and building back better.

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Session 3-2: Making sustainable production and consumption work for the circular economy of tomorrow
Monday, 15 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNECE, UNEP | Contributor: UN Women

Short Description: The world continues to use natural resources unsustainably. More than ever, there is a need to enhance resource efficiency and embrace practices to reduce. The pandemic offers an opportunity to reverse current unsustainable trends and build a better future. This session highlighted effective policy measures to create incentives for behavioural change, to strengthen regulations and standards, and to redirect financial flows towards sustainable production and consumption.

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Session 3-3: Building back better through Climate-Resilient Recovery
Monday, 15 March 2021, 10:00-12:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNDP, WMO, UNDRR | Contributors: IOM, UNEP, UN Women

Short Description: The world is being hit hard by two unprecedented crises – the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The only way to manage these mutually reinforcing emergencies is to ensure that we use every opportunity in the COVID-19 recovery to “build forward better” towards greener and more resilient economies. This round table highlighted policy actions supporting a climate resilient recovery and build back better efforts.

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Session 3-4: Snapshot on Boreal forests’ contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
Monday, 15 March 2021, 15:00-17:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section | Contributors: FAO, International Boreal Forest Research Association, Canadian Forest Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Swedish Forest Agency, Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation, United States Forest Service

Short Description: The Boreal region is a vast expanse of forests, mires and lakes circling the northern hemisphere. Boreal forests play an important role in mitigating climate change, and at the same time they are strongly affected by it. This peer learning session highlighted how boreal forests contribute to the 2030 Agenda and what measures are taken by countries to ensure their sustainable management.

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Session 4-1: SDGs and COVID-19 – how can data and statistics help building back better?
Friday, 12 March 2021, 15:00-17:00 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian | Real-time captioning

Lead Organizers: UNECE/ Statistics, Statistics Canada, UK Mission to the UN and WTO, Geneva | Contributors: Poland NGO, Sweden Health Authority, UK Office for National Statistics, EU Joint Research Centre ISPRA, UN Women, UNICEF, CSR Consulting Poland

Short Description: For effective and targeted COVID-19 response, data and statistics became even more vital and valuable than before. Among other topics, this round table highlighted solutions to make better use of both traditional and non-traditional data sources taking into account the timeliness and quality concerns.

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Session 4-2: Digital Transformation for Sustainable Development Goals in the Wake of COVID-19
Monday, 15 March 2021, 10:00-12:30 (CET)

Interpretation in English and Russian

Lead Organizers: ITU, UNECE | Contributors: CITES, FAO, UNCTAD, UNEP, UNFPA, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UN Women, WIPO, WMO, WHO

Short Description: As an immediate response to COVID-19, there is an urgent need of accelerating digital transformation across different sectors. This session highlighted a series of actions, initiatives and partnerships that advance digitalization in capacity building and skills development in different sectors and the importance of equal access to ICTs.

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