High-level event on financing for development: UK statement on sustainable recovery after COVID-19

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Thank you to the UN Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica for hosting this event.

It’s an honour to join you today for this event, and as my Prime Minister said in May, we owe it to future generations to build back better. We must use our recovery from COVID-19 to accelerate, not slow down our delivery of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK is proud to co-lead on Recovering Better For Sustainability alongside the European Union, Fiji and Rwanda.

So today I want to focus on 3 particular priorities, but I urge you to consider our full set of proposals as you plan your recoveries in each of your respective countries.

First, we must build strong and resilient health systems to achieve universal health coverage that protects us all from health threats, whether they’re COVID or non-COVID. The UK has already committed over 1 billion US dollars of aid to tackle COVID-19.

Second, we must deliver a green recovery that lives up to the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. We need governments to submit more ambitious, Nationally Determined Contributions, develop long-term strategies and put these at the heart of their national economic recovery plans.

The UK has announced over £5 billion to implement a domestic green recovery, we’re providing international support through our ambitious climate finance commitment.

And third, our global recovery must be inclusive and support the most vulnerable who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and climate change. We must commit to leaving no one behind. And that includes standing up for gender equality and in particular, every girl’s right to 12 years of quality education.

Next up, we know that COVID-19 has exacerbated longstanding debt vulnerabilities. The G20 debt service suspension initiative was valuable, but we’ve got to extend and fully implement it to provide the liquidity countries need to build back better.

As COP26 and G7 presidents next year, we’re asking for a global effort. Now more than ever, we must come together to drive forward these changes so that we can get back on our feet and look to the future with ambition, with confidence and with greater unity forged in the global challenges that we’ve overcome together.

Thank you.

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