Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden spoke of the “great and complex task” of sustainable development in a post-pandemic world at a virtual conference held from Stockholm on Wednesday.
Titled “Building Back Better,” the event was organised by the Board of International Development Cooperation (Sida) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The conference discussed the various ways investors, development players, and the UN can work together to build a better world after the coronavirus pandemic.
During the conference, Crown Princess Victoria touched on the effects of the pandemic and the importance of investments to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda. This action plan lays out goals for “people, planet, and prosperity” to create a more sustainable world in 10 years.
Her speech read, in part:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people and societies all over the world. The effects of the coronavirus threaten years of hard-won progress. Not least in developing countries, where it is hitting hard against income, health and education.
A recent assessment from the UNDP shows that over the next six months, the indirect effects of this pandemic could potentially lead to an additional six thousand child deaths every day from preventable causes.
As financial actors, you see the effects of poverty, inequality and conflict at an early stage. You see the human and economic catastrophes caused by climate change.
You know what these problems cost – but even more importantly, you know how much more there is to gain from investing in a sustainable future.”
In 2016, the Crown Princess was named by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as one of 17 ambassadors for the work on the UN’s global sustainability goals. She is now included in their alumni group, and her continued focus is on sustainability, seas, and fisheries.
Speaking of the sustainability goals, she said:
“It is a great and complex task that you are taking on, business leaders in partnership with development expertise. It is also a very urgent task. The deadline is drawing closer for the Sustainable Development Goals. We are already behind schedule, and we simply cannot afford this pandemic to delay us even more.
Ladies and gentlemen. 2030 is only a decade away. I don’t know where any of us will be in 10 years from now. But I do know this: Sustainable development is a great investment.
In 10 years, a country with clean, affordable energy is a more resilient country. A landscape with restored biodiversity is a landscape that supports people, health, and economy.
A city with smart infrastructure is a more prosperous city. And in 10 years, a girl who gets an education can become, not just a woman who supports herself, but – a leader. Her future is our future – and we need to invest in that, today.”
The full video of the conference can be viewed on YouTube.