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A security guard wears a mask inside a store in New Delhi, India A security guard wears a mask inside a store in New Delhi, India  (AFP or licensors)

Holy See: Post-Covid-19 recovery will require better multilateral cooperation

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Vatican's Permanent Observer to the UN in Geneva, expresses the Holy See's desire for improved multilateral cooperation in the wake of the pandemic, in an address to the UN's trade conference.

By Lisa Zengarini

The world needs to overcome the present multilateral crisis and renew the principles of global cooperation, in order to overcome the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Holy See's representative at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Speaking Monday at the Preparatory Committee for the UNCTAD XV Ministerial Conference, which was rescheduled for 3-8 October 2021 in Barbados, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Vatican Permanent Observer to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva, highlighted that tackling the common challenges facing humanity today, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, requires improving global multilateral cooperation.

“The different aspects of this unpredictable crisis, its solutions, and any new development that the future may bring, are increasingly interconnected and interdependent,” the Vatican Nuncio said.

He also emphasized that the “crisis becomes an opportunity for discernment in how to shape a new integral vision for the future.”

Rebuilding in wake of crisis

Held under the theme “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”, the UNCTAD XV conference will seek to provide a platform for countries to devise new ways to use trade as an enabler of sustainable development in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. 

It will discuss the strategies and policies needed to resist shocks and quickly recover from economic, financial, climate and social crises, exploring how to build back better and strengthen resilience in view of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.

Transforming economic system

According to Archbishop Jurkovič, the zero-draft text released on 11 December (ZD) “appears to be a solid text for negotiating a successful consensus outcome for the Ministerial Conference.”

He noted that the draft “conveys the profound social and economic concerns that the Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated” and “draws attention to the ‘fault lines’ and the ‘imperfect and improvised’ nature of the approaches used hitherto in the path to development.”

At the same time, he reiterated the need to “transform” the current economic paradigm. He stressed that multilateral co-operation is crucial, noting that “the Covid-19 pandemic has served as a stark reminder that this is indeed an interdependent world” and that tackling the common challenges facing humanity today “requires responsible and forward-looking collective action.”

Growth toward new goal

In his statement, Archbishop Jurkovič also emphasized the close interconnection between the environmental, development and security agendas.

"Solving one without addressing the others is no longer a feasible prospect," he said .

Finally, the Vatican representative pointed out that the focus “should not only be on active and targeted macroeconomic measures, but also on a series of remedial policies needed to build an equitable, integral and climate-friendly development trajectory.”

23 February 2021, 07:29