2020-06-03

HRH Crown Princess Victoria's speech at the conference ”Building back better from Covid-19 pandemic through long-term investment in sustainable development”, Wednesday 3 June 2020

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Deputy Secretary-General Ms Amina Mohammed,
Excellencies,
Ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today.

As an advocate alumni for the Sustainable Development Goals, today’s topic is very close to my heart. And as a Swede, I am proud that my country is hosting this timely conference.

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people and societies all over the world. The effects of the corona virus 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.

And that, of course, is why we are here today: to discuss, to learn, and then act, to build back better through supporting a strong shift to long-term sustainable investment.

There are already some great examples of how this can be done. These examples can be multiplied, developed and become the new business-as-usual.

And I would like to take this opportunity to commend the members of the GISD Alliance, for shouldering this responsibility. And for coming together, as competitors, to address these challenges jointly with others.

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 ten years from now. But I do know this: Sustainable development is a great investment.

In ten 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 ten 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.

I want to thank all of you for helping us do that.

I wish you the best of luck with your important work and cooperation, and a most successful conference.

Thank you.