ARROW’s statement at the 2021 ECOSOC High-Level Segment

July 21, 2021 ECOSOC

The following is ARROW’s written statement which was accepted for the 2021 ECOSOC High-Level Segment. The full statement is also available on page 66 of this document.

The Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) welcomes the theme of the High-Level Political Forum 2021 on sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

We are presenting this statement at a time where the need for intersectional, human rights-based and gender responsive approach is no longer an option for resilient recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to realise the Agenda 2030.

Asia and the Pacific region recorded 25% and 20% of the global confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths caused by the pandemic respectively (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2021). The region continues to feel the impact of the pandemic which has deepened the inequalities and further exposed the vulnerabilities of the diverse and marginalised communities including the young people especially their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services. Young women and girls find it even more challenging to access safe abortion and related sexual and reproductive health services. Also, the de-prioritisation of health services including HIV testing and treatment, hormonal treatment and gender affirming treatments for trans individuals has impacted the young LGBTIQ community the most (Outright International, 2020). The pandemic also did not spare young people’s basic access to education and employment leading to more long term economic and social costs.

To reverse the impact of COVID-19 pandemic that is continuing to threaten the region’s progress towards Agenda 2030, ARROW’s work in the Global South reinforces that young people in all their diversity are equal partners in achieving the 2030 goals. They must be at the forefront for accelerated transformation and action to enable accelerated sustainable solutions through young people’s leadership, meaningful participation and support, and empowering youth-adult partnerships across the region. Prior to the Asian Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in March 2021, almost 500 young people from the region crafted a Regional Call to Action at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific recognised Pre- Asian Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development Youth Forum detailing recommendations for sustainable, inclusive and human rights focused solutions for the Decade of Action.

The Regional Youth Call to Action urges the Member States for recovery actions that stimulate equity, resilience, sustainability, and progress towards the SDGs by emphasising the need for research to advance gender equality including to eradicate harmful practices, engagement with marginalised populations, ensuring decent work, preventing a digital divide, tackling intersectoral challenges around healthcare, and informing global governance reforms.

Tags: , , ,