In celebration of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU Macau), the only UN organization in Macao, brought together government, academia, private sector, and NGOs to share their experiences in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), examine the SDGs’ roles in Macao’s strategic development plan, and explore collaborative opportunities particularly in the areas of digital technologies for the SDGs.
The Summit was opened by the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in China, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, who represented a delegation of colleagues from UN China in attendance, including UNDP, UNICEF, UNIDO-ITPO, UNOPS and emphasised the UN’s commitment in supporting all stakeholders in safeguarding the progress made and efforts to achieve the SDGs.
“To leave no one behind, no communities behind, no village behind, there is a need for collaboration and renewal of multilateralism. Most importantly we must embrace science, technology, and innovation while bringing together the private sector, academia, governments, civil society, the UN families towards a single agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China.
Even in the pre-pandemic era, we were not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and COVID-19 has worsened the situation, thereby erasing years ofsocial-economic progress. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020, an estimated 71 million people globally were expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty and the persisting digital divide meant remote learning remained out of reach for students who lack access to computers and the internet.
“There has never been a greater need for multi-stakeholder partnerships than right now when COVID-19 has reversed decades of progress on poverty reduction, healthcare, and education and left the most vulnerable further behind. Everyone in Macau has a key role to play in this Decade of Action towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I am elated to learn about the innovative and sustainable solutions that our partners have been implementing in Macau: from eliminating single-use plastics and enhancing the cyber resilience of citizens to improving social services and capacity building initiatives. To tackle the impacts of COVID-19 on development progress and build back better, we need to collectively leverage digital technologies while addressing the potential risks and adverse effects,” said Dr. Jingbo Huang, Director of UNU Macau.
Professor Song Yonghua, UNU Macau’s Advisory Board member, expressed his support and confidence in the Institute’s new strategic plan (2021-2025) to help Macao with its technology and innovation agenda. Among the panelists, Dr. Lei Chin Ion, former Director of the Health Bureau of Macao, shared Macao’s success story in curbing COVID-19.
Through this summit, UNU Macau hopes to raise awareness about the SDGs and celebrate successes as well as learn from the challenges in implementing the SDGs in Macao. Topics discussed at the summit revolved around the five Ps of the SDGs: People, Prosperity, Peace, Partnerships and Planet.