Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the 2020 session of the “Bahrain Visions Forum: Shared Visions for a Successful Future”, held today:
It is a pleasure to greet the Bahrain Visions Forum. I thank you for your focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Sustainable Development Goals. The virus is a major setback to our common efforts. Poverty is rising for the first time in 30 years. The world has lost the equivalent of 500 million jobs.
And women have suffered disproportionately: they are the main workers in the most-affected sectors; they have taken on extra burdens of care; and they are suffering an associated epidemic of violence as lockdowns trap many at home with their abusers.
The United Nations continues to push for a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, a vaccine that is affordable and available to all, and a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy: the virus. We must also address the inequalities and fragilities exposed by the pandemic.
Recovery is an opportunity to reimagine the future — a future rooted in peace, sustainable development and human rights. We can only get there together. I thank you for pointing the way forward through the Sustainable Development Goals. Thank you.