The Fifth LAS-Japan-UNDP Policy Roundtable

An opportunity for “SDG push": post-COVID recovery in the Arab region with a focus on sustainable reconstruction

July 11, 2021

Date: 12 July 2021

Virtual event

Following the success of the first Arab-Japan Political Dialogue in September 2017, a series of Policy Roundtables was launched in September 2019 by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Government of Japan, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aiming to establish a policy dialogue platform to discuss common development priorities and concerns, and explore policies and solutions to support the Arab region. The tripartite partnership has hosted four roundtables to date: first in September 2019 on education-human-development nexus; second and third in July and December 2020 on the socio-economic impact of and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030; and fourth in March 2021 on digital transformation and its implications on the Arab region. The series of roundtables has been serving as an effective tool to further enhance constructive cooperation between Japan and the Arab states, by engaging UNDP as a co-host, in multi-layered aspects.

Under an overarching theme of the COVID-19 recovery and sustainable development, the upcoming roundtable will focus on “SDG Push” in the post pandemic recovery and sustainable reconstruction.

In the Arab region, the operationalization of “SDG Push” could represent an opportunity to look towards sustainable reconstruction and infrastructure. In this regard, in order to overcome the vulnerability and achieve sustainable reconstruction, promoting quality infrastructure investment is significantly important, in accordance with international standards.

The upcoming Policy Roundtable will discuss these potential opportunities in the post-COVID recovery to “Build Foward Better” with the achievement of the SDGs and leaving no-one behind. It will touch on both broad frameworks as well as concrete practices and experiences associated with these efforts in the context of the Arab region, reflecting on trends and opportunities in recovery and reconstruction towards a sustainable future.

The Policy Roundtable will bring together policy makers, development experts, private sector and civil society organizations from LAS member states, UN agencies, Japan and other stakeholders to share expertise and explore policy directions to realize sustainable reconstruction. LAS, UNDP and other partners will share findings from their respective studies on and their expertise in SDGs and sustainable reconstruction, and discuss “SDG Push” in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussions will revolve around two thematic clusters:

Thematic Cluster I: Post-COVID-19 recovery and an opportunity for “SDG Push” What are the impacts of COVID-19 on SDGs and human development? How can crises be turned into opportunities to achieve SDGs? What is an “SDG Push” scenario in the postCOVID-19 recovery and reconstruction? What are the roles of national governments, regional institutions, UN agencies and other international supporters to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in the Arab region in the post-COVID-19 era?

Thematic Cluster II:
Sustainable infrastructure in COVID-19 recovery How can sustainable infrastructure be incorporated in COVID-19 recovery? What are good practices and concrete examples? How can international partners support sustainable reconstruction effort and the development of sustainable infrastructure in the Arab region?

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