REPORT LAUNCH | Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2021- Demanding justice beyond rhetoric

Time to overcome contradictions and hypocrisy in the COVID-19 crisis
Cover spotlight 2021
Cover spotlight 2021
Online event

Friday, 17 September 2021, 9:00-10:30am EDT

Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated rather than reduced global inequalities. The most visible example of this is the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines.

So far more than 60 percent of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but less than 2 percent have done so in low-income countries. In view of this dramatic disparity, the "leave no one behind" mantra of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains hollow.

In fact, the vested interests of economic elites continue to dominate political decision-making. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis and the other unresolved global problems, most notably the climate emergency, it is high time for transformative policies, strategies and structural changes.

This year's Spotlight on Sustainable Development Report describes the highly uneven socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and analyses the policy responses to it. It explores beyond the rhetoric, highlighting deepening inequalities, self-serving and hypocritical policies and governance failures at national and international level.

Addressing the imbalance in global vaccine production and distribution, the report also examines a few key areas where political and structural changes are necessary to correct the limited and asymmetric recovery.

With this virtual launching event, we will present key findings of the report.

Brief snapshots by

  • K.M. Gopakumar, Third World Network
  • Vanita Mukherjee, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
  • Roberto Bissio, Social Watch

Policy conclusions by

  • Kate Donald, Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Daria Cibrario, Public Services International (PSI)
  • Isabel Ortiz, Global Social Justice


  • Bodo Ellmers, Global Policy Forum
  • María Graciela Cuervo, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

Further information on the Spotlight Report 2021 will be available shortly at

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