18 February 2021, Brussels, Belgium – UNITAR’s International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders based in Antwerp (CIFAL Flanders) organized the learning webinar ‘Aligning the European Recovery – Belgium as a case study’. The event was organized in cooperation with SDSN Belgium bringing together over 350 participants from around the globe.
To recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the EU will make €672.5 billion available through its Recovery and Resilience Facility. To benefit from the support of the Facility, Belgium and the other Member States will prepare recovery and resilience plans to be submitted by April 2021 in the framework of the European Semester. The webinar discussed the role of the Sustainable Development Goals in these plans, both for the EU as a whole, and for Belgium in particular. Among the speakers were representatives of the European Commission, the Belgian federal government, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
UNITAR’s Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth, provided the opening remarks of the event and stressed that the SDGs are the ideal framework to guide the recovery from COVID-19. The crisis calls for a recovery driven by transformative public investments, and according to Mr. Seth, the world urgently needs a transition in five areas: health systems, energy systems, agriculture, education, and urban settlements. Mr. Seth further indicated that the European recovery plans provide a historic opportunity to invest in the future. The Agenda 2030 provides a framework for this future and should form the foundation of the recovery plans.
A recording of the webinar is available on the SDSN YouTube Channel.