WEBINAR: Will COVID-19 pandemic affect the sustainability of UNSDGs? with Mr Stefan Priesner – UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia
May 16, 2020


Date: Saturday, 6th June 2020

Time: 3PM MYT | 7AM GMT


Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-will-covid-19-pandemic-affect-the-sustainability-of-unsdgs-tickets-105626172726

*The Zoom link for the Webinar will be sent to your email on Saturday, 6th June at 10AM.


The coronavirus pandemic has created a crisis of monumental proportions. While it has cost thousands of loss of human lives, the effects on the global economy and the sustainable development prospects might be worse. It is said that the economic impact of this pandemic could increase the global poverty and pushing half a billion people into poverty based on one research by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). The fundamental weakness in our global system has been left exposed by this pandemic. The prevalence of poverty, weak health systems, lack of education, and a lack of global cooperation have all exacerbated this crisis.

The study by UNU-WIDER also shows that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is under considerable threat. And that there is a need to bring together the development agencies, national governments, civil societies, and the private sectors in a global effort to mitigate this problem and to protect the lives of the poor especially in the global south. This crisis has somewhat raised an awareness for the need of cooperation between us as global citizens of the world. A need to save our planet and to build a more resilient world community. We must face this global challenge through a global solution. And this is what the SDGs which is the blueprint to end poverty, achieve equity, protect our environment, and ensure prosperity to all the citizens of the world are all about.

It is very unfortunate indeed that the virus hit us at the time when SDGs were gaining traction and progress was made in many parts of the world. While there is an imperative need to relocate resources to deal with the pandemic in order to save lives, we cannot afford to abandon the SDG actions. To de-link the response to the pandemic from the SDG is a mistake. On the contrary, our effort to achieve SDGs will put us on the right path in dealing with the global health risks. And achieving the SDG specific goals like SDG-3 on ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages also means that we are strengthening the capacity of countries in dealing with emergencies such as this virus pandemic, risk reduction and management.

What we need now is a political will and commitment. If we see the need to put emphasis on the fight against poverty, hunger, and climate change as much as our gallant fight against this virus, we would be able to achieve the target of UNSDGs. But has this virus hit us so hard that some SDG gains have been eroded and that it has somehow deflated our energy? And in focusing our fight against this virus, we have also steered away from the goals we wanted to achieve through the UNSDGs in building a healthier, safer, fairer, and a more equitable society? This webinar will try to answer these pressing issues.


About the Speaker

Mr. Stefan Priesner is the UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia. He has extensive experience in international development and management issues and has been working with the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP) since 1996. He has provided policy advice to Governments and overseen the formulation and delivery of a range of complex, multi-disciplinary development programmes in close partnership with government, bilateral, multi-lateral and otherpartners in various countries in the Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe. Before being assigned to Malaysia in May 2017, he led UN and UNDP teams and programs in Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal and Bhutan, in addition to short term assignments in some twenty other countries. Stefan holds two Masters degrees in International Relations and Law.



300-315PM:    Introduction by the Moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid

315-345PM:    Presentation by Mr Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia

345-455PM:    Discussion

455-500PM:    Concluding remarks by the Moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid


Organized by: Islamic Renaissance Front

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