Agenda 2030 – Omicron e sviluppo industriale: cenni sullo “stato dell’arte”

This is our first meeting in 2022 and it can only be dedicated to the issue of "Covid-19" and its variant of the moment: Omicron. What repercussions does it have on the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

First of all, it should be pointed out that, at least so far, the goals of this document are far from being achieved for the entire globe. It is true that there are still nine years to go, but seven years have already passed since that fateful 2015 - the moment of "departure" - and, despite the various steps forward on certain points, the general situation does not see sufficient improvement [1].

With Omicron, we are continuing to proceed along the path taken by the "system-world" about two years ago, when the Covid-19 virus was discovered. A world, however, that is essentially split in two between the most rigorous countries, on the one hand, and those where attention is less high, on the other. In this second group we can include both countries that do not take all the measures indicated by the health authorities for ideological reasons and those that do so for practical reasons: lack of money to buy health products, lack of technical knowledge, etc. Once again, therefore, the virus has shown (and shows) all the global socio-economic disparities. It is precisely those inequalities that the 2030 Agenda must combat and 'break down' within these nine years.

More in detail, the beginning of 2022 and the Omicron variant give us this situation, well described also by the Director General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a few days ago (both by diplomatically hinting "between the lines" what has not worked so far, and by making explicit other critical issues): "Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems. I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. Countries can - and must - prevent the spread of Omicron with measures that work today. [...] The priority in every country, for the sake of the global effort to halt the pandemic, must be to protect the least protected, not the most protected. [...] If we end inequity, we end the pandemic. If we allow inequity to continue, we allow the pandemic to continue"[2].

Again: '[...] The spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 from the African continent has made it possible, two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, to finally put the spotlight on the issue of global health inequalities (with their other diseases). [...] The HIV and AIDS pandemic did not stop during the two-year Covid period. 600,000 people died of the infection in 2020, 38.7 million people of whom 10 were untreated were infected last year, and as Covid spread around the world in 2020 there were 1.5 million new infections, 700,000 of them in sub-Saharan Africa. [...] The race to become infected with HIV weakens people's immune systems, puts a strain on their health and creates a multiplier effect by encouraging the spread of Covid. Foreign Policy pointed out that all Covid experts now agree that Sars-Cov-2 is an 'opportunistic virus', based on studies in South Africa. For people with HIV who are poorly treated or not treated at all", like many of the positives living in sub-Saharan Africa, "the coronavirus can become an invader capable of living for a long time by distributing itself in cardiac tissue, in the brain and in the rest of the body" [3].

However, the UN is looking for ways to revive the situation and provide new perspectives for the future, such as with the Industrial Development Report 2022 entitled "The future of Industrialization in a Post - pandemic World": "The IDR 2022 documents the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on different regions and countries of the world and examines the role played by the industrial sector during the crisis. The report shows that the COVID-19 pandemic hit all corners of the world hard, but affected some countries, industries and workers more than others. It presents new quantitative and qualitative evidence and identifies key resilience factors, as well as vulnerability. Understanding these factors is crucial in designing industrial recovery strategies and policies. [...] A key finding is that the industrial sector plays a key role in promoting socioeconomic resilience. By providing access to essential goods, such as food, medicines and vaccines, the manufacturing sector keeps economies afloat and moves them forward. As pointed out by UNIDO's Deputy Director-General, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, in his presentation of the main findings and messages of IDR 2022, "Countries with stronger manufacturing systems were better able to withstand the crisis. [...] These results strongly reaffirm the importance of implementing SDG 9 to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The role of the industrial sector during the crisis was also highlighted by Victoria Hernández Mora, Costa Rica's Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade. "In Costa Rica, industry has been the least affected economic sector," she said, acknowledging the importance of proactive public-private collaboration in developing containment measures to allow industries to operate safely." [...] Another key finding of IDR 2022 is that industrial capacities and digitalisation supported countries' resilience during the pandemic. According to the report, digital technologies enable businesses to continue to operate remotely and maintain their consumer base, making digitally advanced businesses more able to withstand the impact of the pandemic and adapt to the new normal. Preparing for the post-pandemic future therefore also requires developing countries to further strengthen their digital capabilities. [...] Looking ahead, IDR 2022 highlights three major mega-trends that are expected to shape the post-pandemic landscape - digitalisation, rebalancing of production and industrial greening - and stresses that countries must take these mega-trends into account when designing recovery strategies. According to the report, to build a better recovery it must be green and inclusive, pursuing a more sustainable and secure development path. Countries need to accelerate the transition to a green industrial sector and transform their energy systems, as outlined by Jeffrey Sachs, chair of the United Nations Network of Social Solutions for Sustainable Development. "Challenges need to be overcome to move from fossil fuels to renewables and zero-carbon power generation," he added, "but to do so, developing countries need greater access to finance and appropriate technologies." [4].

In conclusion, therefore, it can certainly be underlined that there is still a long way to go to achieve the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. This is a solemn commitment made by the member countries of the UN and is fundamental to achieving that "minimum" level of peaceful and dignified coexistence in the world. Although on paper the individual nations and the various international bodies seem to be determined to resolve the main international crises, in practice the situation is still fraught with obstacles and complexities. The synergetic work of experts, political decision-makers and citizens will therefore be increasingly fundamental if we are to achieve these ambitious and fundamental goals together.

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  • L'Autore

    Alessandro Fanetti

    Alessandro Fanetti è nato nel 1988 a Siena e attualmente tratta le questioni inerenti l'Agenda 2030 delle Nazioni Unite per Mondo Internazionale. Da sempre appassionato di geopolitica (con focus sulle aree del centro-sud America ed ex-URSS), collabora anche con l' "Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie" (IsAG) e con "Opinio Juris – Law and Politics Review". Ha conseguito un Master in Intelligence Economica presso lo IASSP di Milano nel 2020 e ha frequentato con successo un corso sulla geopolitica latinoamericana e caraibica promosso dalla "Escuela de Estudios Latinoamericanos y Globales" (ELAG) nel 2021. Infine, è iscritto all' "Associazione Italiana Analisti di Intelligence e Geopolitica" (AIAIG) ed è l'autore di un libro intitolato "Russia: alla ricerca della potenza perduta - Dall'avvento di Putin alle prospettive future di un Paese orfano dell'URSS" (Edizioni Eiffel, 2021).

    Alessandro Fanetti was born in Siena in 1988. Since 2019 he has been writing posts for "Mondo Internazionale" on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He has always been passionate about geopolitics (with a particular focus on Latin America and former USSR area), he also writes for IsAG and Opinio Juris - Law and Politics Review. He holds a Master degree in Economic Intelligence and actually he's writing a book about post-Soviet Russia. In the end, he is a member of the AIAIG and he is the author of the book "Russia: alla ricerca della potenza perduta - Dall'avvento di Putin alle prospettive future di un Paese orfano dell'URSS" (Edizioni Eiffel, 2021).


From the World Sections Environment & Development Health & Wellness 2030 Agenda


agenda2030 omicron ONU OMS industria

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