Statement by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö at the SDG Moment convened by the UN Secretary-General, 18 September 2020

Madame Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Excellencies,

We are in the middle of a global crisis, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has also brought challenges to many of the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to the ones focusing on health and poverty, I would like to stress the importance of gender equality.

When our societies face turmoil, the rights of women and girls, particularly Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, are often eroded. We need to be decisive in safeguarding these rights. In order to build a sustainable future, we need the full contribution of women and girls, too.


The current crisis also brings us an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Across the world, we see governments and institutions responding to it with enormous financial stimulus packages.

We must make sure that these funds are used cleverly. In order to truly “Build Back Better and Greener”, our recovery now needs to align with the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.


Achieving the SDGs by 2030 is not possible without adequate financing. Nationally, therefore, Finland will continue to integrate sustainable development into our state budget. Our aim is to have the 2030 Agenda forming the basis for all government policies. We are determined to transform Finland into a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society during this decade.

And globally, together with our co-chair Chile, Finland is actively engaging the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, now with over 50 members.

While managing the ongoing pandemic, we also need to strengthen global resilience to future shocks. We cannot achieve it without global cooperation. We cannot achieve it without a strong rules-based multilateral system. And we cannot achieve it without the Sustainable Development Goals.

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