Access to vaccines, climate change and equity were top priorities for countries during the UNGA 76 General Debate

Oct 8, 2021

The UNGA 76 General Debate brought together world leaders (September 21-27) to debate on the most urgent international issues to be addressed. Among them, Building Forward Better for COVID-19 socioeconomic recovery, as promoted by the current Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. 


Context and objective

The webinar was the second and last in the series “The World Debates”, organized by Cepei and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and shared the conclusions of the General Debate. 

Peter Doran, Editor and Leader of IISD’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin; Faye Leone, IISD Policy Advisor, and Javier Surasky, Cepei’s Governance and Financing for Sustainable Development Program Officer, were part of the panel discussion.




The pandemic has also exposed the value of multilateralism and the need to make international cooperation more effective in overcoming the pandemic. The main themes of the UNGA 76 General Debate made it clear that there is a need to move from promises to action. “We did not hear concrete and achievable proposals or commitments,” said the panelists.

Highlights of the interventions 

The General Debate was an opportunity to discuss, identify positions and plan public policies based on country priorities for future decisions. 


Peter Doran of IISD stated that “to improve actions and address climate change it is necessary to make systematic changes. These must be proposed by governments and international organizations, not by the private sector, even if there are exceptions”.


Faye Leone of IISD stated that “the SDG Moment was an event that marked the acceleration of sustainable development. The audience has grown and young people are paying attention to what is happening in the world”.


Finally, Javier Surasky from Cepei, said: “countries highlight the need for a fairer process in the distribution of the cost of the pandemic. This is the last opportunity to recognize the efforts of developing countries in the fight against COVID-19”.


Find the recording and the main ideas of the three speeches here:


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