The Commission for Social Development held a high-level panel discussion on the priority
theme, “Socially Just Transition Towards Sustainable Development: The Role of Digital
Technologies on Social Development and Well-being of All” on 8 February 2021.
The panel was opened by H.E. Ms. Maria del Carmen Squeff, the Chair of the 59th session
of the Commission. Dr. Peter Major, Chair of the twenty-fourth session of the Commission
for Science and Technology for Development was a keynote speaker. The panelists were
H.E. Ms. Karen Abudinen, Minister for Information and Communication Technologies of
Colombia; H.E. Ms. Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social
Security of Portugal; H.E. Ms. Silvana Vargas, Minister of Development and Social
Inclusion of Peru; Mr. Boris Zürcher, Head of the Labour Directorate at the State
Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research
of Switzerland; Ms. Elsa Marie D’Silva, Founder & CEO of Red Dot Foundation and
President of Red Dot Foundation Global. The panel was moderated by Ms. Francesca
Spatolisano, Assistant-Secretary-General of UNDESA.
See the events on UN TV:
A socially just transition towards sustainable development requires a holistic and
The COVID-19 crisis risks reversing decades of progress made in the field of social
development. The world needs a fair and inclusive recovery that benefits everyone. Women
and girls have been particularly hard hit by the social and economic consequences of the
pandemic. As countries emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the promotion of human rights
and gender equality should be central to recovery efforts. Similarly, transitions towards
sustainable development should not increase social inequality, and benefits and transition
costs should be equitably distributed.