Summit of Future Must Show ‘Multilateralism Can Deliver for Everyone, Everywhere’, Deputy Secretary-General’s Tells Economic and Social Council

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the special meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), titled “The future of work:  towards a productive, inclusive and sustainable global society”, in Santiago today:

Excellency, Mr. Alberto van Klaveren, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile,

Excellency, Ms. Paula Narvaez, President of ECOSOC,

I wish I could be with you in person to join this special meeting of ECOSOC taking place for the second time in history in Santiago.

I commend the Government of Chile and the President of ECOSOC for the thoughtful planning and hosting of the meeting — outside of the usual surroundings — to discuss on how to deliver the promise of sustainable development with the current global and regional complexities.

Let us approach the mission ahead, inspired by the spirit of 1951, when Ambassador Hernan Santa Cruz, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, first brought the forum to this country, and the leadership of Ambassador Paula Narvaez who has led our journey to the land of Pablo Neruda and Violeta Parra today.

A spiral of crises — exacerbated since 2020 by the impacts of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and climate change — is adding urgency to our agenda.

Seven hundred million people are living in extreme poverty; more than 333 million people are facing acute levels of food insecurity; humanitarian needs are skyrocketing; and the impacts of the triple planetary crisis continue to impact countries, communities and our ecosystems.

Locally, conflicts are also raging over resources, forcing populations to migrate — internally and beyond borders, triggering tensions between countries and making the plight of ordinary citizens even more dire.

In this context, we hear some say that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not viable anymore.  We must meet those claims with conviction and keep the promise of the 2030 Agenda.  This is not the time to change course.  The SDGs still provide the North Star.

The political declaration adopted at last year’s SDG Summit is a testimony of our collective capacity to obtain results in the face of uncertainty.

Secondly, we must have clarity of purpose.

Rescuing the SDGs demands unlocking finance for developing countries, accelerating food, energy and digital transitions, and keeping people at the centre.

It means making the SDG Stimulus a reality to facilitate structural adjustments and enable finance to flow where it is most needed.

Dear friends,

I commend the choice of topic for this special session.

The Future of Work is tied to our ability to secure a just digital transition; to use food systems transformation, and the transition to renewable energy and a green economy, to create jobs and opportunities for women and young people.

Making the Future of Work a future of opportunity is not automatic.

Without the determination of leaving no one behind, the needle will not move in the direction of our ambitions.

This means acting on the stubbornly high rates of youth unemployment; on the persistent gender disparities in wages, labour market participation and access to social protection.

Similarly, unregulated digitalization is a driver of inequalities.

When properly harnessed, digital tools can accelerate job creation and help expand social protection, as seen in many countries during COVID-19 — a time when we also came to realize the value of cultivating caring societies.

We need policies that recognize, reduce and redistribute for care society, often carried out by women and girls, to promote women’s access to decent work.

Instilling protection and care in our societies have proven to be an effective solution to address violence in all its forms and build societies that are safer.

Inclusive, prosperous and safer societies are not only societies that offer opportunities to the increasing numbers of migrants that the world is seeing; they are societies that do not expel their people.


In a couple of months, you will meet in New York for the high-level political forum on sustainable development.

You have the opportunity to build on the outcomes of the SDG Summit and its strong political declaration, using different ECOSOC platforms taking place between now and September — from the CSW [Commission on the Status of Women} to the regional forums on sustainable development, the FFD [Financing for Development] Forum and ad-hoc meetings such as this gathering to change the landscape for the people that need it most.

The Goals under revision this year cannot be more pertinent:  poverty, hunger, climate and institutions.

As we advance towards the Summit of the Future in September, the Pact for the Future is an opportunity to reiterate the path towards acceleration.

Multilateral governance is not adequate to meet today’s complex and rapidly changing world.  We can neither deliver on existing commitments, nor successfully tackle emerging threats and challenges unless we dramatically strengthen the multilateral system.

World leaders can help forge new international consensus to adapt multilateral institutions to current political and economic realities.

The Summit of the Future must demonstrate that multilateralism can deliver for everyone, everywhere, and offer solutions for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world for future generations.

The leadership, coordination and guidance of ECOSOC will be crucial to these efforts.  It is the Charter body entrusted with the responsibility to coordinate the UN development system.

Your work is essential to ensure the critical links between the SDG acceleration agenda, the related policy dialogue and the preparations for the Summit of the Future.

Let’s build on the momentum of the 2023 SDG Summit and scale ambition for the Summit of the Future in September — as well as the proposed World Social Summit next year.

Let us embrace the moment and deploy all assets in ECOSOC and beyond to rescue the SDGs.  We can still make it happen.

I wish you great success over these two days.  You can rely on my full support as we work to achieve a just, inclusive and more sustainable future for all.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.