Report on the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2020: Japan's Role in Recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Achievement of the SDGs

Hosted by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan, and co-hosted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, this online event will explore how Japan can lead in the effort to "build back better" while advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

September 30, 2020 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm JST


The United Nations has designated the 2020s as the "decade of action to deliver the SDGs by 2030", and calls on all countries and stakeholders to take accelerated actions toward achieving the SDGs. However, at the start of this important decade, the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has a serious impact on economies, societies, and human health worldwide. 

In this context, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, "far from undermining the case for the SDGs, the root causes and uneven impacts of COVID-19 demonstrate precisely why we need the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change […]”. At the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), held online in July 2020, the message was clear: the 2030 Agenda should be placed at the heart of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as a guide to building back better. 

One of the keys to accelerating action to achieve the SDGs is understanding interrelated issues, and enhancing synergies between different policies and initiatives. How can countries and stakeholders strengthen their actions to maximize these synergies, and take the lead on “building back better”? And what role can the Japanese government and stakeholders play in this process? This event will be held online with participation from UN officials, the business sector, academia, youth, and international media to explore these questions and share Japan's principal efforts with the world.

Opening Remarks

Ministry of the Environment, Japan

Video messages

  • Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
  • Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


  • Results of HLPF2020 and the significance of the SDGs in the COVID-19 Era
    TAKADA Minoru, Team Leader (Energy), UNDESA
  • Building back better from COVID-19 Crisis and the Climate Crisis: A Message from the UN Secretary General
    NEMOTO Kaoru, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
  • Initiatives by the Ministry of the Environment Japan for the Recovery from COVID-19
    Ministry of the Environment, Japan
  • The Role of International Media in the Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Lynn Wagner, Senior Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)


Exploring synergies between actions on SDGs and efforts to address climate change, biodiversity and disaster prevention, with advanced efforts from Japan

  • TAKEUCHI Kazuhiko, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) (Moderator and Framing Presentation)
  • YAMAGUCHI Shinobu, Director, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
  • HASEGAWA Tomoko, Managing Director and Director of SDGs Promotion Bureau, Japan Business Federation
  • KURAISHI Haruna, Secretary General, Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability (JYPS)
  • Shinya Oda, Section Chief, Karatsu City

Webinar details