COVID-19: Towards an inclusive, resilient and green recovery —building back better through regional cooperation

The COVID-19 crisis has caused untold disruption to lives and economies. As the current patterns of globalization are being questioned, the regional level will become vital in dealing with crossborder problems. It is at this level that reconnecting economies, reversing the disruption of trade and transport links, and addressing transboundary risks offer more immediate benefits. The critical task of strengthening trust in concerted action may yield clearer results in the context of regional collaboration frameworks, which should be reinforced as a fundamental building block of multilateralism. Effective regional actions require reaching out to multiple partners. The potential of regional collaboration should be fully leveraged to build back better and meet the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Regional economic commissions can be catalysts for such actions, as they engage various actors across common goals. Multilateral action is needed to transform challenges into opportunities for inclusive, resilient and green sustainable development. Regional cooperation and coordination are spearheading global efforts towards this much-needed transition of economies and societies. Regional action during and after the crisis can lay the basis for longer-term cooperation on issues that will likely grow more acute after the pandemic has receded, as the world seeks new pathways towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.