On September 11, 2020, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, spoke virtually at a United Nations (UN) meeting about the work of the 'Recovering Better for Sustainability' discussion group. This group, co-led by the UK, Rwanda, Fiji, and the EU, explores how countries can create more sustainable, healthier, and more inclusive societies and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) despite the COVID-19 crisis. In his speech, Ahmad outlined the steps the UK has been taking to support lower-income countries to "build back better". These include:
- Supporting climate-resilient growth, protecting biodiversity, and promoting sustainable ways of living;
- Prioritizing the establishment of strong and resilient health systems, underpinned by universal health coverage; and
- Ensuring no one is left behind with a focus on ensuring girls and vulnerable children continue to learn, even when schools are closed, and are supported to safely get back to school.
Ahmad noted that the UK government will continue to push these priorities in its presidencies of the UN COP26 and G7 next year.