The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation. The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily overshadowed all the previous concerns of the world community, and among them even existential challenges. The attitude towards sustainable development issues has moved into the “deferred demand” zone. The pandemic pushed the offensive and exacerbated the effect of another crisis in the global economy. At the same time, it is symptomatic that during the pandemic a significant improvement in the environmental situation was felt as a result of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the release of other harmful production wastes. At the same time, the pandemic has accentuated the biomedical safety imperative and will inevitably make a corresponding adjustment to the list of top priorities for moving towards sustainable development goals. After the pause of the pandemic, the imperative of transition to a sustainable development regime will begin to act with significant intensification, bearing in mind the need to compensate for the loss of time and pace. Ensuring biomedical safety will be a special priority. The lessons of the pandemic convincingly confirm the understanding that real success in moving towards sustainable development goals in accordance with the 2030 Agenda cannot be imagined without the normalization of international relations and the establishment of broad cooperation in a global format. At the same time, the author proceeds from the integral perception of the concept of sustainable development. Summing up the pre-pandemic stage of the formation of the concept of sustainable development, its essence can be expressed as follows. Development will be sustainable if it is economically balanced, socially inclusive and balanced, environmentally responsible, biologically safe, institutionally oriented to the interests of the majority and respect for the rights of the minority. If at the same time it is assumed and guaranteed that the use of weapons of mass destruction will be excluded if the urge for military solutions to international conflicts fades. And, of course, on such a platform, debt to the future is unacceptable, as it was said. This, of course, is the ideal, and practice is determined and will be determined by a greater or lesser approximation to it. © 2021, Russian Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.