Author: Ana Zeballos

Characteristics of the UN General Assembly Second Committee

By Elena Marmo
The ways of working and tensions within the Second Committee are not unique to its agenda and delegates, but rather manifestations of greater challenges across Committees, and UN organs. The Committee’s Bureau consists of Member State Representatives from all UN regions. The Bureau chairs meetings, appoints facilitators for informal negotiations on resolutions and are responsible for seeing the Committee’s programme of work is completed. Distinct from the Bureau is the Secretariat, comprised of independent UN staff. The Second and Third Committee’s Secretariats are housed and staffed by the ECOSOC Affairs Branch, which is also responsible for conferencing for ECOSOC, the Peacebuilding Commission, Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the HLPF. In addition to the Secretariat, the Second Committee sees substantive contributions in the form of reports and guidance documents from actors across the UN System, among them: UNCTAD, FfD Office, Department for Economic and Social Affairs on behalf of the Secretary-General, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Read more

Global Indicator Framework for SDGs: value added or time to start over?

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
After 10 bi-annual sessions and a one-month open consultation, the Interagency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals (IAEG-SDGs) has made important progress in finalizing its global indicator framework by which to measure progress towards the 17 SDGs and 169 targets at the global level. It has agreed on some additional indicators, including a few long sought by civil society organizations, and has upgraded or replaced indicators stalled at Tier III, a continual demand by Member States. Read more

Global Indicator Framework on SDGs: update and CSO perspectives

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
The UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) is in the final stages of preparing its proposals for the 2020 Comprehensive Review of the global indicator framework of the SDGs, to be submitted to the Statistical Commission by 30 November. Read more

Sustainable Development, Debt and Human Rights

By Elena Marmo
As the dust of the UN General Assembly High-level week settles, the General Assembly and its committees continue their annual work on a myriad of issues. Across the upcoming meetings, the many themes discussed at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development and High-level meeting on the SAMOA Pathway are salient and pivotal to shaping discussions on macroeconomic conditions for development and human rights. Read more

People’s Assembly Debates UN Reform and HLPF Review

By Elena Marmo
Last week, the UN General Assembly 74th Session’s first full week in New York City met amid High-level meetings on climate, health, the SDGs, financing for development, and Small Island Developing States. Over 90 Heads of State or Government convened at UN Headquarters for this political moment, described by the outgoing President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés as “inextricably linked strands of DNA that make up our ‘blueprint’ for the world”. Read more

Major action must be taken to access ‘hidden’ finance to fulfil SDGs

Civil society groups call for urgent reforms to combat illicit financial flows, abolish tax havens, introduce a global wealth tax and an intergovernmental body on tax cooperation.
The High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development which follows the SDG Summit, must urgently find ways to access the funds governments need to achieve the SDGs, say members of the Reflection Group. Read more

Another view of the Climate Action Summit

By Daphne Davies
The so-called ‘Climate Action Summit’ was an odd affair. It began with a youth dialogue, including a speech from Greta Thunberg, who called out the audience of heads of state and CEOs of some of the companies known for their inaction in the face of the climate emergency.

“How dare you say it is business as usual”, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth, how dare you”, she said. This public telling off was greeted with tumultuous applause – perhaps showing that it was going to be business as usual after all. Read more

Gender Equality: a thread running through the Sustainable Development Goals

The need for gender equality is being referred to throughout discussions on the SDGs as an important prerequisite to achieving the goals.
“There is simply no way we can achieve the 17 SDGs without achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls”. Who said this? A feminist polemicist? No, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointing out that gender equality is the thread running through the 2030 Agenda. Read more