Author: Ana Zeballos

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

UN Health Summit must stop philanthrocapitalism taking over the WHO

Global UN Watchdog warns that while big donors bridge the gap in WHO funding they are also shaping health programmes according to business norms, and marginalising public health programmes. The writers suggest measures to reinstate the WHO at the centre of Universal Health Coverage.
When the Global Health Summit opens on Monday, its morning session will focus on using the campaign for Universal Health Coverage as a driver of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensuring healthy lives. Read more

UN Climate Summit: 23 September

Will world leaders at the Climate Summit match the courage of the school students who strike around the world against the climate emergency, or will they be put to shame?
Will the tone of Monday’s UN Climate Summit pale in contrast with the courage of striking students who are taking a day off school in 120 countries,  to march for action to confront the climate emergency, though many know they could face severe penalties? Read more

When one session closes, another one opens: Looking ahead to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly

By Elena Marmo
With the focus firmly on preparations for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Week (23-27 September), the Presidents of the General Assembly (PGAs) and the UN Secretary-General expressed their concerns and ambitions in closing the 73rd Session and opening the 74th Session.
While the UNGA High-Level Week will feature high-level meetings on climate, universal health coverage, financing for development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and solutions for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the UNGA’s remit goes far beyond that week, with meetings spanning the entire year, and a new session beginning each September. Read more