Category: Blog

Financing Sustainable Development in the Era of Covid-19 and Beyond

By Bodo Ellmers
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations (UN) estimated that developing countries needed an extra US$ 2.5 trillion in external finance to cope with the consequences of the crisis. This vast sum is needed because additional spending needs – for example on health services and social protection – coincide with a simultaneous collapse of all traditional sources of development finance: tax revenue, export earnings, migrant remittances, foreign direct investment and, to a lesser extent, also official development assistance (ODA). Read more

UN General Assembly Special Session: Transformation or Continuation of the Status Quo?

By Elena Marmo
The General Assembly (GA) will host its 31st Special session in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 3 and 4 December 2020. The UN Charter (Chapter IV, article 20) provides for the General Assembly to meet in special sessions which can be "convoked by the Secretary-General at the request of the Security Council or of a majority of the Members of the United Nations." Read more

Re-inventing multilateral solidarity: rhetoric, reaction or realignment of power?

By Barbara Adams
Multilateral solidarity is gaining traction as the slogan for mobilizing support for international cooperation and for the UN. Is it replacing or merely renaming cross-border obligations – many of which have been enshrined over decades in UN treaties, conventions and agreements, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in their implementation? Read more

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of the global civil society report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020

The COVID-19 crisis and the worldwide measures to tackle it have deeply affected communities, societies and economies around the globe. But calls for “building back better” by just pushing the reset button will not change the game. We need structural changes in societies and economies that ensure the primacy of human rights, gender justice and sustainability.
This is the key message of the 2020 edition of the Spotlight Report on Sustainable Development “Shifting policies for a systemic change.” It is published by a broad range of civil society organizations today – on the eve of the Global Action Week for the SDGs and three days before UN’s 75th (virtual) anniversary summit. Read more

UN: Re-inventing multilateral solidarity – rhetoric, or realignment of power?

By Barbara Adams
Multilateral solidarity is gaining traction as the slogan for mobilizing support for international cooperation and for the UN. Is it replacing or merely renaming cross-border obligations, many of which have been enshrined over decades in UN treaties, conventions and agreements, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in their implementation? Read more

US Leveraging its money in global and regional fora

By Barbara Adams and Roberto Bissio

New York and Montevideo (September 11) – There is widespread speculation that if/when US President Trump addresses the UN General Assembly on 22 September — probably the only head of state to do so in person– he may warn of major cuts in financial contributions or even threaten to pull out of the UN. Read more

The Impact of Digital Technologies: a UN75 Priority?

By Carter Boyd and Elena Marmo
In recent years, the opportunities and challenges presented by rapid digitalization have become a staple on various agendas across the United Nations. Within the past few months, as the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 increase global reliance on digital technology, the relevance of and concerns about digitalization have heightened. Digital technologies have been prominent in a number of UN processes and deliberations such as UN75, human rights reports, the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the 2020 High-level Political Forum. Read more

Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

by Bodo Ellmers
A snapshot of the ongoing work at the United Nations in times of crisis. This publication looks at the financing for development (FfD) work at the United Nations in 2020, an exceptional year due to outbreak of the global coronavirus crisis in the spring. Following this shock, FfD became a highly relevant issue on the UN agenda. The FfD process as originally scheduled was redesigned, with the FfD Forum originally scheduled for April cut down from four days of face-to-face meetings to a virtual session that lasted for just one hour. An official outcome document was adopted anyway, however free of concrete commitments that would match the needs of coping with the crisis. Read more