Category: Blog

Women’s Major Group Position Paper on the HLPF Review

By Elena Marmo
As the global community coalesced to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations in September 2020 under the shadow of COVID-19, Member States in their Declaration A/RES/75/1, made commitments to strengthen the multilateral system and set forth plans to “build back better”. Among the tools to do so, as recognized by UN leadership and Member States, are the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their importance is highlighted by marking 2020 as the start of the Decade of Action, the final 10 years to achieve the SDGs, as well as the widespread recognition that COVID-19 is threatening to reverse development gains over the past decade. Read more

Where the rubber meets the road

By Barbara Adams and Roberto Bissio
A survey among CSOs in “programme countries” evidences a very high level of commitment to UN values and principles, much dissatisfaction with the actual operations at country level and articulation of areas for improvement.
For a number of CSOs, the UN system is appreciated for its inspiration, legitimization and promotion of the values they stand for, but is also viewed as a competitor for funds and influence, often displacing the social sector instead of building it. And frequently it is seen as both at the same time. Read more

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