Category: Blog

Don’t say nobody warned us

By Roberto Bissio
The message could not have been clearer: "There is a very real threat of a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic of a respiratory pathogen killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5% of the world’s economy. A global pandemic on that scale would be catastrophic, creating widespread havoc, instability and insecurity.” Read more

ODA: Can the players also be scorekeepers?

By Roberto Bissio
The numbers provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) about the assistance contributed by its members to developing countries are “inflated”, include “fictional figures”, suffer from “fundamental flaws of overcounting, incoherence and premature implementation of an unfinished system” and have therefore “become incoherent as a statistical quantity”, argues Simon Scott, former head of the statistical division of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in an article recently published by the Brookings Institution. Read more

UN General Assembly’s Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs: Tensions and interests on macroeconomics hide behind “consensus”

By Elena Marmo
The Second Committee of the UN General Assembly, in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, concluded its 2019 deliberations last November 27. Fifty resolutions were passed and discussion was closed on all but one agenda item: the Revitalization of the UN General Assembly. The range of the resolutions, dealing with sustainable development, macroeconomics, operational activities for development and countries in special situations show that the UN is relevant in macroeconomic and financing matters. More attention will be demanded in the coming year to the issue of Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly through the lens of coordination for sustainable development, while the old debate about the role of consensus in the Committee’s deliberations was reopened. Read more

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 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