Category: Blog

UN Monitor: COVID-19 Round-Up 10-04-2020

At a briefing on COVID-19, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated: “We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply. We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times.”
The Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in light of COVID-19 has already garnered significant support including from Member States and CSOs, receiving over 2 million signatures. Read more

Human Rights in the Digital Age: Challenging Issues on the UN Agenda

By Elena Marmo
The potential and challenges of the digital economy are emerging steadily on the UN agenda. The UN General Assembly’s Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Issues (Third Committee) closed its 74th session in November 2019 adopting over 60 resolutions on a wide range of subjects, only one of which (A/C.3/74/L.11) addressed digital technologies. Read more

The global corona crisis – A summary of key policy mappings and databases

Originally published by Global Policy Forum Europe
In addition to the health aspects of the virus, the global coronavirus crisis also has financial, socio-economic and developmental consequences. For this reason, a large number of policy measures have been announced by governments and international organizations, on the one hand to contain the pandemic, on the other to mitigate the economic consequences. Read more

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