The Global Policy Watch Team
Many world leaders during the UN GA High-level General Debate referenced the sorry state of multilateralism and the various alignments and groupings, some to counter the lack of agency and redress power asymmetries across multiple policy streams. In conjunction with the historical responsibilities of developed countries for carbon emissions, many called for reparations for slavery and colonialism, highlighting the historical injustice that continues to disadvantage developing countries. Reform of the international financial architecture featured consistently on the agenda, as did a focus on demands for action on Loss and Damage at the upcoming COP 28 and the devastating debt distress, especially in small- and medium-sized countries. Read more
The Global Policy Watch Team
The GPW Team in collaboration with students from Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs at The New School.
In 2023, the HLPF took place from 10 – 19 July, and the main SDGs subjected to in-depth review were SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation, SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy, SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and SDG 17 on partnerships for the Goals. Read more
By Alexa Sabatini, Julie Kim, Barbara Adams, and Karen Judd
The UN established the category of least developed countries (LDCs) in 1971, as many developing countries were navigating a path to development in the post-colonial period. The classification identified specific development challenges faced by these countries. Read more
The GPW Team
In September 2022, heads of state and government spoke at the UN Headquarters on the theme “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”. Secretary-General António Guterres’s message was clear: “Our world is in peril and paralyzed”. He launched the High-level General Debate bluntly: “Our world is in big trouble. Divides are growing deeper. Inequalities are growing wider. Challenges are spreading farther.” He urged, “We need action across the board.”
These concerns reverberated throughout the high-level session. This briefing contains a sampling from countries of the Global South. Read more
By Marina Durano, Ph.D.
The pandemic lockdowns and limits to mobility taught painful lessons about the importance of care. First, the pandemic forced us to recognize the value of care workers as essential and that we are dependent on a broad spectrum of essential workers. Second, a significant share of deaths occurred in long-term care homes, exposing the vulnerabilities of a long-neglected sector. Third, parents with school-age children felt the stresses of holding down a job while working from home at the same time that they are caring for their children and family members within a confined space. Read more
By Antje Hipkins and Elena Marmo
Crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda is SDG 17, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. Increasingly, discussions now take the form of multistakeholder partnerships and engagement with the business sector as a tool to mobilize finance for the SDGs or generate needed capacity – often to develop a pipeline of bankable projects. This partnership orientation has become a regular feature of the UN agenda, from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Operational Activities Segment in May 2022 to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022. Read more
By Barbara Adams and Julie Kim
One of the global processes falling prey to the Omicron variant of the Covid virus was the fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed countries, originally scheduled for the end of January in Doha, Qatar. It has been replaced with a meeting in New York on 17 March 2022 for the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA); a full meeting will be held in March 2023, where governments will gather with stakeholders “to build new plans and partnerships for the delivery of the DPoA over the following decade”. The LDC conferences and programmes of action have a long history of marking the state of global solidarity with countries most in need of co-operation and of the underlying root-causes for global inequalities. Read more
By Elena Marmo
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) embarked on an effort to harmonize UN Development System (UNDS) activities with the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs as well as system-wide pressure for greater country ownership of in-country activities. Part of this process includes the 2017 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (A/RES/71/243) and ongoing reform proposals for the UNDS, all aimed at improving the quality of development and meeting the needs and priorities of host countries and donor governments. Read more
By Jens Martens, Bodo Ellmers and Vera Pokorny
The COVID-19 pandemic and the policies with which governments have responded to it have had a serious impact on the global sustainability agenda. While the full extent of the pandemic and its impacts cannot yet be assessed, there is an evident risk that the pandemic will jeopardize the achievement of the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their entirety.
Preliminary forecasts by the United Nations, the World Bank and other international organizations warn that the already fragile progress made in reducing poverty and malnutrition over the past decades will be reversed. Read more
By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
After 10 bi-annual sessions and a one-month open consultation, the Interagency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals (IAEG-SDGs) has made important progress in finalizing its global indicator framework by which to measure progress towards the 17 SDGs and 169 targets at the global level. It has agreed on some additional indicators, including a few long sought by civil society organizations, and has upgraded or replaced indicators stalled at Tier III, a continual demand by Member States. Read more