The 2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is scheduled to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and progress towards the SDGs on 7- 16 July 2020. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a provisional programme and concept note for the 2020 HLPF. DESA has also announced new modalities for virtual side events and exhibitions. Read more
The International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a COVID-19 monitor on the world of work in light of the global coronavirus on 29 April. This was accompanied by a press release specifically focusing on informal work. It reports that: “1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” due to COVID-19. Read more
WHO ACT Accelerator
On 24 April, the World Health Organization announced a multi-stakeholder initiative called the “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator”. The ACT Accelerator describes itself as “a collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies”. It is “grounded in a vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19”. Read more
Guest blog by Ziad Abdel Samad
Ziad Abdel Samad of the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) offers a critical analysis of the far-reaching impacts of the coronavirus and its role in exposing fault lines, from social safety nets to global trade and financial systems. In this guest blog, which highlights the experience of Arab States, he also explores the importance and impact of the state and interstate dynamics in protecting humanity a human rights. Read more
The Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel, a joint General Assembly and ECOSOC initiative established in early 2020, will hold a virtual consultation with Member States on 24 April. The Panel has made available an overview of existing mechanisms and a concept note of their work. Among their priorities will be addressing financial secrecy. Read more
By Bodo Ellmers, Global Policy Forum
Over 80 countries have applied for IMF emergency loans to avoid bankruptcy. The recently agreed debt relief is not enough.
Developing countries have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Commodity prices have collapsed, and with them their export revenues. Since mass unemployment has spread in the global north, remittances from migrant workers have also been falling. Read more
The global impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the responses have raised a wide range of human rights concerns.
UN human rights experts and the UN High Commissioner have spoken out, collectively and individually, issuing statements covering the full range of civic, political, economic and cultural rights. Read more
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) Member States have adopted by consensus a Resolution (A/RES/74/270) on COVID-19 that calls for “international cooperation” and “multilateralism”. The resolution recognizes the "unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people". It calls for "intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic, including by exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices”. It stresses "the need for full respect for human rights" and states that "there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic". Read more
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