Category: UN Monitor

UN Monitor: COVID-19 Round-Up 30/04/2020

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

UN Monitor: COVID-19 Round-Up 28/04/2020

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

UN Monitor: COVID-19 Round-Up 21/04/2020

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

UN Monitor: COVID-19 Round-Up on Human Rights – 20/04/2020

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

UN Monitor: COVID-19 & UN Silence Procedure – 17/04/2020

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

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

Tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) at the United Nations: what will the FACTI Panel deliver?

By Elena Marmo
On 28 January 2020 the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the President of ECOSOC, Mona Juul announced a new initiative: “a high-level panel on international financial accountability, transparency and integrity (FACTI)”. This joint endeavour is framed as a means to target and recover assets for investment in the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

UN Statistical Commission 2020. From Measurement to Management: highlights of 51st session might be the pre-session seminars

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
How to capture and manage big data? This is a question that will confront the 51st session of the UN Statistical Commission in March 2020 as they review the official reports. The four-year process of finalizing the global indicator framework to measure the 169 targets of the SDGs is drawing to a conclusion with the acceptance by the IAEG-SDGs of 8 additional indicators, 14 replacement indicators, 8 revised indicators and 6 deleted indicators. The framework has gone to the Commission for approval in March and the focus of different players in the data and statistics community is shifting to the management and use of data to influence and shape development policy agendas. 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