Global Policy Watch Blog

UNGA Revitalization and selecting the next Secretary-General

By Elena Marmo
In 2007, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) established an Ad Hoc Working Group on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (AHWG) which in recent years has addressed the selection process of the UN Secretary-General (S-G). The current S-G Antonio Guterres’ five-year term is set to expire on 31 December 2021 and Member States have begun activities for the 2021 selection and appointment for the UN S-G position, including a thematic debate on the selection process on 23 April. Read more

Broad consensus, paltry results. The UN Forum on Financing for Development 2021

By Bodo Ellmers
The UN Forum on FfD 2021 was the first FfD forum held as planned since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, the expectations were high. Development finance is currently facing a triple challenge: to mitigate the humanitarian crisis, funds for an acute crisis response are needed – for example, to finance universal access to vaccines through the COVAX-facility, or for social protection measures. To mitigate the further divergence between countries, resources must be made available for economic stimulus programmes in the Global South that match those of the Global North. To prevent the failure of the Agenda 2030, the SDG financing gap that already existed before the COVID-19 crisis and has widened as a result of the crisis must be filled. The UN FfD Forum 2021 was a pivotal moment on the international policy calendar to take the necessary steps. Read more

Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2021: The yawning gap between development finance needs and political ambition

By Bodo Ellmers
In the lead-up to the UN’s Financing for Development Forum that takes place virtually from April 12-15, the 2021 edition of the Financing for Sustainable Development Report has been released. The report is published by the so-called Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), which comprises numerous UN entities, but also the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. It is widely considered the most comprehensive source of data and analysis on development finance topics.Read more

Video of the virtual workshop “Making the 2030 Agenda accountable: What is the role for civil society?”

The video of the virtual Campaign Activation Workshop “Making the 2030 Agenda accountable: What is the role for civil society?” is now online. The virtual workshop was co-organized by Global Policy Forum, Global Policy Watch and Social Watch as part of the 2021 SDG Global Festival of Action and it was held on March 25, 2021. Read more

Campaign Activation Workshop: Making the 2030 Agenda accountable: What is the role for civil society?

The promise of the SDGs makes governments accountable but who is to be made responsible for global issues like the climate, the pandemic or finances? Join us to discuss this issue in a workshop hosted by Global Policy Forum, Global Policy Watch and Social Watch as part of the 2021 SDG Global Festival of Action. The workshop will be hold on March 25, 2021 from 04:30 to 05:30 PM (CET). Read more

COVID-19 & LDCs: Upcoming opportunities to address structural impediments

By Elena Marmo and Barbara Adams
The United Nations and Member States begin the 2021 calendar confronted with the need to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and growing global inequalities. Despite the WHO’s efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine “affordable and accessible for all” through the ACT Accelerator and calls by CSOs and UN leadership and world leaders for a People’s Vaccine (a global public good free from Intellectual Property Rights), the global vaccine distribution/rollout has been dominated by wealthy, developed countries, with little if any vaccines available for small and medium developing countries. Read more

Women’s Major Group Position Paper on the HLPF Review

By Elena Marmo
As the global community coalesced to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations in September 2020 under the shadow of COVID-19, Member States in their Declaration A/RES/75/1, made commitments to strengthen the multilateral system and set forth plans to “build back better”. Among the tools to do so, as recognized by UN leadership and Member States, are the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their importance is highlighted by marking 2020 as the start of the Decade of Action, the final 10 years to achieve the SDGs, as well as the widespread recognition that COVID-19 is threatening to reverse development gains over the past decade. Read more

Where the rubber meets the road

By Barbara Adams and Roberto Bissio
A survey among CSOs in “programme countries” evidences a very high level of commitment to UN values and principles, much dissatisfaction with the actual operations at country level and articulation of areas for improvement.
For a number of CSOs, the UN system is appreciated for its inspiration, legitimization and promotion of the values they stand for, but is also viewed as a competitor for funds and influence, often displacing the social sector instead of building it. And frequently it is seen as both at the same time. Read more

Financing Sustainable Development in the Era of Covid-19 and Beyond

By Bodo Ellmers
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations (UN) estimated that developing countries needed an extra US$ 2.5 trillion in external finance to cope with the consequences of the crisis. This vast sum is needed because additional spending needs – for example on health services and social protection – coincide with a simultaneous collapse of all traditional sources of development finance: tax revenue, export earnings, migrant remittances, foreign direct investment and, to a lesser extent, also official development assistance (ODA). Read more