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REPORT LAUNCH | Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2021- Demanding justice beyond rhetoric


Friday, 17 September 2021, 9:00-10:30am EDT

Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated rather than reduced global inequalities. The most visible example of this is the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines.

So far more than 60 percent of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but less than 2 percent have done so in low-income countries. In view of this dramatic disparity, the "leave no one behind" mantra of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains hollow.

In fact, the [...]

Heard during UN LDC5 preparations

By Alexa Sabatini

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. The severity of its impact is being felt globally. The LDCs are bearing its heaviest brunt. They have weak infrastructures, and a serious lack of capacity to cope with internal and external shocks.”

-- H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and Co-chair of the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs (LDC5) Preparatory Committee

Ambassador Fatima’s remarks highlight the drastic consequences the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on LDC countries. Referring to the scheduled process of LDC “graduation” out of that [...]

The new debt crisis and what to do about it

Global debt levels have been surging constantly over the past decade, and the need to fight the COVID-19 crisis with running fiscal deficits and borrowing money has been a further shock to global economies. While central bank interventions have been keeping interest rates low in the global north, countries in the global south are particularly vulnerable to crisis because they owe large amounts of external debts. The risk of debt crisis is high and debt service costs are rising rapidly. Each dollar spent on debt service in low-income countries is a dollar that is not being spent on financing [...]

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On Standby

From October 26 to 30, 2020, the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) met for the sixth time at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussions were based on the second revised draft presented by the Ecuadorian Chair of the working group in August 2020. The session was overshadowed by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was held in a hybrid format, i.e. with the option of on-site or virtual participation. Of the 66 participating states, many said they were [...]

Financing Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond - An analysis and assessment of innovative policy options

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). In order to discuss how these finances could be [...]

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