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“The UNDS is better positioned and ready to accompany countries as they seek to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate SDG implementation. The reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system is now firmly in place ensuring stronger and independent leadership of the UNDS at country level. A new generation of UN Country Teams, more cohesive and responsive to national needs and priorities, is taking shape. Solid foundations have been built to nurture a culture of results and learning; and to improve efficiencies [...]

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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:

“Given the situation linked to COVID-19, after careful consideration [...]

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.

The Monitor notes that “the first month of the crisis is estimated to [...]

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”.

The multi-stakeholder initiative was launched in Geneva by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [...]

Member States adopted General Assembly Resolution “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19” on 20 April under silence procedure. The resolution, drafted by Mexico and sponsored by 75 other delegations, states that the current crisis calls for:

  • “rapidly scaling manufacturing and strengthening supply chains that promote and ensure fair, transparent, equitable, efficient and timely access to and distribution of preventive tools, laboratory testing, reagents and supporting materials, essential medical supplies [...]

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.

The Panel’s “Overview of Existing Mechanisms and Understanding Priorities” document notes that “moving from secrecy to transparency can improve accountability, but different countries [...]

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.

These can be found on the UN OHCHR website: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/COVID-19-and-Special-Procedures.aspx

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 [...]

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. Learn more and sign the petition here.

Introducing his report on the socio-economic implications of COVID-19 he stated [...]

UN Monitor #14

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.

The Committee heard presentations from a variety of Independent Experts and Special Rapporteurs, two of whom addressed in their reports the human rights implications of [...]