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The French response to the Corona Crisis: semi-presidentialism par excellence

GDI Briefing - 19. Januar 2038 - 4:14

This blog post analyses the response of the French government to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece highlights how the semi-presidential system in France facilitates centralized decisions to manage the crisis. From a political-institutional perspective, it is considered that there were no major challenges to the use of unilateral powers by the Executive to address the health crisis, although the de-confinement phase and socio-economic consequences opens the possibility for more conflictual and opposing reactions. At first, approvals of the president and prime minister raised, but the strict confinement and the reopening measures can be challenging in one of the European countries with the highest number of deaths, where massive street protests, incarnated by the Yellow vests movement, have recently shaken the political scene.

Kategorien: english

Combatting climate change with nature-based solutions

ODI - 9. Dezember 2020 - 0:00
In preparation for COP26, experts from the UK and Bangladesh give insights on how both countries are using nature-based solutions to combat climate change.
Kategorien: english

Implementing and sustaining nature investments at scale

ODI - 8. Dezember 2020 - 0:00
Exploring how nature-based solutions are being used in parallel with engineered interventions to combat climate change in Bangladesh and the UK.
Kategorien: english

Back to the 1960s? Education may be Latin America’s most lasting scar from COVID-19

Brookings - 4. Dezember 2020 - 16:08

By Nora Lustig, Guido Neidhöfer, Mariano Tommasi

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing Latin America at serious risk of unraveling the progress the region has made in the last decades when it comes to education. According to UNICEF, 95 percent of children are out of school in a region where social mobility coming from education is already low, and where equality of opportunity is rare. But the current generation of school children may—especially in low-income, less-educated households—be facing a future with the meager levels of education achievement last seen in the 1960s. Going backwards in education is not just bad for the children directly affected. Latin America’s future could witness losses in economic growth and increased political polarization as a result.

While schools shut their doors for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds, their ability to continue learning depends on their parents’ income and educational level. As in other regions of the world, high-educated parents have better access to internet and laptops, tablets, and so on, as well as the knowledge and non-cognitive skills to support their children’s homeschooling. They also have the economic resources to hire tutors and purchase the best online options for course materials. Children in low-parental education households, in contrast, may find it difficult if not impossible to continue their education at home due to lack of adequate equipment, connectivity and—above all—one-on-one coaching. Just as an example of such inequalities, the internet coverage for households whose head has less than secondary school in Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua is around 30 percent while it is above 90 percent in families, within the same country, headed by adults with more than secondary education.

Children in disadvantaged households will end up with lower levels of learning and many might drop out of school altogether. This will result in lower social mobility and more inequality of opportunity in the future. Governments across the region have implemented a series of measures—whose scale varies significantly across countries—such as TV, radio, printouts, and online learning schemes, as well as income-support programs.

But these mitigation policies simply aren’t enough. Our projections, which are based on simulation exercises we explain in our forthcoming paper on the intergenerational effects of COVID-19 in Latin America, estimate that the likelihood of today’s students to complete secondary education in Latin America may soon drop from a regional average of 61 percent to 46 percent. (The working paper will soon be published by the Commitment to Equity Institute.)

This average, however, hides striking differences across countries and socioeconomic groups. While the impact of individuals from highly educated families is hardly affected, the probability of completing secondary school for individuals with low-educated parents is considerably lower in the post-pandemic, declining by almost 20 percentage points, from 52 percent to 32 percent. This low level of educational attainment for children of low-educated families was reported in Latin America for cohorts born in the 1960s. The sharpest decline is estimated for Brazil: 32 percentage points; the least dramatic, for Uruguay: 9 percentage points. In Guatemala and Honduras, the probability of secondary school completion of individuals from lower educated families might even fall below 10 percent. The gap in the likelihood of completing high school between children of low-educated families and children of high-educated families—already high before the pandemic—could thus rise significantly.

Can something be done to prevent this unequalizing force from happening? To soften the negative impact of school closures on children, governments are experimenting with ways of reopening them that are prudent from an epidemiological point of view. Reopening schools, however, is not enough now and it will not be enough in the post-pandemic period either. There will be a need to make up for the losses by increasing both the amount and quality of learning time once the pandemic is tamed. School systems will need to contemplate extended schedules, summer and after-school programs, and more personalized instruction. Efforts should also be geared to developing online and offline resources available for free and expanding connectivity to schools and other places so the resources can be downloaded at no cost. The focus should be on the most vulnerable children. That is, children in low-educated households as they are the ones who are likely to have lost more instructional time.

The remedial actions and rescue operations will require resources, especially financial resources. One key recommendation is for governments not to cut education spending when they face the inevitable need to reign in fiscal deficits (deficits that were not only acceptable but encouraged during the pandemic). In fact, if anything, fiscal resources devoted to education may need to rise. The challenge is so daunting that help will be needed from nonstate actors as well. Private philanthropy, the for-profit sector, and community-based organizations together with governments should launch a crusade to save the next generation of vulnerable children from falling behind.

       
Kategorien: english

Growth and labour markets in middle-income countries

OECD - 4. Dezember 2020 - 13:59
By Rolph van der Hoeven1 International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University, The Hague & Member of the Committee for Development Policy of the United Nations “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave… “ It is almost as if the lyrics of the world’s best rated song ‘Hotel … Continue reading Growth and labour markets in middle-income countries
Kategorien: english

04.12.2020 Minister Müller welcomes agreement on a new compact for the future between the EU and the ACP states

German BMZ - 4. Dezember 2020 - 12:00
The EU and 78 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific region reached an agreement yesterday evening in Brussels regarding the contents of a new EU-ACP partnership agreement. The new agreement will replace the 20-year-old "Cotonou Agreement". German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "Europe must seize this opportunity and use it to create fair trading relations on an equal footing. If we do that, then we will trigger the biggest leaps in development. And that is also in ...
Kategorien: english

Vanuatu graduates from list of least developed countries

UN ECOSOC - 4. Dezember 2020 - 11:57
The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has graduated from the official list of Least Developed Countries (LDC), becoming the sixth country to achieve the milestone since the development categorization was created in 1971. 
Kategorien: english

Resumen de Comunicaciones – 30 de noviembre al 4 de diciembre 2020

CSO Partnership - 4. Dezember 2020 - 4:05

¿Lo sabías?

  • Guardianes de la semilla y narradores de la verdad: Desde la línea de fuego de la agricultura transgénica. Vea este corto video animado que se centra en las semillas genéticamente modificadas (OGM) y la historia de sus impactos globales. Subtítulos disponible en ES. https://bit.ly/3mtDzCx 

Eventos en línea

Verifique su hora local: https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/   

  • El 7 de diciembre de 2020 a la 1PM Bolivia / 5PM Reino Unido / 7PM Burundi. Únase a Christian Aid Escocia y a otras organizaciones religiosas en todo el mundo para discutir el papel de las comunidades religiosas y los líderes en la lucha contra la violencia de género. Inscríbete: https://bit.ly/3lrU0h5   
  • El 8 de diciembre de 2020 a las 13.00 a las 15.00 horas (Yakarta/Hanoi), a las 14.00 a las 16.00 horas (Manila), a las 15.00 a las 17.00 horas (Dili) IBON International, Red de Investigación de Asia y el Pacífico e Instituto de Estudios Nacionales y de Democracia de Indonesia, Seminario web sobre el militarismo y el saqueo de recursos en el Asia sudoriental. Inscríbase: https://t.co/4dThopXrB8
  • El 9 de diciembre de 2020 a las 6 de la mañana Argentina/ 10 de la mañana Congo/ 5 de la tarde Filipinas. Los sindicatos y la juventud juntos – Una transición justa para la ambición climática” – Únete al diálogo mundial en línea de la Organización Internacional de Sindicatos. Más información: https://bit.ly/2HZMnkx  Inscríbase: https://bit.ly/37jYbqo  
  • Vea el Sexto Foro Sindical – CAD-OCDE sobre “El papel de la AOD para asegurar una recuperación y resistencia impulsada por los ODS”: https://bit.ly/37uSh5I  
  • “Violencia doméstica durante COVID-19: Lo que las OSC pueden hacer para enfrentar esta pandemia en una pandemia’. Vea el seminario web de CIVICUS: https://bit.ly/3qiqePu 
  • Vea el seminario web de la Red Internacional de Investigación Popular: “Construyendo la Democracia Popular”: https://bit.ly/3o5YITq 
  • Vea el seminario web de la Red Árabe de ONG para el Desarrollo – “Seminario de Política del Sur del Vecindario de Majalat, Panel 2: ‘¿Cuál es el destino de la democracia y la paz en la región de MENA'”: https://bit.ly/3oc7yiA  
  • La Red Árabe de ONG para el Desarrollo puso en marcha el primer período de sesiones de su “semana de estudio de 2020” sobre políticas macroeconómicas, comerciales, de inversión y de desarrollo. Vea el vídeo resumen: https://bit.ly/39zGMfZ  
  • Lea el resumen de la 13ª edición del Foro de ONGs del Mar Negro: “Avanzando en la cooperación de la sociedad civil en la región del Mar Negro en tiempos de incertidumbre” que tuvo lugar la semana pasada: https://bit.ly/2VyXTGs 

 

Declaraciones/Publicaciones

  • “Eficacia del desarrollo para una respuesta sostenible al Covid-19”. Lea la Declaración 2020 de la Conferencia de Políticas de la AOED que articula las posiciones de nuestra plataforma extraídas de nuestros acuerdos en la reciente Conferencia de Políticas virtual: https://bit.ly/3g6VEnr 
  • “La presa y el derecho de los pueblos indígenas en Manipur”, por el ambientalista y representante del sector de la propiedad intelectual de la AOED, Jiten Yumnam: una perspectiva crítica sobre la construcción de mega presas en la India y su impacto en el medio ambiente. Publicado por el Centro de Investigación e Incidencia de Manipur.  Aprende más: https://bit.ly/3mSiuSx. Comprar el libro: https://bit.ly/2L5Vmlo 
  • “Activismo y SIDA”: Proteger el espacio de la sociedad civil para acabar con la epidemia’. La investigación de campo de CIVICUS y sus socios en Ucrania, Zimbabwe, Indonesia y Vietnam examina los riesgos y restricciones a los que se enfrenta la sociedad civil en su lucha por acabar con el SIDA y el VIH. Vea su informe en vídeo: https://bit.ly/3qncwv4    Lea el informe completo: shorturl.at/fiHSU  
  • De la Red Árabe de ONG para el Desarrollo: “Vacunas COVID-19″: Accesibles o no” https://bit.ly/2JAeS8K   
  • Declaración de solidaridad del Movimiento de los Pueblos Indígenas por la Autodeterminación y la Liberación con los pueblos nativos americanos en el Día Nacional de Luto 2020, pronunciada por Beverly Longid. Versión en ES al desplazar hacia abajo en la página web): https://bit.ly/3qqhMOu  
  • Mensaje de solidaridad de Sylvia Mallari, copresidenta de PCFS Global, para el pueblo palestino: https://bit.ly/3qjnEJo  
  • “Incidencia en áreas restringidas”: Un conjunto de herramientas para las organizaciones de la sociedad civil’. El conjunto de herramientas de incidencia del Fondo de Asistencia a las OSC de Lifeline Embattled incluye una guía para la planificación que hace hincapié en la mitigación de los riesgos y la interseccionalidad, las tácticas que pueden utilizarse en espacios restringidos y estudios de casos con ejemplos del mundo real de cómo las OSC lograron el éxito con su incidencia. Descárguelo en ÁRABE, INGLÉS, FRANCÉS, RUSO y ESPAÑOL: https://bit.ly/3lpt3uF  
  • Acción de espectadores. Cambiar la cultura que impulsa la violencia contra la mujer a través de pequeñas acciones valientes en la vida diaria’. Una herramienta creada por la Diócesis Anglicana de Melbourne: https://bit.ly/3lv4750  

 

Convocatoria de Proyectos

  • ¿Es usted un programador, diseñador o profesional de la informática con interés en los derechos humanos? Los Defensores de los Derechos Civiles y el Software Libre de Código Abierto Kosova (FLOSSK) están organizando la segunda hackathon de los Balcanes Occidentales, EqualiTECH 2020, del 11 al 13 de diciembre. Solicite antes del 6 de diciembre: https://bit.ly/37uaMYb  
  • El Proyecto de Justicia Mundial lanzó un llamamiento para presentar una solicitud para el Desafío de la Justicia Mundial 2021 para iniciativas que aborden los desafíos del Estado de Derecho en medio del Covid-19. Solicitar hasta el 11 de diciembre de 2020: https://bit.ly/30Ld5TW  
  • El Foro de ONG del Mar Negro hizo un llamamiento para que se presentaran resúmenes de la serie de artículos “Construyendo el conocimiento para la cooperación de las OSC en la región del Mar Negro”: 10 artículos sobre temas relacionados con la cooperación regional, el liderazgo de las OSC y la resistencia de las OSC en la región durante las crisis. Solicitar hasta el 15 de diciembre de 2020: https://bit.ly/2HuVJUw 

 

Buenas lecturas

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Communications Roundup – Nov 30 to Dec 4, 2020

CSO Partnership - 4. Dezember 2020 - 3:49

Did you know?

  • Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers: From the Frontlines of GM Agriculture. Watch this animated short video focusing on genetically modified (GM, also known as GMO) seeds and the story of their global impacts. (EN w/ SP & FR subtitles) https://bit.ly/3mtDzCx 

Online events

Check your local time: https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/   

  • On 7 December 2020 at 1PM Bolivia / 5PM UK / 7PM Burundi. Join Christian Aid Scotland and other faith-based organisations around the world to discuss the role of faith communities and leaders in speaking out against gender-based violence. Sign up: https://bit.ly/3lrU0h5  
  • 8 December 2020 at 1PM-3PM (Jakarta/Hanoi), 2PM-4PM (Manila), 3PM-5PM (Dili) IBON International, Asia Pacific Research Network, and Institute for National and Democracy Studies Indonesia’s Webinar on Militarism and Resource Plunder in Southeast Asia. Sign up: https://t.co/4dThopXrB8
  • On 9 December 2020 at 6AM Argentina/ 10AM Congo/ 5PM Philippines. ‘Unions and Youth together – A Just Transition for climate ambition’ – Join the International Trade Union Confederation’s global online dialogue. More info: https://bit.ly/2HZMnkx  Sign up: https://bit.ly/37jYbqo 
  • Watch the Sixth Trade Union – OECD DAC Forum on ‘The role of ODA in ensuring an SDG driven recovery and resilience’: https://bit.ly/37uSh5I 
  • ‘Domestic Violence during COVID-19: What CSOs can do to address this Pandemic in a Pandemic’. Watch CIVICUS’ webinar: https://bit.ly/3qiqePu
  • Watch International People’s Research Network webinar: ‘Building People’s Democracy’: https://bit.ly/3o5YITq 
  • Watch Arab NGO Network for Development webinar – “Majalat Neighborhood South Policy Seminar, Panel 2: ‘What is the fate of democracy and peace in the MENA region’”:  https://bit.ly/3oc7yiA 
  • Arab NGO Network for Development launched the first session of its “2020 study week” on macroeconomic, trade, investment and development policies. Check out the summary video: https://bit.ly/39zGMfZ 
  • Read the summary of the 13th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum: ‘Advancing Civil Society Cooperation in the Black Sea Region in Times of Uncertainty’ which took place last week: https://bit.ly/2VyXTGs 

Statements/Publications

  • ‘Development effectiveness for a sustainable response to Covid-19’. Read CPDE Policy Conference Declaration 2020 which articulates our platform’s positions drawn from our agreements at the recent virtual Policy Conference: https://bit.ly/2VkeIFb 
  • ‘Dam and Indigenous Peoples Rights in Manipur’, by environmentalist and CPDE IP Sector Representative, Jiten Yumnam: a critical outlook on the construction of mega dams in India and its impact on the environment. Published by the Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3mSiuSx. Buy the book: https://bit.ly/2L5Vmlo 
  • ‘Activism and Aids: Protect civil society’s space to end the epidemic’. CIVICUS and partners’ field research in Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Vietnam examines the risks and restrictions faced by civil society fighting to end AIDS and HIV. Watch their video report: https://bit.ly/3qncwv4 Read the full report: shorturl.at/fiHSU  
  • From Arab NGO Network for Development: “COVID-19 Vaccines: Accessible or not?” (EN/ARABIC) https://bit.ly/2JAeS8K  
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation’s statement of solidarity with Native American Peoples on National Day of Mourning 2020, delivered by Beverly Longid (EN/SP/FR): https://bit.ly/3qqhMOu 
  • People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) Global Co-chair Sylvia Mallari’s Solidarity Message for the Palestinian People: https://bit.ly/3qjnEJo 
  • ‘Advocacy in restricted Areas: A toolkit for Civil Society Organisations’. Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund’s advocacy toolkit includes a guide for planning that stresses risk mitigation and intersectionality, tactics that can be used in restrictive spaces, and case studies with real-world examples of how CSOs achieved success with their advocacy. Download it in ARABIC, ENGLISH, FRENCH, RUSSIAN, & SPANISH: https://bit.ly/3lpt3uF 
  • ‘Bystander Action. Shifting the culture that drives violence against women through small, courageous actions in daily life’. A tool created by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne:  https://bit.ly/3lv4750 

Call for projects

  • Are you a programmer, designer or IT professional with an interest in human rights? Civil Rights Defenders and Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova (FLOSSK) are organizing the second Western Balkans hackathon, EqualiTECH 2020, on 11-13 December. Apply before December 6: https://bit.ly/37uaMYb 
  • World Justice Project launched a Call for Application to The World Justice Challenge 2021 for initiatives addressing Rule of Law challenges amid Covid-19. Apply until 11 December 2020: https://bit.ly/30Ld5TW 
  • Black Sea NGO Forum launched a Call for Abstracts for the “Building Knowledge for CSO Cooperation in the Black Sea Region” Articles Series: 10 articles on topics related to regional cooperation, CSO leadership, and CSO resilience in the region during crisis. Apply until 15 December 2020: https://bit.ly/2HuVJUw  

Good reads

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Laureus releases new disabilities impact research

UNSDN - 4. Dezember 2020 - 2:08

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), Laureus Sport for Good has released its latest research paper entitled ‘Empowering Abilities through Sport’.The research, produced in partnership with Allianz and InsightShare, aimed to gather deeper evidence of the impact that participation in Sport for Development programmes has on disabled young people. A testament to our continuing commitment to innovation in evidence-based impact, the research also trialled a new evaluation methodology and involved three Laureus Sport for Good global partners working to deliver disability-focused sport for development programmes – DeafKidsInternational in Jamaica, Right to Play in Thailand, and The Cheshire Foundation in Ethiopia.

Social inclusion, including tackling the issue of disability, is one of 6 focus areas affecting young people around the world that Laureus Sport for Good aims to address through its work. Our thanks go to all our Partners involving in the creation of this ground-breaking research. Watch the young participants tell the story of their experiences here.

Download Final Report

Source: Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

Kategorien: english

Fact Sheet on Indigenous Women with Disabilities

UNSDN - 4. Dezember 2020 - 2:06

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues estimates that there are more than 370 million indigenous peoples around the world. Complementing this data, indigenous women’s organizations estimate that approximately 50 percent—roughly 185 million of the total indigenous population are women. The World Report on Disabilities estimates that 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability, on average. If this percentage is applied to the estimated 185 million indigenous women worldwide, it would be reasonable to place the number of indigenous women with disabilities at 28 million.

This fact sheet provides an overview of the challenges faced by the estimated 28 million indigenous women with disabilities around the world, highlighting how intersecting personal and situational circumstances compound existing discrimination that they face.

Resulting from a partnership between UN Women, the International Disability Alliance, and the Indigenous Peoples with Disabilities Global Network, the fact sheet offers a deeper understanding of the major challenges faced by this population group. Some of these include difficulties in accessing resources and services and disproportionate levels of discrimination, stereotyping, and social stigma. Due to these challenges, indigenous women with disabilities face high rates of school abandonment, unemployment, poverty, incarceration, illness, and even death.

The fact sheet contextualizes the situation of indigenous women with disabilities within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and relevant international human rights instruments, particularly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It calls on stakeholders, including States, to pay special attention to improving data collection and analysis by sex, disability, race, and ethnicity. “Making Every Woman and Girl Count” is critical. Further to this, States are encouraged to ensure that national laws, policies, and statistics are gender- and disability-responsive as well as culturally inclusive.

Resources:

Full Publication

 Women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

For more information, please visit: https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2020/04/fact-sheet-on-indigenous-women-with-disabilities

Source: UN Women

Kategorien: english

Disability in Rural Areas: A Matter of Perception

UNSDN - 4. Dezember 2020 - 2:05

One billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – currently have a disability, and 80 per cent of them live in developing countries. People with disabilities face significant challenges, including negative attitudes, stigma, discrimination and lack of accessibility in physical and virtual environments – all of which complicate their ability to fully participate in society and the economy. For these reasons and more, despite being “the world’s largest minority,” they are often overlooked.

People with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than non-disabled people. Available data show that the proportion of people with disabilities living under the poverty line is higher than that of people without disabilities – in some countries, twice as high. In developing countries, people with disabilities and their households are less likely to always have food to eat. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis is deepening pre-existing inequalities and exposing the extent of their exclusion. Despite being at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and for experiencing severe complications, persons with disabilities are nevertheless particularly disadvantaged by its socio-economic consequences as well, including job losses and lockdown measures to control the spread. They are also among the hardest hit in terms of fatalities.

In rural areas, people with disabilities tend to face more challenges than their counterparts in urban areas. They are less likely to have attended school, less likely to be employed, less likely to be attended by a skilled health worker and less likely to own a mobile phone. Similarly, they are often left behind in rural development interventions. People with disabilities are frequently seen as objects of charity, medical treatment and social protection, not as individuals who are capable of exercising their rights, making decisions based on their free and informed consent and being active members of society and the economy. Findings from existing literature, however, show that people with disabilities in rural areas are economically active, have the potential to generate income and have the possibility of a productive pathway out of poverty.

A number of IFAD-supported projects have successfully assisted people with disabilities in setting up their own businesses along all stages of the value chain, from production to processing to trading and buying. As a result, they are now able to support themselves and their families and contribute to their local economies.

In Senegal, for example, more than 300 members of organisations of persons with disabilities have been trained by IFAD and its partners in vocational and business skills. As a result, Djenalib Ba was able to set up his own workshop for making and repairing agricultural tools. He now employs and mentors five young men. Meanwhile, Daba Diom started a poultry farming business and, with the profit she makes, all 14 members of her household can now go to school and eat three meals a day.

Nevertheless, rural development programmes, such as those financed by IFAD, need to do more to reach out to persons with disabilities. Successful inclusion starts with the recognition that they are active members of society and the economy and relies on specific targeting approaches and closer engagement with people with disabilities and their organisations to make sure their voices are heard and that project activities are tailored to their needs.

We at IFAD are committed to stepping up our efforts to include people with disabilities in our operations, including working in partnership with other organizations. We are about to launch a new initiative, in collaboration with Light for the World, the International Labour Organization and PROCASUR, to pilot innovative disability inclusion approaches in IFAD-supported projects. As a new member of the Global Action on Disability Network, we also hope to strengthen our engagement with organizations of persons with disabilities through the International Disability Alliance.

The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals highlight the need for inclusion of people with disabilities. This is even more important in everything we do during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Only by focusing on the abilities of all members of rural communities will we be able to build equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics and the many other global challenges we face.

For more information, please visit:

https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/blog/asset/42108702?inheritRedirect=true

Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Kategorien: english

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ODI - 4. Dezember 2020 - 0:00

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Kategorien: english

A humanitarian reset: impacts of a historic year

ODI - 4. Dezember 2020 - 0:00
2020 has been a momentous year, but will it force a reset, or even a rethink, of a humanitarian system highly resistant to change?
Kategorien: english

UN General Assembly Special Session: Transformation or Continuation of the Status Quo?

Global Policy Watch - 3. Dezember 2020 - 23:47

By Elena Marmo

The General Assembly (GA) will host its 31st Special session in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 3 and 4 December 2020. The UN Charter (Chapter IV, article 20) provides for the General Assembly to meet in special sessions which can be “convoked by the Secretary-General at the request of the Security Council or of a majority of the Members of the United Nations.”

UN special sessions are unusual, this will be 31st in the life of the UN and only the sixth since 2000. As the COVID-19 pandemic’s widespread effects range across development, peace, security, and socioeconomic affairs, there is no doubt about the special measures that the global community must address to confront the global pandemic.

This Special Session has been called at the level of Heads of State and Government to examine the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will feature a presentation and interactive dialogue led by the World Health Organization Director-General. The programme will consist of an Opening Session & General Debate on 3 December, and an interactive dialogue and 3 panels on the following topics: The UN System Response to COVID-19; The Road to a COVID-19 Vaccine – a Global Public Good; Resilience and Recovering Better from COVID-19. The meeting will be webcast on UNWebTV for live and on-demand viewing, with translation in the six official UN languages. Statements from the General Debate on 3 December can also be found on the UN Journal.

Throughout the year, Member States have been presented with the challenge to decide whether to postpone or press on. The pandemic has exposed major structural inadequacies compounding those of climate degradation, rising inequalities, a rollback on women’s rights worldwide, and inadequate social protection and fiscal space due to austerity measures and unsustainable debt.  As news regarding vaccine development becomes more promising, this Special Session is expected to discuss distribution, within which inequalities have been exposed and will likely be exacerbated if the international community fails to deliver a global public good, free, accessible and available to all.

COVID-19 Vaccine: A Global Public Good?

The issue of a vaccine as a global public good will be a main feature of the agenda of the Special Session. The meeting will host, on 4 December, a dialogue with WHO Director-General and a thematic segment titled, “The Road to a COVID-19 Vaccine – a Global Public Good”.

The Special Session will receive various inputs to the process, including a statement by the Secretary-General as requested in Resolution 75/4. This statement must include “information about the implementation of the relevant General Assembly resolutions on the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to, access to vaccines and medical equipment to face the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Among the resolutions adopted thus far is the COVID-19 Omnibus Resolution (A/74/306) titled “Comprehensive and Coordinated Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”. It was adopted in September 2020 by a recorded vote of 169 in favor to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Hungary, Ukraine). These discussions are expected to continue at the Special Session of the General Assembly on 3 and 4 December.

The Omnibus Resolution highlights, on the role of Intellectual Property Rights and accessibility to vaccines and therapeutics, citing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), “which recognizes that intellectual property rights should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of Member States to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all, and notes the need for appropriate incentives in the development of new health products”.

This comes despite calls from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and UN Leadership for a People’s Vaccine, free from Intellectual Property Rights but rather classified as a global public good. A CSO Sign-on letter called on decision-makers to waive certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to ensure any vaccine could be a Global Public Good, also known as a People’s Vaccine. A proposal by South Africa and India has been brought to the WTO but is currently being met with resistance from many states. To this end, Winnie Byanyima, Director of UNAIDS recently noted, “we are seeing at least 9 candidate COVID-19 vaccines, but the rich countries are booking them out for themselves and leaving just crumbs for the poorer countries. That’s why we need a People’s Vaccine”. This call has also been bolstered by a statement by UN Human Rights Experts calling for universal access to vaccines is essential for prevention and containment of COVID-19.

Joint ECOSOC & GA meeting – Calls for a global public good

At the joint ECOSOC and GA meeting on 1 December, calls for a vaccine to be deemed a global public good were made by the President of ECOSOC, Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Latin America and Caribbean Group, and Guyana on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Comments also called on the upcoming Special Session to take action in this regard.

The President of ECOSOC highlighted, “We must make the world’s financial trade and technology regimes more fair and equal unless the poorer countries are helped to control COVID and revive economic growth. The world will be unable to overcome the triple challenge it confronts: the virus, the recession and the existential threat posed by climate change. I hope that a special session of the General Assembly later this week will effectively address the COVID crisis in all its dimensions.”

The Permanent Representative of Argentina reiterated the call for a global public good: “We must implement measures for the vulnerable groups who are suffering situations of structural inequalities that preexisted the pandemic in the same spirit of solidarity. It’s crucial that the vaccine produced to prevent the disease must be a global public good, accessible to all nations on an equal footing.”

In closing the meeting, the President of the GA urged: “I believe that in the international community, in our hearts, we all know what we have to do. It is up to us collectively to do it.”

The post UN General Assembly Special Session: Transformation or Continuation of the Status Quo? appeared first on Global Policy Watch.

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