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The future of global supply chains: What are the implications for international trade?

Brookings - 17. November 2020 - 20:53

By David Dollar

The issue

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated global recession have had a devastating effect on international trade. In the second quarter of 2020, global trade was down 18.5 percent, a far sharper drop than was seen for GDP.1 Much of the economic activity that continues in a pandemic—health services, housing services, utilities—is not traded internationally, while the widely traded goods such as cars, electronics, and tourism are cut back as people face an uncertain future. The COVID-19 pandemic comes on top of other issues that were already affecting trade, notably Industry 4.0—the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, the internet of things, cloud computing, and smart factories. In the years before the pandemic, merchandise trade was increasing less rapidly than world GDP, breaking a long-standing pattern, though trade in services was rising more rapidly. The declining importance of merchandise trade probably reflected both Industry 4.0 as well as the U.S.-China trade war.

The main question addressed in this essay is, what is the likely evolution of supply chains and international trade in the medium to long run after the COVID-19 pandemic? In other words, once the global economy recovers from the cyclical downturn, are there likely to be permanent changes in global trade? Will these create a more difficult environment for development? What policies at the national and international level can mitigate effects that harm development? These are naturally highly speculative questions, but by thinking of them now, we can potentially mitigate the worst long-run effects of this crisis on development.

China’s exports to the U.S. have gone down, but China’s exports to those other developing countries have gone up.

The ideas

I divide the potential long-run effects on trade into three categories: (1) changes in the structure of demand; (2) acceleration of Industry 4.0; and (3) protectionism dressed up as national security.

As the virus is brought under control globally, especially if there is a reliable and widely available vaccine, life should return towards “normal.” But it is likely to be a new normal. The specifics will be hard to predict but there are likely to be some permanent changes in the structure of demand. People in advanced economies may do more work from home permanently, reducing demand for cars and gasoline. We may have less demand for office and retail space. Those changes would tend to put downward pressure on commodity prices and trade volumes. Three industries with extensive value chains involving developing countries are autos, electronics, and clothing.2 I would expect more demand for electronics and less for autos and clothing in a post-pandemic world. But the general point is that there could be large shifts in these industries that affect development opportunities. In terms of services, international tourism may not fully recover to its previous level; this has been an important export for many developing countries. On the other hand, demand for healthcare, childcare, and elderly care is likely to rise; these are all immigrant-intensive industries in advanced economies so demand for migrant workers may well increase.

The pandemic will probably accelerate the spread of Industry 4.0. The idea that everything was going to be done by robots was never realistic, as there are many activities where it is not cost effective to deploy an expensive robot. Garment sewing is still done primarily by people, in the developing world, as are many fine tasks in the electronics and auto value chains. But the pandemic has to change the cost calculation at least to some extent. Imagine an activity where it is slightly less expensive to hire workers in the developing world compared to deploying a robot in an advanced economy. Now firms are aware of potential disruption from pandemics and/or trade blockages. With that risk factored in, the robot may now be the cost-effective choice. Industry 4.0 is not suddenly eliminating manufacturing opportunities in developing countries, but it has to be constraining them, and more so after COVID-19 than before.

Probably the biggest risk for trading opportunities in the developing world is growing protectionism in more advanced economies, often dressed up as national security protection. The U.S. introduced serious protection before the pandemic, most of it aimed at China. Heading into the recession, the U.S. was taxing about half of imports from China at a 25 percent rate. In the short run, this actually created new opportunities for other developing countries. A certain amount of final assembly in garments, footwear, and electronics shifted to countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico. These tend to be the most labor-intensive tasks, and higher wages in China were already driving this production abroad even before the trade war started. What we can observe in the data is that China’s exports to the U.S. have gone down, but China’s exports to those other developing countries have gone up. ASEAN has now moved into first place as China’s biggest trade partner while the U.S. has dropped to #3 (with the EU at #2).3 China has moved into the middle of many value chains, producing machinery and medium-tech components, which are then exported to the countries doing final assembly.

Probably the biggest risk for trading opportunities in the developing world is growing protectionism in more advanced economies, often dressed up as national security protection.

The danger now is that the U.S. will expand its protectionism, since the tariffs aimed at China have not met any of its objectives. The U.S. trade deficit continues to rise, which is to be expected because it is not directly affected by tariffs but rather is the difference between investment and saving. Overall U.S. saving has gone down because of the huge fiscal deficit, the correct policy in this crisis economy but one that tends to increase the trade deficit. There has also been no re-shoring so far of manufacturing back to the U.S., and China’s share of world exports continues to rise. A recent survey of American manufacturers in China found that virtually none are considering relocating back to the U.S., while about one-seventh are considering shifting some production to low-wage countries as described in the previous paragraph.4 These trade war issues now collide with considerations raised by the pandemic. In the U.S. and other advanced economies, it became an issue that much protective gear and pharmaceuticals are coming from China (and India to a lesser extent). So, there is talk now of using government procurement to force production of these items at home.

There is also a risk of rising protectionism in China. Facing the risk of an increasingly closed global trading system, China has announced a policy of “dual circulation.” What exactly this entails is not clear; it may simply reflect a recognition that exports cannot play the same role as in the past and that China needs to bolster household income and consumption, which would be a healthy development that creates new trading opportunities for China’s partners. But it also may presage a more protectionist policy in which China tries to eliminate imported inputs in its value chains. If both the U.S. and China turn inward, that will create a very poor environment for development. Worst case would be a division of the world into an American sphere and a Chinese sphere with developing countries forced to choose, something that they do not want to have to do.

The way forward

The best hope for addressing all of these risks is new trade agreements that maintain an open trading system. There are some positive developments here. China has reached an agreement with ASEAN plus Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Program. This is not a particularly deep agreement, but it should allow duty-free movement of parts and components, making Asia-Pacific supply chains more predictable and resilient. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has also gone ahead and is setting new standards for cross-border data flows, investment, intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, and subsidies. The African Continental Free Trade Area will link 1.3 billion people in 55 countries. Tariffs are not particularly high in Africa so most of the benefit comes from cutting red tape and simplifying customs procedures.5

While these various regional agreements are better than nothing, they risk dividing the world up into different clubs with different rules. Also, the U.S. is not participating in any of them. The ideal in the long run should be an updated WTO agreement that deals with the new issues of cross-border data flows, services, IPR protection, and state enterprises. Intermediate steps could include the U.S. and China (and others) joining TPP or simply a comprehensive trade agreement between China and the United States. This will be politically difficult for any U.S. administration, but it is good policy, nevertheless.

In the short run it also would help to resist the worst protectionist ideas arising from national security concerns. Countries such as the U.S. need to do a better job of preparing for the next pandemic (and other global shocks). But the solution is not to produce everything at home. This will prove to be very costly and will deprive developing countries of production and trading opportunities. For many products such as protective gear, simple medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals, the cost-effective policy will be to have adequate stockpiles. This provides insurance if there is a crisis and problems with global supply chains. Domestic production of these items can be developed quickly if needed; this would be more economic than requiring domestic production in perpetuity, which will be an expensive proposition. This is true for the U.S. and even more important for smaller economies.

The danger of rising protectionism also extends to immigration. As noted, there will be rising demand for migrant labor in the U.S. and other advanced economies as populations age and demand more of various services. Welcoming more immigrants could be win-win and in part substitute for the potential decline in goods trade. Remittances sent back to families are crucial for many developing countries. But it would take more openness than we currently observe in the U.S., Europe, and Japan to realize these win-win outcomes.

       
Kategorien: english

The international monetary and financial system: How to fit it for purpose?

Brookings - 17. November 2020 - 20:52

By Brahima Coulibaly, Eswar Prasad

The issue

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the carnage it has wrought on the world economy, has highlighted the need for a better global financial safety net that provides more protection for emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). These countries, which face significant economic pressures even in normal times, have little room to maneuver when faced with such devastating global shocks. Given their rising importance in the world economy, helping these countries better withstand such shocks ought to be in the interest of even the advanced economies.

At the onset of the pandemic, EMDEs faced sudden stops of capital inflows and downward pressures on their exchange rates. Even for those countries with relatively sound macroeconomic fundamentals, financing conditions tightened as spreads on their sovereign bonds widened, in sharp contrast to the decline in government bond yields in advanced economies. Now many EMDEs, notably larger countries, are facing resurgent capital inflows due to the global low interest rate environment and the weakening of the dollar. While this provides temporary relief, such cycles of capital flow stalls and surges complicate macroeconomic management in these countries.

EMDEs will remain subject to capital flow and exchange rate volatility as major advanced economies rely on monetary policy measures, both conventional and unconventional, for economic support and the spillover effects of these policies cause whiplash effects. Reliance on dollar funding remains a source of vulnerability for many EMDEs, with the Fed’s actions and the dollar’s trajectory, in particular, affecting them considerably as a result.

Several EMDEs with high levels of external debt and balance of payments vulnerabilities have faced downgrades of their sovereign debt and lost access to global financial markets precisely at their time of greatest need to fight the pandemic and shore up their economies. Low‑income countries face even greater challenges. Their economies and export markets have collapsed, leaving many of them with crushing burdens of debt repayment. Sovereign debt levels were already high in many low-income countries and the pandemic is likely to make the situation worse as these countries have few other sources of domestic or foreign revenue to turn to.

Even before COVID-19, the global financial architecture was due for reforms to keep up with the evolving dynamics of the global economy, but the pandemic has highlighted the extent of these weaknesses, underscoring the need for reforms. It will take some bold actions on the part of the international community to make the global financial system better fit for purpose in the post-COVID world.

Sovereign debt levels were already high in many low-income countries and the pandemic is likely to make the situation worse as these countries have few other sources of domestic or foreign revenue to turn to.

The ideas Recapitalize the IMF

A post-COVID-19 global financial system should incorporate a mechanism to systematically bolster the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) lending capacity to a level commensurate with the increase in complexity of the financial system and the size of the global economy. The IMF is the most important institution in the global financial system to provide safety nets to countries in global financial crises, but its limited resources have constrained its ability to respond to the record number of requests for assistance.1 Cumulatively, the institution’s available resources amount to around $1 trillion, only 1.1 percent of global GDP. While this amount might be sufficient to provide financing for a few country crises, it is insufficient to manage systemic crises such as COVID-19 and, as global GDP continues to rise, these resources as a share of GDP will decline. An additional risk to the IMF’s resources and a major source of uncertainty for potential borrowers is the overreliance on non-quota resources for funding, namely the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) and bilateral borrowing agreements, which are temporary and are at the discretion of donor countries. These facilities are set to expire soon and, unless renewed, the IMF’s resources will decline to about $450 billion. The reliance on non-quota resources is inconsistent with the IMF’s basic principle that quota subscriptions should be the main source of resources.

Systematically deploy SDRs

The IMF’s ability to create new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) is another tool in the global financial system’s arsenal that should be systematically deployed as needed to complement the existing lending facilities.2 The IMF has deployed this tool only four times in its history, most recently during the 2008-09 global financial crisis (GFC) in response to a call by the G-20. Its activation requires a super majority of 85 percent, which is significantly more than the combined voting share of all EMDEs. A proposal for issuing new SDRs as the pandemic spread through the world ran aground on account of the lack of super-majority support that was necessary.

Besides new SDRs, there may be previously created SDRs that have not been used by the beneficiary countries. To the extent that the pool of unused SDRs is sufficiently large, a reallocation from better resourced countries with access to alternative forms of funding to more needy countries could be helpful as well. The reallocation of the existing SDRs is largely voluntary, which limits the IMF’s ability to use this tool effectively. As such, the deployment of SDRs depends entirely on the will of the majority shareholders in the case of new SDRs or the will of holders of allocated and unused SDRs. A mechanism that empowers the IMF to reallocate SDRs to where they are most needed will be an improvement.

Establish swap lines accessible to a broader range of countries

A third reform would be to establish a framework to systematically expand access to temporary foreign exchange liquidity to a wide range of countries. The bilateral swap arrangements, which have become a common tool among central banks of advanced economies during global shocks since the GFC, are not available to most EMDEs to alleviate their foreign exchange liquidity shortages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the swap lines offered by the Federal Reserve have helped provide dollar liquidity to global financial markets. However, most of these swap lines are with the central banks of other advanced economies. At the height of the pandemic, the Fed did offer dollar funding lines to more countries, collateralized by their central banks’ holdings of U.S. Treasury securities. But such ad hoc measures fall short of a more structured approach. Institutionalized mechanisms for emergency liquidity assistance would be more effective and would also reduce the incentive for EMDEs to undertake self-insurance through reserve accumulation, which is inefficient at both the national and global levels.

Improve debt restructuring mechanisms

In the absence of a sufficiently strong global safety net, the G-20 announced a debt standstill initiative (DSSI), calling on all creditors to grant delays in debt repayments for the least developed countries through the end of 2020. Full implementation of the DSSI is projected to mobilize $12 billion for the eligible countries. To date, at only $4 billion, the outcome has fallen significantly short. Among the key obstacles are the legitimate concerns from eligible countries that participation might trigger a sovereign downgrade and undo hard-fought-for efforts to gain access to international capital markets.

Beyond the DSSI, several countries will emerge from the pandemic with unsustainable debt levels. Even such cases where debt restructurings are inevitable pose challenges for a financial system that is not well designed to address this issue. One reason is the evolution of the landscape for sovereign debt, notably the higher share of private sector creditor for several low-income countries, and a creditor base that is more diffuse with the emergence of bilateral official creditors including China. While the plurality of creditors brings several benefits, it makes it difficult to achieve the level of consensus required for debt restructuring.

World leaders should chart a new course of action to improve the functioning of the international monetary and financial system and to better prepare it to cope with future crises.

The way forward

The governance of the major international financial institutions is in need of a revamp. The divergence between the realities of the advanced economies, who are the dominant shareholders, and those of EMDEs, who are the main clients, has become too wide. An increase in resources and a concomitant reform of the quota allocation mechanism are imperative to allow the IMF to fulfill its mission of safeguarding the global financial system. Strong support from the IMF’s shareholders will also be important to institutionalize swap lines offered by the G-3 central banks (Fed, ECB, and Bank of Japan) and to broaden their access to more countries. The IMF could help unlock such swap lines for a broad group of countries by providing guarantees that mitigate counterparty risks.

The following ambitious, yet reasonable, changes to the quota calculations would be an important step in reforming the IMF’s governance structure, which remains dominated by the advanced economies3:

  • Adding population as another variable in the quota formula, with a modest weight.
  • Considering intra-eurozone trade or perhaps intra-EU trade as internal, as the eurozone has a single currency and central bank; the EU has, in addition, a single market.

Finally, there is currently no well-functioning mechanism in the financial system for an orderly restructuring of EMDEs’ external debt. Establishing one should be a key priority to help better manage the anticipated increase in the number of countries in debt distress over the coming years. Restructuring debt for a larger number of countries will otherwise prove difficult, in light of substantially altered economic circumstances and the creditor landscape, especially when multiple private creditors are involved. While collective action clauses (CACs) were enhanced in 2014 and proved helpful in some sovereign debt restructurings, there remains a sizeable stock of sovereign bonds without the clauses. The time might be ripe to consider other creative mechanisms such as well-capitalized and creditworthy Special Purpose Vehicles, perhaps funded by SDRs, to help restructure private sector debt.

The COVID-19 has highlighted fractures in the international financial system, especially weaknesses in the safety net for EMDEs. World leaders should chart a new course of action to improve the functioning of the international monetary and financial system and to better prepare it to cope with future crises. This requires not just a commitment of more resources but also political will on the part of the major economic powers. The legitimacy of the international financial institutions and the global governance system is at stake.

       
Kategorien: english

Rebooting the climate agenda: What should the priorities be?

Brookings - 17. November 2020 - 20:51

By Amar Bhattacharya

The issue

The climate crisis had been deepening even before the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting everyone, everywhere—but especially the poorest and most vulnerable people. The world is “off-track” on both climate mitigation and adaptation, and will need to reset the emissions’ trajectory very quickly if it is to meet the collective target s of global net zero emissions by 2050 and to maintain hope that global warming can be kept at around the 1.5-degree increase. The time the world has to address the climate crisis and to adapt to its impact is shrinking, while the costs of climate change are mounting along with the risks associated with inaction.1 We are also seeing an alarming rise in the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems. Strong climate action offers the prospect of a better and more sustainable future—one that escapes a 20th century growth model based on fossil fuel dependence and the degradation of natural capital and ecosystem services, and that can deliver a net zero carbon economy by 2050. A major boost in investment is needed in order to achieve this and to meet the climate goals set by the Paris Agreement—to accelerate the replacement of aging and polluting capital, respond to infrastructure deficits and structural change in emerging markets and developing countries, and adapt to the already evident impacts of climate change.

The world needs to simultaneously tackle the COVID-19 and climate crises. The world has been transformed by the COVID-19 crisis, with deeper and broader impacts than any crisis since World War II. There has been tragic loss of life and huge social costs. The economic impacts have also been severe with a major threat of global depression. The economic impacts are particularly severe in emerging and developing countries (capital flight, drastically reduced remittances, falling commodity prices). The pandemic has highlighted that the old normal was deeply fragile and dangerous, including in the probability of pandemics. The damages due to climate change and biodiversity loss could be even bigger and more lasting than those we are experiencing from COVID-19. Decisions made now are crucial in shaping the future of people and the planet: we must not go back to the old normal.2 The imperative now in recovery is to “build back better” on a path of sustainable, inclusive, and resilient growth.

In shaping a better recovery, there is a tremendous opportunity to harness advances in technology and private sector dynamism and innovation. The ideas 

Governments need to design and implement comprehensive stimulus packages to promote a strong recovery and “build back better” in a way that tackles underlying weaknesses in the global economy, sets a course for the next decade and fosters the long-term transformation to a new form of growth and development. This is the big challenge of our time. In shaping a better recovery, there is a tremendous opportunity to harness advances in technology and private sector dynamism and innovation. A sustainable recovery can improve productivity, new forms of employment and support the transition to a zero-carbon and climate-resilient economy. It can boost employment in areas that need it most; helping to avoid extended and severe unemployment, which can de-stabilize politics and society. And it can generate strong multipliers for economic recovery and growth and can be accompanied by powerful co-benefits including reduced congestion and pollution. This imperative has been recognized by the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. Their recent paper sets out how finance ministers have a unique opportunity to design and implement comprehensive stimulus packages that can drive a strong recovery and build a better future.3

Exceptionally low prices for fossil fuels in the aftermath of the pandemic offer a propitious opportunity to accelerate carbon pricing and the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. Carbon pricing, including subsidy reform, can be a critical component in a package of climate policies needed to restore growth and decarbonize the economic system. Together they can tilt incentives to support green recovery strategies and investments and can generate valuable revenues for investments and the just transition. Carbon pricing programs globally generated more than $45 billion in government revenues in 2019, with the potential to unlock further revenues through smart fiscal reform. 4 There may also be opportunities for governments to phase out harmful fossil fuel consumption subsidies, which are a huge burden to taxpayers. Globally, the estimated value of fossil fuel consumption subsidies amounted to more than $317 billion in 2019, and even more are provided through subsidies or tax breaks to fossil fuel exploration, development, or production.5

Concerted action and cooperation will be needed to tackle the debt and financing constraints faced by developing countries, to enable them to overcome the immediate crisis and embark on sustained recovery and transformation.6 Advanced economies have announced more than $11 trillion in fiscal support to respond to COVID-19 and recover from it, but emerging markets and developing countries face an extremely challenging context, with limited access to financing and with many likely to face debt difficulties and heightened vulnerabilities.7 A recent ILO report assesses that the estimated fiscal stimulus gap is around $982 billion in low-income and lower-middle-income countries ($45 billion and $937 billion, respectively).8 It will be vital for them therefore to mobilize all pools of finance and utilize them more effectively. In particular, exceptional financing from the IFIs will be of critical importance. While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the multilateral development banks (MDBs) have provided historically unprecedented support to emerging markets and developing countries to respond to the medical emergency and alleviate the immediate social and economic impacts, much larger and sustained support will be needed to enable these countries to embark on a green, inclusive and resilient recovery and sustained transformation to meet the development and climate goals.

The damages due to climate change and biodiversity loss could be even bigger and more lasting than those we are experiencing from COVID-19.

The way forward 

Four pillars of international action can help build the necessary momentum on this agenda:

  • Secure commitment to a global target of net zero by 2050 that can raise climate ambition and provide a benchmark for climate action. A growing number of major emitters have now committed to the net zero target including the European Union, U.K., and most recently China (to net zero by 2060), Japan, and Korea. More than 120 countries have joined the Climate Ambition Alliance—together 992 businesses, 449 cities, 21 regions, 505 universities and 38 of the biggest investors—creating the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions or “carbon neutrality” by 2050 at the latest.9
  • Making a green and sustainable recovery the centerpiece of global cooperation. Collaboration across governments (including through the G-7 and the G-20) and between the public and private sectors, including a coherent sense of purpose, is essential and will come from a shared recognition that a sustainable recovery is a strong recovery.
  • Building on the leadership coming from the private sector. Despite the impact of COVID-19, corporate momentum on climate action continues to build through 2020. There have been new 2020 announcements by Amazon, BP, Microsoft, Reliance, and Google among others.10 In addition, there are growing commitments from financial institutions to take portfolios to net zero with dates and milestones.11 Finally, there is growing evidence of the link between responsibility and good risk-returns.12
  • Unleashing the potential of the development finance institutions. Development banks including the MDBs are uniquely positioned to support transformational change. They can help countries tackle policy and institutional impediments to unlock sustainable investments, and play a critical role in reducing, sharing, and managing risk to foster private sector investment. The International Finance Development Club will be convening the first global summit of all public development banks across the world, providing a good opportunity to build collective ambition and cooperative action.13 Greater ambition on the part of the MDBs will also require greater ambition on the part of their shareholders.
       
Kategorien: english

Sustainable Development Goals: How can they be a handrail for recovery?

Brookings - 17. November 2020 - 20:46

By Homi Kharas, John McArthur

The issue

COVID-19 has triggered an onslaught of bad news for global sustainable development. The deepest global recession in memory (-5.4 percent GDP per capita decline)1 and the broadest since the 1870s (more than 90 percent of all countries in recession)2 could imply an estimated 140 million more people will live in extreme poverty3 and potentially 130 million people or more into acute food insecurity.4  Broader societal disruptions have been similarly staggering: as many as 1.2 million additional children dying in six months due to health care disruptions,5 810 million children still out of school as of September,6 and 400 million jobs lost.7 These are just some of the human consequences registered amid collapses in cross-border tourism (-65 percent decline during the first half of 2020),8 trade (around -15 percent during the first half of 2020),9 remittances (roughly -7 percent this year),10 and foreign investment into developing countries (as much as -45 percent).11

Making matters worse, despite the inherent need for global cooperation to defeat a pandemic, COVID-19 seems  to  have  reinforced  nationalism  rather  than  internationalism. The potential withdrawal by the United States from international institutions and agreements have made headlines. Less publicized is the fact that while advanced economies will likely spend $11 trillion on their domestic responses to the crisis, the appeal to raise 0.3 percent of that amount, $35 billion, to make COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments available to all countries has struggled to raise a small fraction of the amount required.

Against this troubling backdrop, some analysts have started to wonder whether the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world’s agreed economic, social, and environmental targets for 2030, remain relevant or not.

The world needs a common scorecard to ensure mottos like “great reset” or “build back better” have objective standards for assessing progress.

The ideas

The case to scale back SDG ambitions garnered increased attention following a July 2020 article in Nature12 and a follow-up editorial.13 The gist is that COVID-19 has made the already-challenging path to SDG success so difficult that a major prioritization and more “attainable” level of ambition is required. The argument suggests that goals and targets should be screened according to three points: (1) is this a priority, post-COVID-19; (2) is it about development not growth; and (3) is its pathway resilient to global disruptions?

Counterarguments have been made, including by us, underscoring the importance of the SDGs as a “North Star” to guide a path out of the crisis.14 Leaders of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network have stressed that goals remain technically and financially achievable, even if current policies are falling short, and that the goals can be used to motivate “truth to power” in pointing out where changes are needed.15

The extent of the crisis doesn’t change the underlying urgency of ending extreme poverty, halting climate change, protecting the oceans, or building inclusive societies. Quite the opposite, the world needs a common scorecard to ensure mottos like “great reset” or “build back better” have objective standards for assessing progress. The SDGs are the guiding framework that all 193 U.N. member states already agreed on in 2015, and that a wide and growing network of business, scientific, and local governments across the globe have already begun to align around. Moreover, investments towards the SDGs can serve as both a means and an end towards a post-COVID recovery. As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres noted, “Had we been further advanced in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we could better face this challenge.”16

As a starting principle, any SDG-oriented strategy needs to recognize the diverse ways in which COVID-19 has affected different constituencies’ outlooks. Table 1.1 summarizes the results of a poll of more than 150 influencers and opinion-leaders taken in the lead-up to the annual September summit of the 17 Rooms initiative convened by Brookings and The Rockefeller Foundation. Participants were organized by 17 different working group “Rooms,” each focused on a topic within one of the corresponding SDGs. So in Table 1.1, the first row provides the average answers given by Room 1 members, who were focused on extreme poverty. The bottom row shows how Room 17, focused on universities as hubs of societal partnership, answered the same questions, and so on.

Looking across the table, one of the first things to note is the common view, under Question 1, that this year’s crises made the SDGs even more important. There is surely sampling bias in the context of the SDG-focused 17 Rooms initiative, but it is still striking the extent to which COVID-19 only seems to have heightened perceptions of relevance of the SDGs. Under Question 2, respondents by and large already felt their respective SDG targets were moderately ambitious prior to COVID-19. There were broad differences, however, under Question 3, on how the crisis had shifted attention. Members of Room 3 on health, Room 10 on inequality, and Room 11 on cities felt the crisis had generated a big increase in attention to their priorities, while several environment-focused groups—Room 12 on responsible consumption and production, Room 13 on climate change, Room 15 on life on land, and especially Room 14 on oceans—were less sanguine, as was Room 1 on extreme poverty.

Importantly, under Question 4, increased attention did not necessarily imply increased optimism for progress next year. Some groups registered pessimistic outlooks, especially on inequality (Room 10), education (Room 4), and hunger and food systems (Room 1). Under Question 5, most Rooms were slightly more optimistic about progress by 2030, but no room was fully confident their SDG objectives were likely to be attained. Members of Room 9, focused on digital infrastructure, had the most positive outlook. Under Question 6, all Rooms seemed to agree that COVID-19 required new approaches in order to generate meaningful progress.

Our key takeaway from this small sample is that the SDGs remain as relevant as ever. But there is no single answer to how all the different SDG priorities should best be approached in 2021 and beyond. Given the practical interconnections among the goals, with success in one often dependent on success in the other, whole-of-society approaches still need to tackle all of the goals together.

In addition to taking the lead to ensure adequacy of resources to fight the pandemic everywhere, the largest and fastest-growing economies can be drivers in better management of the global commons—climate, oceans, and biodiversity— on which all life depends.

The way forward

There is some momentum towards implementing the SDGs as part of the recovery policy landscape. The Canadian and Jamaican prime ministers have been co-chairing a major U.N. effort to link COVID-19 financing challenges to the SDGs. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made sustainability the core of the Recovery Plan for Europe, inspired, in her words, by the SDGs.17 The United Kingdom, chair of the G-7 and host of the COP26 meeting on climate change in Glasgow next year, has committed to a strong focus on sustainability. Public development banks have also agreed to align their $2.3 trillion in annual financing with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.18

The private sector is showing greater SDG alignment too. In September, the “big 4” accounting firms and the World Economic Forum announced a new set of common and SDG-linked corporate metrics.19 A number of other groups—the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council, and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board—also agreed to work together to align their standards and frameworks. Such alignment on metrics will, in theory, permit investors to allocate capital towards companies that contribute more to societal well-being. Coupled with growing evidence that better ESG performance is linked to stronger financial returns in the long-term, a major reallocation of private capital towards more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive companies could be in the offing.

These examples point to new global drivers of sustainable development. The SDGs are a universal framework, applicable within and across all countries. And because advanced economies have so much more financial firepower being devoted to COVID-19 mitigation and recovery, they also have the opportunity to accelerate global gains. In addition to taking the lead to ensure adequacy of resources to fight the pandemic everywhere, the largest and fastest-growing economies can be drivers in better management of the global commons—climate, oceans, and biodiversity—on which all life depends. Advanced economies also have disproportionate power to change the rules of the global economy in ways that promote equity and sustainability. For example, the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework is showing signs of progress on fair taxation of multinationals—a proposal that, if accepted, would transfer far more money to developing countries than all foreign aid combined, even if not always to the countries that need the resources most.20 This  and  other  tax  fairness  measures  could  substantially  raise  developing country revenues.

COVID-19 has underscored the great challenge embedded in achieving the SDGs. But it has also demonstrated that the SDGs are not “nice to have” goals; they are “need to have” milestones for the resilient global economy that must be built. Great feats tend to be anchored in corresponding heights of ambition.

As always, history provides lessons for the future. Eighty years ago, amid authoritarian onslaught and one of Britain’s darkest hours, Winston Churchill famously galvanized a nation’s courage—not with a squidgy call to “reconsider what is achievable”—but with a crisp pledge to “never surrender.” Today, in the face of crisis, is not a moment to reconsider the SDGs. This is a moment for absolute clarity in continuing to fight for what the world needs.

       
Kategorien: english

Underage on the job

D+C - 17. November 2020 - 17:49
Despite protective laws, Zimbabwean children are increasingly being put to work

Their work violates Zimbabwe’s laws against child labour, but legal protections are a distant concept. “We don’t know about laws,” Laiton tells a reporter. “We just do the jobs our parents tell us to do.”

Sadly, Zimbabwe’s mining towns, rural villages and even big cities have many children in their situation. Children work in locally owned mines and tobacco fields and private homes, and sometimes they even work in houses of prostitution.

Children’s rights advocates say the situation is becoming worse. “Either because of deepening poverty or because of Covid-19 keeping children away from school, they are more vulnerable than ever to being put to work,” says Taylor Nyanhete, director of the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC), a non-governmental organisation.

On paper, it is illegal in Zimbabwe to employ children under age 15 in jobs classified as hard labour. The only exception under Zimbabwe’s Labour Act is when children aged 13 to 15 years are enrolled in formal apprenticeships.

It is also illegal to employ anyone under 18 in jobs that might compromise a worker’s health, safety or morals.

According to a 2018 report by the US Department of Labor titled “Findings on the worst forms of child labor”, data on the prevalence of child labour, and even on the proportion of Zimbabwean children attending school, are scarce.

But the report says child labour is widespread and says among the reasons are deficiencies in Zimbabwe’s legal framework for protecting children. Among these deficiencies are the lack of free basic education and under-funded law enforcement agencies.

On the plus side, Zimbabwe has made moderate progress on fighting human trafficking, and has allocated more money to education and transferred more cash to households with vulnerable children, the report says.

Village leaders agree with that assessment. “The government has laws that discourage the employment of underage children, but people continue to do what they want with children,” says Dayton Shumba, a village leader in Chakari. “There have been no arrests of people recruiting underage children for labour.”

“The government itself has officials and ministers who employ underage children on their farms,” says Claris Madhuku, head of the Platform for Youth Development, a human-rights organisation. “People take advantage of underage children knowing the children can’t report them to the authorities.”

 

Further reading
US Department of Labor: 2018 Findings on the worst forms of child labor.
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ILAB/child_labor_reports/tda2018/...

Jeffrey Moyo is a journalist in Zimbabwe.
moyojeffrey@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

Ending Polio in Africa is Leading to Other Major Health Gains

UN Dispatch - 17. November 2020 - 17:24

Charles Shey Wiysonge, South African Medical Research Council

Polio is a highly infectious disease. It’s caused by a virus that enters the body through the mouth. The virus then multiplies in the intestine and attacks the central nervous system – causing paralysis.

Polio was one of the most dreaded diseases in the world in the 20th century. Four decades ago, an estimated 350,000 people were paralysed each year by the poliovirus in more than 125 countries. This led the World Health Assembly in 1988 to adopt a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio, drawing inspiration from the eradication of smallpox.

The global programme to eradicate polio is spearheaded by a number of actors. These include national governments, the World Health Organisation (WHO), multiple development agencies, and healthcare workers.

The strategy involves widespread vaccination as part of routine healthcare services as well as mass vaccination campaigns. Sensitive surveillance to detect and rapidly respond to polio cases is also key.

This initiative has been extremely successful. The number of people paralysed by polio decreased by 99.9% – from 350,000 in 1988 to 175 in 2019. During the same period, the number of polio endemic countries fell from more than 125 to only two: Afghanistan and Pakistan. A country is endemic when there’s widespread circulation of polio.

The latest WHO region to be certified polio free is Africa. The region was certified on 25 August 2020. The certification came four years after the last case of poliovirus on the continent.

The polio eradication programme in Africa directly combated a severe debilitating disease. But it also provided a platform for broader healthcare services on the continent.

Polio eradication created renewed demand for vaccination services and innovative ways to deliver healthcare services.

What does it take to eradicate a disease?

It takes a combination of multiple biological and non-biological factors to eradicate a disease. Only one disease, smallpox, has so far been eradicated.

Polio viruses only survive for a very short time in the environment and there are no animal or insect reservoirs that carry polio viruses. More importantly, effective vaccines exist against polio. Beyond these biological features of polio, the eradication of polio from Africa required sound leadership.

In 1996 African heads of state resolved to stamp polio out of Africa. Then South African President Nelson Mandela launched the “Kick Polio out of Africa” campaign. Thereafter, all-of-society collaborations supporting widespread polio vaccination sprang up across African countries. These involved government departments, the private sector, the civil society, and the community at large to ensure eradication of polio from the continent.

Within national governments in Africa, public service departments worked across portfolio boundaries, formally and informally, to achieve the shared goal of polio eradication. All these efforts culminated, 14 years later, in the certification of the eradication of polio from Africa.

Certification is based on evidence that something has been achieved. In the case of polio eradication, a region only gets certified when all the countries in the area demonstrate the absence of poliovirus transmission for at least three consecutive years in the presence of extremely sensitive surveillance.

Polio surveillance refers to a disease detection system that involves both community and laboratory components.

Surveillance in the community is done by the general public and healthcare workers. Healthcare workers need to report all cases of children who experience abrupt weakness of the limbs. Community members need to report any newly paralysed children in their communities to healthcare services. In the laboratory, the polio virus responsible for any case of polio paralysis is identified and its source determined. Without such high-quality surveillance it would be difficult to locate where and exactly how the polio virus is circulating or to confirm when its transmission has been eradicated.

Twenty years ago, Africa was close to polio eradication; then misinformation surfaced in northern Nigeria about the effectiveness and safety of polio vaccines. This misinformation led some people in the area to refuse or delay polio vaccines. Vaccination coverage dropped, resulting in widespread polio outbreaks in northern Nigeria and beyond. Such misinformation has gained traction on social media.

Avoiding vaccination even when it’s available is referred to as vaccine hesitancy. Polio vaccine hesitancy poses significant risks not only for the hesitant people, but also the wider community. It could prevent African communities from reaching thresholds of vaccination coverage necessary to keep polio out of Africa. If a single child remains infected with polio virus in any part of the world, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.

Long-term rewards

Africa’s health systems are much stronger because of the investments made. Countries were supported to make life-saving gains. These included increasing access to health care in the most remote places, strengthening routine vaccination systems, and ensuring strong disease surveillance.

Polio’s legacy must be built on to achieve other major health goals.

Charles Shey Wiysonge, Director, Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post Ending Polio in Africa is Leading to Other Major Health Gains appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

L’Afrique pense par elle-même son développement

OECD - 17. November 2020 - 16:49
Par Firmin Edouard Matoko, Sous-directeur général, Priorité Afrique et Relations extérieures Ce blog fait partie d’une série qui invite acteurs et penseurs à renouveler le discours actuel sur l’Afrique et son développement. Les africains ont aujourd’hui plusieurs certitudes quant au futur de leur continent: celui-ci regorge de richesses naturelles (« un scandale de la nature » disent … Continue reading L’Afrique pense par elle-même son développement
Kategorien: english

Protected: COVID Is Unleashing a Human Development Crisis

SNRD Africa - 17. November 2020 - 15:13
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Kategorien: english

The Future of Advocacy – New briefer from WMG

Women - 17. November 2020 - 13:53

 

Feminist, women’s and girl-led movements and organizations are facing intersecting crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened systemic barriers as well as introduced new challenges to advocacy at all levels. However, members of our collective, around the world, have truly demonstrated feminist tenacity and creativity in adapting their advocacy to respond to the pandemic. After the virtual 2020 High Level Political Forum and over 7 months of advocacy amid the pandemic, the Women’s Major Group thought it would be good time to take stock of the diverse tools our members use to do advocacy online and offline. With the goal of mapping out which tools have proven to be effective or ineffective in a world moving online, we held a brainstorming session with our members and conducted a follow-up survey.

This briefer summarizes our findings, detailing how feminists are adapting their advocacy tools in response to a virtual world when not everyone is online. Our hope is that this briefer will support our members and allied feminist networks in continuing to adapt their advocacy to ever-changing circumstances as well as raise important questions around inclusivity, systemic barriers, and the future of advocacy.

 

Please find the briefer in English, in Spanish, in French and in Russian.

The post The Future of Advocacy – New briefer from WMG appeared first on Women's Major Group.

Kategorien: english

Join Our CSR.digital Online Conference “Digital Leadership” on 8 December 2020

SCP-Centre - 17. November 2020 - 10:30

In times when working remotely has become the new normal, many organisations, including Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), are facing numerous challenges: how to build trust in remote teams, maintain a feeling of togetherness, and ensure long-term employee satisfaction? CSR.digital will address these questions with a group of experts during the online conference “Digital Leadership – Rethinking Leadership, Staying Competitive”, 8 December, 09:30-12:30 CET. Register here to join the discussion!

On top of megatrends such as digitalisation and sustainability, the ongoing pandemic has put conventional corporate management to a test. The pandemic is also acting as an accelerator of change by pushing companies to reinvent themselves and build agile and resilient management models. The online conference “Digital Leadership – Rethinking Leadership, Staying Competitive” looks into the impact that these fast-paced changes have on SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) by asking the following questions:

  • How are the pandemic, digitalisation, and sustainability shaping work and leadership in SMEs?
  • How can companies maintain motivation and a sense of “we” in times of remote working?
  • How to build and maintain trust in times of high uncertainties?

Each of these questions will be briefly addressed by our panel of experts and then discussed in more detail during small interactive workshops between experts and event participants.

Speakers:

  • Lars Rückemann, Member of the Board of Directors codecentric
  • Anna Yona, Managing Director Wildling Shoes
  • Markus Baumanns, Managing Director company companions
  • Philipp Grundler, Vorwerk & Co. KG

Agenda:

  • 09:30-10:30 Brief presentation from the panel of experts
  • 10:30-10:40 Introduction to digital workshop tools
  • 10:40-11:50: Interactive online workshops
  • 11:50-12:30: Presentation of results and final discussion

Date: 8 December 2020
Time: 09:30-12:30
Format: Online
Language: German
Costs: Free

To join the conference, please register here!

CSR.digital is the first Centre for Digital Responsibility in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and aims to inform and support SMEs in developing solutions for entrepreneurial challenges in the age of digitalisation and sustainability. CSR.digital – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs NRW via the EFRE fund.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger.

Photo: Pexels.com / fauxels

Der Beitrag Join Our CSR.digital Online Conference “Digital Leadership” on 8 December 2020 erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

How Vaude Innovates with ‘Product-As-a-Service Business Models’

SCP-Centre - 17. November 2020 - 9:21

How many times a year does one use a drilling machine, a backpack or a tent, if at all? Most likely, just a couple of times. Despite that, consumers spend a lot of money on products that, after sporadic use, are stored for most part of the year. The story of Vaude is an example of the potential of renting models and their multiple benefits for companies and customers alike.

During the R2Pi project, the CSCP collaborated with the German clothing and outdoor company Vaude on a “Product-As-a-Service Business Model”. In one in-house strategy workshop with key participants of the relevant business units of Vaude, the CSCP set up a case study and discussed future products for Vaude’s iRentit business model.

Vaude, a sustainability pioneer in the German market, aimed to further increase value for its customers. In achieving this, the CSCP and Vaude evaluated new possibilities to expand Vaude’s product portfolio for the ‘iRentit’ offering. This particular Circular Business Model, as applied in Vaude’s case, focuses on ‘Performance’ and ‘Access over Ownership’. These ‘Product-as-a-Service’ models allow customers to rent what they need for their temporary or particular use instead of a one-time purchase. This resonates positively with the increasing trend that customers value access over ownership.  Moreover, they can try new products while saving money and storage space at home. ‘Product-as-a-Service’ models increase flexibility and ensure that resources and products are not wasted and find their way back into circulation. This enables companies to reduce their resource costs, become more resilient to global supply chain dynamics, and get a head start towards reaching the circularity goals set by the EU Green Deal. Additionally, this raises the incentives on the companies’ ends to provide stronger and better-performing products that maintain or even increase value over time.

The workshop with Vaude was customised to the company’s specific needs focussing on understanding and setting the current ‘iRentit’ business model into context, and then, as a second step, innovating on new business model options in order to expand Vaude’s renting activities.

During the EU funded Horizon 2020 project ‘R2Pi – The route to the Circular Economy’, the CSCP and its consortium partners had the opportunity to further develop a process that supports companies in creating a circular vision and engaging with the most relevant stakeholders on the way. If you are keen on learning more about our Circular Business Innovation journey please contact us. At the CSCP, we have a passion for circularity and look forward to collaborating with you exploring your circular opportunities

For further details, please contact Patrick Bottermann.

 

Der Beitrag How Vaude Innovates with ‘Product-As-a-Service Business Models’ erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

CSO AID Observatorio Training Handbook 2020 Out Now!

Reality of Aid - 17. November 2020 - 4:27

The Reality of Aid-Asia Pacific (RoA-AP), together with the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), created a training course to strengthen CSO capacities to monitor aid and promote CSO partnerships towards evidenced-based policy in the region. The CSO Aid Observatorio Training Handbook 2020: Advancing Human Rights and Development Effectiveness is composed of four modules: Aid and Development Cooperation Concepts and Principles People’s Research and Development Cooperation Data Sourcing and Management Dissemination and Popularization Through the […]

The post CSO AID Observatorio Training Handbook 2020 Out Now! appeared first on Reality of Aid.

Kategorien: english

COVID-19 and Private Health: Market and Governance Failure

DEVELOPMENT - 17. November 2020 - 0:00
Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced mass market failure in global private health, particularly in tertiary care. Low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) dependent on private providers as a consequence of neglect of national health systems or imposed conditionalities under neoliberal governance were particularly effected. When beds were most needed for the treatment of acute COVID-19 cases, private providers suffered a liquidity crisis, itself propelled by the primary effects of lockdowns, government regulations and patient deferrals, and the secondary economic impacts of the pandemic. This led to a private sector response—involving, variously, hospital closures, furloughing of staff, refusals of treatment, and attempts to profit by gouging patients. A crisis in state and government relations has multiplied across LMICs. Amid widespread national governance failures—either crisis bound or historic—with regards to poorly resourced public health services and burgeoning private health—governments have responded with increasing legal and financial interventions into national health markets. In contrast, multilateral governance has been path dependent with regard to ongoing commitments to privately provided health. Indeed, the global financial institutions appear to be using the COVID crisis as a means to recommit to the roll out of markets in global health, this involving the further scaling back of the state.

SDG3 Global Action Plan: supporting Accelerator 5 on research, innovation and access

ODI - 17. November 2020 - 0:00
This report analyses research conducted to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for health as part of the Global Action Plan.
Kategorien: english

The future of diplomacy: G20 in a Covid era

ODI - 17. November 2020 - 0:00
We explore the role of the G20 during the Covid19 response and what, if anything, can take its place.
Kategorien: english

The Arctic Council as a success case for transnational cooperation in times of rapid global changes?

GDI Briefing - 16. November 2020 - 20:20

In times of rapid global changes, agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement illustrate the growing need for transnational cooperation to solve complex and interrelated challenges that affect humanity at large. In past decades, a number of forums and institutions formed to enhance cooperation and coordinate different approaches and policies transnationally. Not all of them have been assessed to be a success. The Arctic Council is a forum that is widely perceived as facilitating transnational cooperation – also in times of rapid global changes. This article explores systematically in how far the Arctic Council can be considered an example to learn from and identifies useful “ingredients” for strengthening transnational cooperation more generally. First, by drawing on global governance research this study shows that in the literature, very different perspectives consider similar factors as strengthening transnational cooperation. Second, it outlines how the AC has adhered to various factors identified in the literature but also recognises the need to improve its process management. The concluding section argues that particularly the Arctic Council’s focus on knowledge generation and expertise has encouraged the maintenance of robust transnational cooperation.

Kategorien: english

Multilateralism as a tool: Exploring French military cooperation in the Sahel

GDI Briefing - 16. November 2020 - 19:21

President François Hollande entered public office in 2012 with a non-interventionist agenda that promised to draw down French troops in Africa and promoted collective African and European mechanisms to reduce France’s military footprint in the region. One year later, the same president deployed 4,000 combat troops to Mali, initially without any multilateral participation. To understand this apparent contradiction between multilateral rhetoric and operational unilateralism, this article looks at France’s efforts in previous years to establish African and European military operations in support of the Malian state. The article finds that France’s commitment to multilateralism is genuine yet not absolute – meaning that French policy-makers do not shy away from operational unilateralism if conditions on the ground seem to require swift and robust military action, as long as they can count on the political support of key international partners.

Kategorien: english

Disability Rights During the Pandemic

UNSDN - 16. November 2020 - 19:01

A coalition of seven global disability rights organisations have today called for urgent action by States and the international community to halt the catastrophic failure to protect the lives, health, and rights of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irrespective of disabilities, persons on streets are picked up and put into shelters. These provide basic survival supports to all people housed there. This has great implications for persons with psychosocial disabilities, who have been experiencing homelessness but free and living at will on streets – to be institutionalized” Organisation of persons with disabilities, India

Children (with disabilities) and their parents are still in the street with no face masks, no social distancing. Their lives are in danger” Organisation of persons with disabilities, Nigeria

The report entitled ‘Disability rights during the pandemic: A global report on findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor presents the findings from a rapid global survey of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders which took place between April and August of this year. The organizations behind the study seek to “catalyze urgent action in the weeks and months to come,” as transmission rates continue to rise in many countries and persons with disabilities are again subjected to restrictions that have already had severe consequences.

The report analyses over 2,100 responses to the survey from 134 countries around the world. The vast majority of responses were from individuals with disabilities and their family members. Very few governments or independent monitoring institutions responded.

The government announced the stay at home order and lockdown, but could not think of poor daily wage earners who are not getting even a meal a day. People are deprived of food and are in financial crisis and the government has not provided any benefits” A person with disabilities, Nepal

People in institutions are not receiving adequate assistance or access to medical supplies. Staffing is insufficient and at dangerous levels” A female with disabilities, United States

The report highlights four major themes from the survey data:

  • The egregious failure to protect the lives of persons with disabilities in residential institutions, which have become hotspots during the pandemic: Instead of prioritising emergency measures to reintegrate people into the community, respondents pointed out that many institutions have been locked down, with fatal consequences.
  • Widespread, rigid shutdowns that caused a dramatic breakdown in essential services in the community: Persons with disabilities could not access basic goods, including food, and supports such as personal assistance. Strict lockdown enforcement by police and security forces has sometimes led to tragic results, including the deaths of persons with disabilities.
  • Serious and multiple human rights violations against underrepresented populations of persons with disabilities: Women and girls have experienced a major uptick in gender based violence, children with disabilities have been denied access to online education, and homeless persons with disabilities have either been rounded up and detained or left to fend for themselves.
  • A concerning trend of denying basic and emergency healthcare, including discriminatory triage procedures: In some cases, persons with disabilities were directly denied access to treatment for COVID-19 because of their disability.

The over 3,000 testimonies collected by the survey provide ample evidence of widespread failures by States to adopt disability-inclusive responses. The testimonies point to a collective failure of leadership across many countries, regardless of their level of economic development.

Evidence included in the report is essential reading for law and policymakers, health and social care professionals, law enforcement, civil society, and others seeking to ensure that persons with disabilities are no longer sacrificed in efforts to contain the pandemic.

Source: International Disability Alliance

Kategorien: english

New Asian trade bloc could play key role in driving investment 

UN ECOSOC - 16. November 2020 - 17:00
A new trade bloc covering a huge swathe of the Asia-Pacific region will play an important role in developing poorer economies and in post-pandemic stimulus, according to a report published on Monday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  
Kategorien: english

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