The Covid pandemic affects all, but its impacts are socially and geographically unequal: The poor are being impoverished and inequalities between countries are rising even more as a result of the very unequal distribution of vaccines.

This is the main message emerging from the alternative civil society reports that balance the frequently over-optimistic or complacent report from governments on their progress towards sustainable development.

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will discuss with Civil Society Reflection Group their key findings of its analysis of 2020 VNRs, highlighting the disconnect between the ambition of the agenda and the attention given to the transformative policies in such areas as productive capacities, pandemic preparedness, inequalities and sustainable consumption and production.

Two days ago at the opening of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, addressed the problem of inequalities-- inside households, within national economies and across different countries. Concerning “vaccine inequality”, she added that as of 1 July there had been 1.3 doses per 100 people in least developed countries (LDCs) compared with 83 doses per 100 people in developed countries.

The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) will be held In Doha, Qatar in January 2022. Preparations are already underway to negotiate the Outcome Document to be adopted in Doha, which will serve as a new 10-year Programme of Action (PoA) for the LDCs.

On 20 May 2021, Co-Chairs of the LDC5 Preparatory Committee bureau--Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and Bob Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada--facilitated a virtual consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), designed to address policy prescriptions that LDC5 must deliver to meet the needs of people and planet.

Social Watch Philippines is organizing a Policy Dialogue on June 4, 2021 (Friday), from 1:30PM-4:30PM (Manila time) via Zoom in order to present the findings on the Citizens' Report of the AIIB Financing for COVID-19 Response and Recovery as well as key recommendations of the research to government leaders as well as representatives from civil society, people’s organizations, and other stakeholders.

The objective of the Policy Dialogue is to present the Final Report to policymakers, to the CSO community, the media, and other stakeholders, in particular the key findings as well as recommendations, and to collectively generate learnings and insights on the importance of citizens’ engagement in the various aspects of public financing, including the accessing of loans, for government programs to combat the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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