ALERT! Coming On the UN Agenda…

The demands and urgency of addressing COVID-19 related issues have been added to the already crowded United Nations agenda, with consideration and intensity shifting up and down on the scale of priorities.

Some that have come to the fore in the first few weeks of 2021 are:

Least Developed Countries

The Africa Regional Review in preparation for the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) will be held 22-26 February 2021. The meeting will take place in a virtual format, co-organized by the host country, Malawi and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Registration is now open to participate in this virtual meeting. The Asia-Pacific Review is tentatively schedule for 18 to 22 April 2021, co-organized by host country Bangladesh and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

These reviews will feed into the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) whose mandate is to agree on elements of the new PoA. These PrepCom meetings will be held 24-28 May 2021 and 26-30 July 2021.

For more details on the critical role of LDC5 and the various preparatory meetings, view GPW UN Monitor #22 “COVID-19 & LDCs: Upcoming opportunities to address structural impediments”.

Committee for Development Policy

From 22-26 February, the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will hold its Annual Plenary Session. Among the agenda items include the Voluntary National Reviews, Country monitoring, the upcoming ECOSOC theme, and the Triennial review of the LDC category.

The Triennial review will determine if countries qualify to graduate from the LDC category. At present, Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste are all eligible for graduation from the LDC category. These meetings will be webcast on UNWebTV. For more details on this, view GPW UN Monitor #22 “COVID-19 & LDCs: Upcoming opportunities to address structural impediments”.

Revitalization of the GA & selection process of S-G

Each year, the General Assembly (GA) carries out an agenda item titled, “Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly”. The 75th Session of the GA Revitalization will consider the selection process for the Secretary-General, in addition to the role and authority of the GA, the President of the GA’s office, and working methods. These meetings will be webcast on UNWebTV. Among the upcoming meetings include:

Thursday, 25 February 2021 at 10 a.m. virtually (thematic debate on GA role and authority, including on public diplomacy and global communications)

Thursday, 11 March 2021 at 10 a.m. virtually (thematic debate on the Office of the PGA)

Thursday, 25 March 2021 at 3 p.m. in-person meeting in the GA Hall (informal dialogue between Permanent Missions and the UN Secretariat and briefing on the Secretary-General’s analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on operational support, management strategy, policy & compliance, safety & security, use of UN premises, among others)

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 at 10 a.m. virtually (thematic debate on working methods, including on coherence and coordination among the six main committees and the role of the General Committee)

Friday, 23 April 2021 at 10 a.m. virtually (thematic debate on Secretary-General selection process)

Stay tuned for a forthcoming UN Monitor with more details on the issues being addressed in the Revitalization process.

High-level Political Forum (HLPF) Review

Member States are also currently negotiating the ECOSOC/HLPF Review. This process outlines the working methods and follow-up and review mechanisms for the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. It will also identify the themes for the 2022 and 2023 HLPFs under ECOSOC. A Zero Draft of the resolution has been released as Member States negotiate over the next few weeks, with an expected outcome sometime in March 2021. Stay tuned for a forthcoming UN Monitor which will outline the HLPF/ECOSOC Review process in more detail.

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Source: Global Policy Watch (GPW).