Compiled under the challenging conditions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, this edition of the Trade Union Take on the SDGs analyses and compiles the monitoring of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national level undertaken by 22 labour organisations in 13 countries and four continents.

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.

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