Across the UN System, all hands are on deck to address the impact of COVID-19 from immediate humanitarian and health needs, to medium and longer-term socio-economic policy. Various initiatives are circling one another, raising issues of governance, reporting and accountability. Member States in the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment explored some of these questions as they related to the UN Development System (UNDS), while in the 28 May and 2 June meetings on Financing for Development they also explored policy ideas, with an emphasis on accounting for vulnerability in macroeconomic analysis.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Secretary-General, António Guterres, has initiated a "global conversation" on the future of the UN. The ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 has made physical meetings impossible and overwhelms us all with new responsibilities and demands in the face of its enormous health, social and economic impact.

In this difficult context, a document was submitted to the UN as the result of a dialogue of "the Americas". Concerned that this is the only view from our region reaching the UN, and worried about the very biased opinions it contains, which undervalue the role of women and social movements, among other questionable recommendations, such as the promotion of a closer alliance between the Un and the OAS, a joint letter was sent to the UN, ECLAC, CARICOM, GRULAC and the co-sponsors of the document.

The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations as well as the beginning of the final 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the wider 2030 Agenda. The Secretary-General, UN leadership and various Member States have been highlighting the importance of the 75th Anniversary as the opportunity to address challenges to global governance and reinvigorate the UN System with what is needed to deliver meaningful change to people’s lives worldwide.

At the upcoming triennial review of the list of 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as defined by the United Nations, scheduled on 22-26 February 2021, five countries will be reviewed and recommended for graduation from the LDC category if they continue to meet a set of criteria.

These are: Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste.

Across the UN development system, Member States, the UN Secretariat and UN leadership are exploring the profound socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 and what macroeconomic policy changes are needed to “build back better”. From UN-led programme activity responses to COVID-19 to needed policy responses both by the Financing for Development process and Member State-led initiatives, there are several opportunities to monitor these developments in the coming weeks.

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