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The UN’s highly-ambitious goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 has been severely undermined by a rash of problems worldwide, including an escalating coronavirus pandemic, continued widespread military conflicts and the devastating impact of climate change.

According to published estimates, more than 700 million people have been living in poverty around the world, surviving on less than $1.90 a day.

But the fast-spreading pandemic, whose origins go back to December 2019, has been singled out as the primary reason for a rise in global poverty– for the first time in 20 years.

Against the backdrop of COVID-19’s ongoing impact on economies and societies worldwide, the United Nations is bringing the lens of COVID-19 recovery to its High level meetings. September saw the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Our Common Agenda on 12 September’, the opening of the UN General Debate on 14 September and a series of High-level meetings ranging from sustainable development to nuclear disarmament.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) began its 76th session in September 2021 with a series of High-level meetings—in both hybrid and in-person formats—under the theme of 'Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations'. As the UN Decade of Action progresses, efforts to secure human, economic, and environmental health are vital. During the UNGA High-level week and throughout the month Member States focused on the need to create a more inclusive future and stronger global cooperation.

Global civil society report demands justice beyond rhetoric

New York, 17 September 2021

Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have greatly exacerbated national and global inequalities. Blatant examples are the unfair distribution of care work, relying mainly on women and poorly remunerated if at all, and the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines.

Time to overcome contradictions and hypocrisy in the COVID-19 crisis

Friday, 17 September 2021, 9:00-10:30am EDT

PLEASE REGISTER HERE!

Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated rather than reduced global inequalities. The most visible example of this is the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines.

With preparations underway for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) being held in 23-27 January 2022, the co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), have convened two consultations with CSOs, one on 20 May and one on 28 July.

Introducing the second consultation, the co-chairs reiterated interest in CSO perspectives and participation throughout the LDC5 process:

On 12 July, Social Watch co-organized together with the Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP),  the New School and Global Policy Forum, the HLPF side event “National Reports on the 2030 Agenda: What can we learn for a post-pandemic world?” to launch the CDP Background Paper "What did the 2020 Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports still not tell us?". CDP members presented key findings of their analysis of the 2020 VNRs, highlighting the disconnect between the ambition of the 2030 agenda and the attention given to the transformative policies in such areas as productive capacities, pandemic preparedness, inequalities and sustainable consumption and production.

Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, participated in the Consultation of Civil Society with Member States, 2nd Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) that took place on Wednesday July 28, 2021.

Forty years ago the least developed countries were promised acceptable minimum standards of living for their peoples by the end of the 20th century. But developed countries, instead of providing the promised finances, technology and capacity building made their fate worse, adding climate change and vaccine hoarding to the long list of challenges. As a new UN Summit for the LDCs is being prepared, Third World Network and Social Watch submitted a joint text with concrete proposals of what needs to be done to not leave the poor countries behind... again.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. The severity of its impact is being felt globally. The LDCs are bearing its heaviest brunt. They have weak infrastructures, and a serious lack of capacity to cope with internal and external shocks.”

-- H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and Co-chair of the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs (LDC5) Preparatory Committee

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