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The Coronavirus Global Response pledging event on 4 May celebrated raising 7.4 billion euro for the collaborative development of vaccines, treatment and diagnostics, but there is lack of clarity on ensuring equitable access and the role of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The European Commission pledged 1.4 billion euro, while other leading contributors included France (510 million euro), Germany (525 million), Japan (762 million), Spain (125 million), Canada (551 million), Norway (188 million), UK (441 million) and Italy (71.5 million). The USA was conspicuously absent.

The 2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is scheduled to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and progress towards the SDGs on 7- 16 July 2020. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a provisional programme and concept note for the 2020 HLPF. DESA has also announced new modalities for virtual side events and exhibitions:

The International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a COVID-19 monitor on the world of work in light of the global coronavirus on 29 April. This was accompanied by a press release specifically focusing on informal work. It reports that: “1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” due to COVID-19.

WHO ACT Accelerator

On 24 April, the World Health Organization announced a multi-stakeholder initiative called the “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator”. The ACT Accelerator describes itself as “a collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies”. It is “grounded in a vision of a planet protected from human suffering and the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19”.

Member States adopted General Assembly Resolution “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19” on 20 April under silence procedure. The resolution, drafted by Mexico and sponsored by 75 other delegations, states that the current crisis calls for:

Ziad Abdel Samad
Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)

Never has the world witnessed such a state of panic, not even in world wars, where vast areas remained relatively safe. But the current Corona epidemic seems like a state of global war that will not exclude anyone or any region of this planet. Countries have closed their borders and airports, stopped their railways, and reduced the movement of shipping. Regions inside the same state were isolated and citizens voluntarily quarantined in an unprecedented manner. Distance education has become the way to complete the academic year, depending on the infrastructure required to communicate via the Internet and appropriate applications.

The Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel, a joint General Assembly and ECOSOC initiative established in early 2020, will hold a virtual consultation with Member States on 24 April. The Panel has made available an overview of existing mechanisms and a concept note of their work. Among their priorities will be addressing financial secrecy.

The global impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the responses have raised a wide range of human rights concerns.
UN human rights experts and the UN High Commissioner have spoken out, collectively and individually, issuing statements covering the full range of civic, political, economic and cultural rights.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) Member States have adopted by consensus a Resolution (A/RES/74/270) on COVID-19 that calls for “international cooperation” and “multilateralism”. The resolution recognizes the "unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people". It calls for "intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic, including by exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices”. It stresses "the need for full respect for human rights" and states that "there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic".


This is a special issue of the SUNS, in honour of, and tribute to, Martin Khor

SUNS - South North Development Monitor
#9100 Wednesday 15 April 2020

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