Global Policy Watch

Crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda is SDG 17, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. Increasingly, discussions now take the form of multistakeholder partnerships and engagement with the business sector as a tool to mobilize finance for the SDGs or generate needed capacity - often to develop a pipeline of bankable projects. This partnership orientation has become a regular feature of the UN agenda, from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Operational Activities Segment in May 2022 to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022.

Since the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the United Nations has annually convened the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council annually and at Summit level under the auspices of the General Assembly every four years. The HLPF is the main mechanism through which UN Member States assess global progress on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Member States can present their country reports on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). The main SDGs for review at the 2022 HLPF were SDG 4 on quality education, SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 14 on life below water, SDG 15 on life on land, and SDG 17 on global partnerships, with an overall theme on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted development progress.

This GPW Round Up #2, Ensuring Social Protection for All, highlights the critical importance of universal social protection not only in recovering from the pandemic, but also its vital role to address pre-existing deep-seated inequalities between and within countries. It details gaps in social protection coverage and financing, especially in poor countries, and failures of the targeted, or means-tested approach, often promoted by IMF and World Bank.

In This Issue

African countries express concerns on damaging effects of IFFs

CSOs question many proposals in the S-G’s flagship report - Our Common Agenda - and its central concept of networked multilateralism.

Litmus test of international co-operation

One of the global processes falling prey to the Omicron variant of the Covid virus was the fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed countries, originally scheduled for the end of January in Doha, Qatar. It has been replaced with a meeting in New York on 17 March 2022 for the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA); a full meeting will be held in March 2023, where governments will gather with stakeholders “to build new plans and partnerships for the delivery of the DPoA over the following decade”. The LDC conferences and programmes of action have a long history of marking the state of global solidarity with countries most in need of co-operation and of the underlying root-causes for global inequalities.

Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) embarked on an effort to harmonize UN Development System (UNDS) activities with the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs as well as system-wide pressure for greater country ownership of in-country activities. Part of this process includes the 2017 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (A/RES/71/243) and ongoing reform proposals for the UNDS, all aimed at improving the quality of development and meeting the needs and priorities of host countries and donor governments.

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.

We are thrilled to invite you to a UNGA76 Side Event titled Multi-lateralism & Multi-stakeholderism: Where does accountability for the corporate sector fit in?

When September 24th at 8:00 AM New York / 8:00 PM Beijing / 2:00 PM CET

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