Global Policy Watch

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

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.

“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

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.

In 2007, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) established an Ad Hoc Working Group on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (AHWG) which in recent years has addressed the selection process of the UN Secretary-General (S-G). The current S-G Antonio Guterres’ five-year term is set to expire on 31 December 2021 and Member States have begun activities for the 2021 selection and appointment for the UN S-G position, including a thematic debate on the selection process on 23 April.

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