The rights that apply offline also apply online, but not quite in the same way. The digital economy has many promises, but is also a trap that catches most countries in the middle, doing painful data annotation, if at all.

By Roberto Bissio*

“As data drives the world of wealth and power centralization and concentration, we are at a juncture that many refer to as a neocolonial moment already,” declared Anita Gurumurthy in her introduction to the panel on the digital economy of the Civil Society Forum at the LDC5 UN Summit.

Civil society debated with Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary-General, the need for reform of the multilateral institutions, food security and food sovereignty, the role of the financial system, the pandemic, trade and the development-human rights nexus. All the simultaneous crises lead to the need of reforming global governance

Developing countries’ finances, energy and food are trapped in paradoxes that hinder their sustainable development concluded the first plenary of the Civil Society Forum in Doha, March 2023, part of the Fifth UN Summit on Least Developed Countries (LDC5).

By Roberto Bissio*

“The crises of COVID, Ukrainian war, debt distress, bankrupt treasuries, they are telling us in a very painful way that we have not built resilience. There are root causes before these crises, so let's not be distracted by them. Otherwise, if we start to focus on the crises and their impact, we might be pushed to short term solutions” said Cristina Isabel Lopes da Silva Monteiro Duarte, UN Special Envoy to Africa, as her key message to civil Society. The multiple global crises should not be blamed for all the negative impacts that the LDCs, of which a majority are in Africa, are suffering.

By Roberto Bissio*

During the Summit on the Least Developed Countries (Doha, 5-9 March 2023), the UN convened a meeting of UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) of all 46 LDCs. UN reform measures to provide better in-country agency coordination and convening started with getting the RCs to report directly to the Secretary-General, DSG Amina Mohammed told the accompanying Civil Society Forum.

By Roberto Bissio*

A reform in the international financial architecture is needed and urgent. High level UN officials and civil society agreed on that proposition during the UN Summit on the Least Developed Countries.

“The international financial architecture is absolutely no longer fit for purpose. It is morally bankrupt” said UN deputy secretary general Amina Mohammed in a candid dialogue with civil society organizations at the closure of the Civil Society Forum on the last day of the Summit on the Least Developed Countries held in Doha last March 2023.

In her introductory comments to the first plenary of the Civil Society Forum at the LDC5 Summit, Gita Sen, General Co-coordinator for Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) summarized civil society interventions at the opening session, noting that these “set the tone for the seriousness of the challenges LDCs face and the Global South more generally”.

Negotiations are advancing swiftly to conclude the draft "Doha Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries", which has evolved into a strikingly weakened outcome document, said sources familiar with the development.

The draft Doha Programme of Action (DPOA) for the decade 2022-2031 will be adopted by the upcoming Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), scheduled for 23-27 January 2022 in Doha, Qatar, at the Heads of State/Government level.

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:

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.



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