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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

At a briefing on COVID-19, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated: “We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply. We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times.”

The Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in light of COVID-19 has already garnered significant support including from Member States and CSOs, receiving over 2 million signatures. Learn more and sign the petition here.

Civil Society Organizations and Research Center in Lebanon released a statement in reaction to the Government response to the Covid 19 crisis.
The suggestions and recommendations stem from the need to take a comprehensive approach to the crisis with its health, economic and social dimensions, with human rights and dignity at the center of the approach taken, and learn from this crisis in order to develop plans that strengthen public health care systems, free education and public access to social security.

The potential and challenges of the digital economy are emerging steadily on the UN agenda. The UN General Assembly’s Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Issues (Third Committee) closed its 74th session in November 2019 adopting over 60 resolutions on a wide range of subjects, only one of which (A/C.3/74/L.11) addressed digital technologies.

The Committee heard presentations from a variety of Independent Experts and Special Rapporteurs, two of whom addressed in their reports the human rights implications of emerging digital technologies. The Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Phillip Alston, focused his report on the digital welfare state. The Special Rapporteur on the Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, addressed online hate speech.

In addition to the health aspects of the virus, the global coronavirus crisis also has financial, socio-economic and developmental consequences. For this reason, a large number of policy measures have been announced by governments and international organizations, on the one hand to contain the pandemic, on the other to mitigate the economic consequences.

These measures contain for example fiscal stimulus and aid packages of various shapes and sizes, intended to cushion the serious economic and social consequences of the coronavirus outbreak worldwide. The main target groups of planned loans and cash injections are the healthcare system, as well as larger banks and companies. However, some strategies are also aimed at small and medium-sized companies as well as groups of individuals, their savings, private pensions and other private assets.

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