2 April 2020
Civil Society Group Urges UN to Respond to COVID-19 within FfD Process
Photo Credit: Giacomo Carra/Unsplash
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The Civil Society Financing for Development Group urges an “ambitious UN/FfD-centered process to assess the crisis and agree on responses,” leading to an International Economic Reconstruction and Systemic Reform Summit under the UN.

The Group suggests their proposed actions could set the international community back on track to unlock the means of implementation necessary to realize the 2030 Agenda.

A civil society coalition has outlined proposals on the role of the UN’s financing for development (FfD) process in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter is addressed to the President of the UN Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) and the co-facilitators of preparations for ECOSOC’s 2020 session of the Financing for Development Forum, which was recently postponed.

The letter from the Civil Society FfD Group calls for stepping up multilateral action under the UN, and for steps that “break with normalcy” in line with the UN Secretary-General’s call to move beyond “usual tools” to address the crisis.

The coalition proposes refocusing 2020 FfD negotiations on a process to address impacts of the pandemic.

It urges an “ambitious UN/FfD-centered process” to assess the global crisis surrounding the pandemic and agree on responses. The Group envisions the process leading to an International Economic Reconstruction and Systemic Reform Summit under the UN, either later in 2020 or in early 2021.

The Group proposes that the FfD follow-up process could help raise ambition to remove barriers to socio-economic transformation and promote reforms of global economic frameworks to realign them with human rights, gender justice, decent work, and sustainable development. This would help the international community unlock the means of implementation (MOI) needed to realize the 2030 Agenda.

The Group makes six specific proposals:

  • Immediately initiate informal discussions under the leadership of the ECOSOC President and Bureau, on the need for an FfD-centered crisis process;
  • Refocus the second phase of the 2020 outcome negotiations on the rationale, modalities, and agenda for such a process, including possible Conference hosting arrangements;
  • Focus negotiations on addressing key challenges and modalities of preparations for each FfD action area, including any necessary mandates to the Inter-Agency Task Force and FfD Institutional Stakeholders;
  • Request the the Inter-Agency Task Force on FfD to initiate preparations for a special report for the UN/FfD-centered crisis process;
  • Begin online preparations immediately while ensuring that all Member States, including the least developed countries (LDCs), are able to participate effectively and on equal footing, and ensuring full transparency and adequate civil society participation; and
  • Finalize consultations and negotiations in person as soon as physical meetings are possible.

The Civil Society FfD Group represents a wide range of organizations, federations and networks from diverse regions and constituencies around the world, including the Women’s Working Group on FfD. [Civil Society FfD Group Letter]

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