recession

The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

Sharing responsibilities as well as benefits? The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

The results of the G20 initiatives to relieve the debt of the Global South, which has been hard hit economically by the pandemic, are sobering. Many eligible countries are reluctant to enter into negotiations. They fear that debt relief will cut off their long-term access to private capital markets and cause them to lose the confidence of private investors. These concerns have been reinforced by creditors, especially from the private sector. And the G20? Despite its commitment to private sector participation in the Common Framework for Debt Treatments, it has so far not found the political will to make such participation mandatory. However, this would be a key step to shield debtor countries from uncooperative creditors and achieve substantial debt relief.

In the run-up to the joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers this October we have invited international experts from academia, government, and financial institutions to discuss the following questions among others:

  • Is there empirical evidence that debt relief excludes countries from much-needed development finance?
  • On what grounds could the participation from the private sector in official debt relief initiatives, comparable to other creditors, be expected?
  • In what ways can the G20 compel private sector participation and equal burden-sharing?

Further event details will be forthcoming, but please stay apprised of updates here: https://ny.fes.de/

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

COVID-19, Youth Livelihood, and Mental Health: A Global Youth Voice for Resilience and Recovery

COVID-19, Youth Livelihood, and Mental Health: A Global Youth Voice for Resilience and Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted young people across the world. From decreased access to quality education to sudden loss of employment, young people are at greater risk of distress now. Urgent actions need to be taken immediately with better policies and practices.

Prior to COVID-19, mental health conditions already took the lives of young people worldwide. If necessary actions are not taken with better policy and practice, this public health crisis will put youth further into severe and prolonged psychological, social, and economic distress. Let’s learn from global experts and practitioners how we could address this issue best!

Register for our side event at the United Nations #ECOSOCYouthForum2021 now. Let’s together promote the positive mental health of young people!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

World Autism Awareness Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and heightened glaring inequalities around the world, especially when it comes to income and wealth distribution, access to health care, protection under the law, and political inclusion. Persons with autism have long faced many of these inequalities, which have only been further exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s a problem made worse by long  recognized discriminatory hiring practices and workplace environments that present major obstacles for persons with autism; all of which contribute to the unemployment or severe underemployment of a large majority of adults on the autism spectrum.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 provide a blueprint for addressing the major challenges facing the world, including strategies for reducing inequalities that hinder prosperity for people and the planet. One of the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) – Decent Work and Economic Growth – is to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all, including persons with disabilities. Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also recognizes “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others,” and to a “work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.”

Some employers have recently launched inclusive employment programmes, which  accommodate people with diagnoses of autism and related conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, etc., often referred to as neurodivergent persons. Based on the experience gained from these programmes, and motivated by the desire to both be socially responsible and to gain a competitive advantage by benefitting from the skills and abilities of a more diverse talent pool, an increasing number of employers are now creating  models to make the workplace and hiring practices more inclusive generally.

The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the efforts of companies to implement these new models, at a time when the international economy is undergoing the worst economic recession since the great depression, with the loss of hundreds of millions of jobs. At the same time, new ways of working, including remote working and the use of new technologies, have created opportunities for employees on the autism spectrum that previously found it difficult to thrive in traditional workplace environments.

The 2021 World Autism Awareness Day observance will address these issues through a virtual event that will include moderated panel discussions with individuals on the autism spectrum who have themselves experienced the challenges and seen these new opportunities in the employment market.

The event is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Specialisterne Foundation.

As presented at the 2015 UN observance of World Autism Awareness Day, the mission of the Specialisterne Foundation is to leverage knowledge gained from the employment of autistic persons to support the creation of meaningful and fulfilling employment for one million persons, in a world where there are equal opportunities for all in the labour market.

Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World

Thursday, 8 April 2021
10:00 -11:00 a.m. EST/16:00 – 17:00 p.m. CET

Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdCe1tiFE7QlebOFoN97jT3okXKM6ZzDT13ZzxWTh6w8WekJQ/viewform

Click here to view the full event program and past events commemorating World Autism Awareness Day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

[UNCTAD Seminar] Building Economic Resilience in Small Island Developing States

UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat will host an online seminar on “Building economic resilience in small island developing States” on 4 March 2021, from 3 to 5 p.m. CET.

Register here!

Background

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated the significant vulnerability of small island developing States to external shocks and has unleashed an unprecedented socioeconomic and financial crisis. The pandemic has also compounded the lingering effects of the financial crisis of 2008/09, following which many small island developing States borrowed to underwrite deficit spending and spur economic growth. Already burdened with high debt service costs at the start of the pandemic, many small island developing States lack the fiscal space to respond to the extraordinary needs created by the pandemic.

To break this cycle of recurring crises and incomplete recoveries, small island developing States strive to build their resilience to environmental and economic shocks. In support of this important quest, in 2014, member States, in the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, reaffirmed their “commitment to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of small island developing States”, taking into account their “individual country circumstances”. Economic development strategies provide a blueprint for Governments and incentives for the private sector to invest in new industries and infrastructure, ideally spurring a cycle of economic growth and structural transformation, towards a resilient economy and sustainable long-term development. In this context, UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat will hold this seminar for member States on building economic resilience in small island developing States, to present their ongoing work and exchange views with member States on alternative development strategies for small island developing States and other small States.

The specific objectives of the seminar are to:

Inform SIDS and small States of assistance provided by UNCTAD and the Commonwealth; Foster debate on “alternative development strategies for diverse SIDS” based on joint UNCTAD-Commonwealth research; and Identify next steps, including further research, policy analysis and technical assistance.

Speakers:

  • Mr. Paul Akiwumi Director, Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes (ALDC), UNCTAD
  • Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo Deputy Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • HE Mr. Chad Blackman PR of Barbados to the UN in Geneva Coordinator of the SIDS Group in Geneva
  • Mr. Pierre Encontre Chief, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
  • Dr. Ruth Kattumuri Senior Director, Economic, Youth & Sustainable Development Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Mr. Kris Terauds Economist, SIDS and Status Issues Section, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Paul Akiwumi UNCTAD

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on Trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

UNCTAD Trade Policy Dialogue

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

Please register online at https://unctad.org/meeting/world-economic-situation-and-prospects2021-trade-short-term-disruptions-longer-term

This Trade Policy Dialogue is organized by UNCTAD in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The session will discuss major findings in the flagship report World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021, which assesses key trends in international trade and agenda for policy, including the roles of global value chains and services in enhancing economic resilience.

Questions:

  • How do we overcome short-term trade disruptions to reinforce longer-term resilience?
  • How do we take advantage of dynamic comparative advantage and “servicification”?
  • How do different countries see the need to revitalize the multilateral trading system?

Programme Agenda:

2:30 p.m. Opening

2:35 p.m. Panel discussion moderated by Miho Shirotori, Head, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Bruno Antunes, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD
  • Polina Tonkikh, Director, World Trade Organization Expertise Centre, Russian Federation

3:20 p.m. Questions and answers

3:35 p.m. Closing

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.