Asia

77th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific (ESCAP)

The seventy-seventh session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will be held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok and via videoconferencing from 26 to 29 April 2021 under the theme, “Building back better from crises through regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific.”

The theme study for the 77th Commission session analyses the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic in countries of Asia and the Pacific, takes stock of action so far, and sets out a policy agenda for building back better grounded in regional cooperation and centered around four critical interconnected areas: broadening social protection, investing in a sustained recovery, strengthening connectivity and supply chains; and mending a broken relationship with nature.

Meeting at the ministerial level, the members of the Commission will discuss and decide on important issues pertaining to inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in the region and make recommendations to its subsidiary bodies and to the Executive Secretary. The proceedings will include regional perspectives, initiatives and subregional cooperation for scaled up actions in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and take stock of its socioeconomic impact.

The Commission will also review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, consider issues vital to the inclusive and sustainable development of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Pacific island developing States, and discuss management issues such as the proposed programme plan of ESCAP for 2022.

Credentials and Registration:

Each delegation is required to submit a letter of credentials, duly signed by the appropriate authority of the respective Government or organization, at the earliest convenience and no later than 16 April 2021 to oes.unescap@un.org. Only delegates who appear on the credentials will be recognized in the list of participants.

Once letter of credential has been submitted, all participants are requested to register online as soon as possible.

Only the names of duly accredited and registered participants will be included in the list of participants. For more information, please email the Office of the Executive Secretary at oes.unescap@un.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. 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

Decreased Access to Safe Water in Asia: Challenges to Human Security

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) will organise a webinar on ‘Decreased Access to Safe Water in Asia: Challenges to Human Security’ in conjunction with the World Water Day–2021.

Scheduled to be held on 22 March 2021 from 12 PM to 2 PM (Bangkok time), the webinar will highlight the importance of access to water as a human right and its challenges to human security and will focus on the problems related to the right to safe and clean water and challenges to human security.

The panelists of the webinar will include representatives of UN agencies, NGOs working in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, as well as church and ecumenical organisations.

Those who are interested in participating in the webinar, kindly register using the link below:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdO6qpjwpGdTg_D6dlkhiGiUzSqPJBhnp

For more details, please refer to the Background Information note here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

[Webinar] Care & Labor Rights: Challenges from the Capitalist Pandemic

Save the Date, virtual meeting details TBA. Interested attendees are encouraged to check organizer websites or contact co-conveners in the meantime.

Care & Labor Rights: Challenges from the Capitalist Pandemic

This webinar by Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development is part of a series of action-oriented dialogues on the macro agendas and the current crises: Macro Solutions for Women, the People and the Planet.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 @ 9 am NY/ 10 am Montevideo/ 2 pm London/ 15 hrs Brussels/ 16 hrs Nairobi/ 20 hrs Bangkok

Speakers:

Corina Rodriguez, Executive Committee Member, DAWN

Shahra Razavi, Director, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organisation

Laura Alfers, Director, Social Protection Programme, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

Concept Note

The COVID-19 Pandemic has starkly exposed the multiple inequalities that are intertwined in the world of work. First, it has forcefully revealed something that feminists have been repeating for a long time: the role of care is central  to sustain life in our societies. In a context of a health crisis,  where “staying at home” is one of the main strategies to face the emergency, care arrangements  have become more complex while  sexual division of labor continues to weight on women. Furthermore, there is an added pressure in the form of forced teleworking, which leads to situations where the boundaries between paid work and unpaid care work become blurred, working conditions become precarious and rights are easily violated.

Secondly, those in the informal economy bear heavier burdens in this crisis. Not working and staying at home has meant losing jobs and  livelihoods for the majority of informal workers and their families. Physical distancing is difficult to apply to those working in public spaces, such as street or market vendors, paid domestic workers or others in manufacturing or retail trade. The majority of workers in the informal economy are having less access to income resulting in increasing poverty and plunging workers and households into more precarious living conditions. The dimensions of this crisis are severe: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reported that informal workers in Asia and Latin America endured an income decline of 81 percent during the first month of lock-downs. The situation of migrant workers has been particularly affected, given the higher exposure to occupational health and safety risks, no appropriate protection, exclusion from social protection measures directed towards nationals, as well as the restriction of movement and the accelerated destruction of jobs.

The context has also exposed the weakness of social protection systems to deal with the situation, and in most cases the applied immediate public policy responses have been insufficient.

Third, in the current context, it is important to analyse those groups of workers that are exposed in a differentiated form. On the one side are those in “front-line” jobs: health workers, workers at essential retail shops, paid domestic workers. The “front-line” is a predominantly feminized “front-line” workforce. In tandem, workers in platform jobs, many of which have seen an increase in the demand for their services but also higher levels of exploitation of their working conditions.

While some countries and some working sectors are coping more successfully with the emergency situation, most, especially those countries in the Global South, face a more serious form of exploitation already imposed by the pre-existing global financial capitalist model.

Can the harshness of the exposure of deepening inequalities serve as a spark to ignite and accelerate processes of transformation towards a “new normal” that is indeed new and different from the old normality? What feminist strategies can we draw on to activate an agenda of transformation in the world of work that serves women, people and the planet? What new challenges do we face and how should we adapt our analysis, our advocacy, our activism? What space can we create so that the post-COVID-19 pandemic does not continue to be a capitalist pandemic?

This webinar aims at reflecting on these questions and will be organized with four 10-12 minutes presentations, followed by a session of Q&A.

Objectives

  • To draw key elements of the agenda of transformation in the world of work from a feminist perspective;
  • To Identify common strategies across movements working on informal economy, care and work with different groups and constituencies (migrants, domestic workers, grassroots women, rural women, women in health sector);
  • To map advocacy spaces and mechanisms within the UN that may be used to activate our agenda of transformation of the world of work;
  • Facilitate cross-movement building and solidarity among civil society groups and activists mobilizing for care, workers rights, gender equality.
DAWN is a network of feminist scholars, researchers and activists from the economic South working for economic and gender justice and sustainable and democratic development. DAWN promotes critical analysis on global issues (economic, social and political) affecting the livelihoods, living standards, rights and development prospects of women, especially poor and marginalized women, in regions of the South. DAWN seeks to support women’s mobilization within civil society to challenge inequitable social, economic and political relations at global, regional and national levels, and to advance feminist alternatives.

The Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FfD) is an alliance of women’s organizations and networks who advocate for the advancement of women’s human rights and gender equality in the Financing for Development related UN processes.

Co-Conveners:

Rosa Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force; rosa.lizarde@feministtaskforce.org  

Emilia Reyes, Program Director, Policies & Budgets for Equality & Sustainable Development, Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work & Family; emilia@equidad.org.mx

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.