News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Asia-Pacific
Governments Must Adopt a Strong Political Declaration that the Global Crisis Mandates
Special Contribution
By Shobha Shukla
The United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF)

Because if they do not, then we are doomed to fail to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 (for which only 104 months are left). The clock is ticking but governments from around the world, who are convening at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) seem to be regurgitating old timid commitments and shying away from taking bold decisions. The Covid-19 pandemic and cascading humanitarian crises warrant governments to adopt a strong enough Ministerial Declaration at HLPF 2021 which is critical for progressing towards a resilient recovery post-pandemic as well as for SDGs. The Ministerial Declaration is a major outcome of the HLPF, but sadly our governments failed to adopt one last year. The price of inaction for not taking genuinely transformative actions globally will not only be regressive, but will also worsen the already existing inequalities and injustices for the majority of the people.

“Adding to the existing crises of sustainability and climate, rapid biodiversity loss, inequality and poverty traps for low and middle income countries, Covid-19 pandemic has given a serious blow not only to the economic and social sectors but also to whatever little (and howsoever fractured) progress was made so far towards achieving the SDGs. The HLPF presents an acid test for the governments to walk-the-talk on multilateralism, political ambition and courage to take a step forward from usual intergovernmental rigmarole to make good on the promise of Agenda 2030” said Wardarina, Co-Chair of Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), and Ajay Jha of AP-RCEM. Wardarina and Ajay were also speaking to CNS (Citizen News Service) on behalf of members of the Global Coordination Committee of the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders of the HLPF.

The HLPF shoulders the responsibility to help the current highly unsustainable world navigate its way to eradicate poverty and hunger, and ensure ecological balance by 2030. To achieve this, it is an absolute imperative that the governments at the HLPF adopt a strong Ministerial Declaration this year to address these issues effectively.

Even before the pandemic, a large majority of the global population was reeling under the severe impact of deep rooted injustices and inequalities. The promise of SDGs by the world leaders does provide a direction towards sustainable development where “no one is left behind”, but it fails to address the real problems that plague our people and our planet. “We are extremely concerned with consistent refusal to address the systemic barriers (climate change, seeking infinite growth from extractivist economies, unequal power relations engendering unsustainable debt and illicit financial flow, patriarchy as a political tool, corporate capture of the governance, development and sustainability agenda and its implications on the fulfillment and respect of human rights, among others)” said Wardarina and Ajay Jha.

The pandemic is not an excuse for the governments for inaction. It actually heightens the urgency for governments at the HLPF to come out with a strong political (Ministerial) Declaration which addresses:

Equitable universal free access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatment: HLPF should encourage countries to recognize ongoing efforts to take vaccines out of the patent regime (including those at the World Trade Organization or WTO) and make efforts to remove other impediments related to infrastructure and capacity gaps, resistance of the vaccine manufacturers, embargo and trade-related restrictions on raw materials, and facilitating movement and distribution of vaccines. It is also important that vaccine related requirements do not impose universal coercive measures and otherwise adversely affect movement of essential goods and supplies, and mobility of migrants and other travellers.

Poverty and hunger eradication: The impact of Covid-19 necessitates an urgent stronger action towards ending poverty and hunger, and is certainly not an excuse to dump or slacken efforts towards these essential goals.

Means of Implementation: The target of 0.7% of the Gross National Income of the developed countries made 52 years ago in the 1970 Resolution of the UN General Assembly (which was reiterated in the Monterrey Consensus 2002 and Addis Ababa Action Agenda 2015) is not sufficient today to rid the world of poverty. The USD 100 billion too is equally insufficient to prevent the climate crisis and its impacts. Developing countries face a financing gap of USD 2.5-3 trillion every year through 2030. Full range of means of implementation, including aid, finance, trade, technology transfer and capacity building, needs to be deployed besides addressing systemic barriers like addressing asymmetry in global power relations, debt sustainability, preventing illicit finance flow, among others.

Climate crisis: The looming climate emergency is making it almost impossible to achieve the SDGs. Several parts of the world are reeling under record-breaking heat waves. Corporate Accountability rightly points out that far from signifying climate ambition, the phrase “net zero” is being used by a majority of polluting governments and corporations to evade responsibility, shift burdens, disguise climate inaction, and in some cases even to scale up fossil fuel extraction, burning and emissions. The term is used to greenwash business-as-usual or even business-more-than-usual. Emissions have only reduced slightly and are already claiming a comeback. The countries have agreed to awfully inadequate contributions as part of the global climate treaty negotiations (formally called United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC), which fail to respond to an ever raging crisis. The HLPF Ministerial Declaration must be an additional opportunity (besides the UNFCCC process) to bring countries together on progressive ideas and real solutions.

Science technology and Innovation: It is an important reminder that public money was invested majorly in the research and development of treatments for major diseases, for example, TB, HIV as well as Covid-19 vaccines. Governments must not get trapped in the narrow narrative of science, technology and innovation that is propelled by the private sector. Instead it must recognize a broader understanding of science, technology and innovation, that includes wide knowledge systems developed on centuries of experience by indigenous populations, women, farmers, among others. Profiteering from illness has to end.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental platform, but the people of the world must remain its primary focus. A response that restores faith in multilateralism, and the SDGs which are grounded in the ecological balance and human rights, should be central to all recovery and restoration efforts.

If governments of our countries truly want to address the real problems confronting our people and our planet (including the pandemic), they must unanimously adopt a strong Ministerial Declaration at HLPF 2021.

Shobha Shukla – CNS (Citizen News Service)

Shobha Shukla is the award-winning founding managing editor and executive director of CNS (Citizen News Service) and is a feminist, health and development justice advocate. She is a former senior physics faculty of prestigious Loreto Convent College and current coordinator of Asia Pacific Regional Media Alliance for Health and Development (APCAT Media). Follow her on Twitter @shobha1shukla or read her writings here www.bit.ly/ShobhaShukla



Related Articles
    A Bouquet of Novel Compounds: New Treatment ...
    One Size Does Not Fit All: Expanding the ...
    Tale of Two Pandemics: Follow the Science and ...
    What Is the Ring?
    Disability Is Not Limited to the Body, It Is ...
    Accelerating Progress on Sexual & Reproductive ...
    Stop This Shaming of Menstruation
    Complacency Breeds Failure: Consolidate ...
    For Age Is Opportunity No Less Than Youth ...
    New Study Pegs the Number of TB Cases in India ...
    Self-stigma: Let Us Do More Than Just "Ttalk ...
    We Cannot Eliminate TB If We Leave Children ...
    MDR-TB Treatment Rgimen: Short Indeed Is ...
    A Plain Face Can Take the Sheen Out of Deadly ...
    Strike at the Root of the Problem to Kill TB
    Antibiotic Use Is Driving Antibiotic Resistance
    Big Push for Transgender and Hijra Welfare
    Where There Is a Will There Is a Way: Teeja ...
    Lung Cancer: Difficult to Diagnose, Difficult ...
    Long Road to Justice: Human Rights of Female ...
    Medical Malpractices: Is There Light at the ...
    Overcoming Roadblocks in Translating ...
    Management of Respiratory Diseases beyond ...
    Gender Justice to Be at the Heart of ...
    Connecting the Dots: Tobacco Use, Diabetes, ...
    It Is Time To Control Asthma
    Call for No More New HIV Infected Children
    Smoking Goes Electronic
    Break the Silence around Cancer
    How Can You Treat Your Illness Unless You Take ...
    Asthma Medicines Still Unaffordable for Many
    New Technique to Prevent Diabetic Lower-Limb ...
    Cycle Beads: The Bead String for Family ...
    Beware: All Forms of Tobacco Are Harmful!
    Mother's Milk Is the Best Nutrition for the ...
    Where Is The TB Quilt, Nay Mask?
    Hello, This Is Nature’s Call From Garbage ...
    Tuberculosis: Ugly Scar on Beautiful Childhood
    Towards A More Enabling Environment for ...
    What’s Cooking in Kitchen: Peace or Conflict?
    Feed Your Child Well: Prevent Pneumonia
    Costly Medicines Mean Debt or Death for People ...
    AIDS Epidemic at a Critical Juncture in ...
    Watch Your Tongue Mr. Minister!
    Free Trade Agreements: A Threat To People's ...
    In The Pursuit Of Healthy Happiness
    Empowering Rural Women
    Say Yes To Life: Say No To Tobacco
    Homophobia Is A Human Rights Issue
    Viva La Woman Power
    Rubbish Rubbish Food and Embrace Healthy ...
    Of Music and Divinity
    Wake Up Call on Childhood Obesity after Years ...
    A New Hope of Life for Our Ailing Education ...
    Reminiscences of Egypt
    Do Not Break the Nucleus
    Whispers of Sanity in the Frenzy of Madness
    Tobacco Cessation Can Piggy-back Ride on ...
    In The Spirit Of Freedom (from Tobacco)
    World Conference on Tobacco or Health to ...
    Requiem for Purity
    Rhapsody 2008 -- a Symphony of Different ...
    'Diabetes Doctor Is at Your Doorstep' in ...
    Activists Decry India's Deferment of Pictorial ...
    South-East Asian Diabetes Summit to Open Up in ...
    Special on Universal Children's Day
    The Wrath Of God
    World Food Scarcity and the Challenges of ...
    Victim of Terrorism -- the Common Man
    Teachers' Day: The Sacrificial Goat
    Hiroshima Day: Let Us Worship Peace and Shun ...
    Whither the Innocence of Childhood?
    Food for Thought -- on World Food Day
    Love Is the Missing Link in War-on-Terror
    Irom Sharmila: The Iron Lady
    India Poised And Shining
    Is It Just Another Day in Life of Indian Woman?
    He Has His Cake and Eats It Too
    To Be Young, to Be Married, and to Be in India
    The Mad Mad World of Ads

Other Articles by Shobha Shukla
    A Bouquet of Novel Compounds: New Treatment ...
    One Size Does Not Fit All: Expanding the ...
    Tale of Two Pandemics: Follow the Science ...
    Tale of Two Pandemics: Follow the Science ...
    A Plain Face Can Take the Sheen Out of ...


Ms. Shobha Shukla has been teaching Physics at India's noted Loreto Convent, and has written for The Hindustan Times and Women's Era in the past. She serves as Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS). She can be contacted at shobha1shukla@yahoo.co.in)

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange