United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization? 

At the beginning of the crisis the Office adopted a few leadership initiatives: a COVID-19 task force was established bringing all needed human rights expertise together. The task force supported information flow and developed internal guidance, an office COVID19 strategy (which was updated in Nov 2021) and public messaging on human rights. At the operational level, the Office set up a COVID-19 Crisis Response Team (CRT), enabling business continuity and setting the framework for new work modalities, such as telecommuting and keeping staff safe and supported, while ensuring that we can continue our human rights work across the world. An information management system for the crisis was developed: the COVID-19 tracker. Guidance notes, regional COVID-19 snapshots and Covid-19 infographics have become regular aspects of our Office’s work. COVID-19 volunteers contributed expertise to the work on priority themes.

Reprogramming has taken place across the board, both to face the challenges of the pandemic and to adjust to financial constraints. The Human Rights Council was the last major UN intergovernmental body in Geneva to interrupt temporarily its in-person activities. To ensure that sessions are continued to be held to the degree possible, staff members have been redeployed to provide services using virtual technologies. Our staff members acquired knowledge in terms of available precedents and legal situations crucial to ensuring the effective remote or hybrid holding of mandated meetings.

With the dedication of OHCHR staff, the Human Rights Council was the last major UN inter-governmental body to interrupt its in-person activities, and amongst the first ones to resume work using different modalities. Despite challenges both treaty bodies and special procedures have not only continued their work but have stepped up to the many human rights challenges presented by COVID-19, providing guidance and advocating on a wide range of topics.

The place of human rights in the COVID-19 pandemic:

There has been widespread recognition among Member States that the pandemic has underlined the centrality of equality and human rights to the global agenda. Important United Nations-wide response initiatives have put human rights at their centre. In terms of the establishment of the Secretary-General’s socio-economic response framework to COVID-19, OHCHR played a major role, which included leading the development of ten indicators for monitoring the human rights implications of COVID-19. The plan’s increased emphasis on inclusive and sustainable development, reducing inequality and discrimination and supporting civil society has provided important entry points for OHCHR’s field presences which have witnessed a strengthening of OHCHR’s space within the United Nations Country Teams.

OHCHR also played a critical role in the drafting of other critical system wide guidance, for instance Secretary-General’s policy brief “COVID-19 and Human Rights: We are all in this together” and provided input into the Secretary-General’s policy brief “Tackling Inequality: A New Social Contract for a New Era”.

OHCHR and the international human rights mechanisms issued a wealth of guidance and country advice on the most pressing human rights challenges emerging from the pandemic and with deliberate focus on disadvantaged groups: migrants, indigenous, the poor, racial and ethnic minorities in recognition that Covid 19 has been an amplifier of discrimination and inequalities. For instance, Treaty Bodies have issued detailed steps on how to protect people deprived of their liberty in prisons, immigration detention facilities; Special Procedures issued practical and punctual advice on stepping up protection of health, housing, water and sanitation, peaceful assembly in the context of emergency responses and stimulus packages. These mechanisms have been also playing a crucial role in monitoring the human rights impact of covid as well as Government responses.

Re-focusing of OHCHR’s priorities in response to Covid-19:

While OHCHR’s pillars and priorities remain valid in the current crisis, human rights must be placed at the centre of the recovery efforts, so no one is left behind (see for instance the HC’s 2021 annual appeal). For this reason, throughout 2021, the Office endeavored to ensure a strengthened commitment to human rights and to the 2030 Agenda through:

  • Promoting development, economic and social rights: Working with UNCTs to ensure a rights-based implementation of the UN socio-economic response framework to covid-19 and launch a new round of country level seeding-change projects under the surge initiative to operationalize on rights-based macroeconomic analysis and engagement at the country level.
  • Environmental Sustainability: integration of human rights in UN climate and UN biodiversity negotiations.
  • Addressing inequalities: provide advice on social protection systems and universal health care
  • Ending discrimination: support countries’ efforts in mitigating the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women/girls and advise on a gender sensitive recovery (network of regional gender advisors)
  • Promoting participation and expanding civic space: expand the scope and data coverage of SDG16 on the killing of human rights defenders, journalists or trade unionists and monitoring attacks to civic space
  • Leveraging the digital world to realize human rights for all: implement recommendations from SG’s roadmap for digital cooperation, developing guidance for due diligence for the UN use of technologies
  • Mitigating conflicts: ensure that emergency measures are in line with states’ international obligations.

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

The Surge Initiative (SI) is a catalyst to OHCHR effort to step-up country-focused operational advice for OHCHR and the UN Development System, on ESCR, on integrating human rights in COVID-19 recovery plans and action to accelerate the SDGs’ implementation, and to increase focus on prevention by making the links between ESCR and development Funded through the UN Human Rights Mainstreaming Multi-Partner Trust Fund, Switzerland, and China as well as OHCHR resources, the Surge Initiative was conceived under the leadership of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in response to galloping inequalities, slow-paced implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and an outbreak of social protests across the globe. The SI brings together OHCHR economic, social and cultural rights and development specialists and a team of five macroeconomists who work with UN and local partners to develop policy and operational advice to transform economies and curb inequalities, while anchoring development solutions in economic and social rights (ESR) while leveraging the links with the 2030 Agenda and its transformative vision.

The SI aims to meaningfully contribute to breaking silos, creating bridges across the UN Development System and joining forces with other UN economists as well as national stakeholders at a time of exceptional challenges for human rights and sustainable development and urgency to step up work on more inclusive and greener economies. The SI is seen as an essential tool to realizing the S-G Common Agenda vision of a ‘renewed social contract’. Work related to development, economics and human rights has often been carried out in silos, with human rights considerations side-lined. The SI was designed to break these silos and to demonstrate the strategic add value and urgency to include human rights in development and economic spheres. The COVID-19 outbreak and its dire socio-economic consequences rooted in decades of under-spending on health and other rights lent a compelling urgency to its objectives and additionally brought in the aspect of needing to embed human rights at the centre of sustainable recovery. The S-G’s vision of the renewed social contract, his Call to Action for Human Rights, and Common Agenda compel the UN to think and act differently and seize the generational opportunity to build a more equal and sustainable world by supporting Member States and partners to place people and human rights at the centre of recovery and development strategies.

The SI operationalizes this vision by engaging on how policy decisions related to the economy, when made with a human rights lens, can underpin stronger economic development, produce greater inclusion of those traditionally left behind, generate societal well-being, and greater resilience and preparedness for adversity.

For example, the SI has:

  • Convened strategic consultations with HQ and field colleagues from DCO, UN Women, and ILO to operationalize the S-G’s vision of a new social contract, with the aim to create an informal network of economists, policy advisers and gender and human rights specialists to continue collaboration on macroeconomic policy issues for transformative economic change.
  • Played a key role, alongside UN partners, in tool development – e.g. the Checklist for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Socio-Economic Country Responses to COVID-19 as well as Human Rights-Based Macro-Economic Guidance Response to COVID-19 and Related Measures.
  • Worked towards a new generation of social protection and universal health coverage. In 2020, the SI supported the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in the development of a UNCT policy paper on social protection, anchored in relevant human rights mechanisms’ recommendations. The policy paper put forward a set of comprehensive policy suggestions to remedy low coverage and a lack of access for the poorest and socially excluded and to design a universal social protection system that offers coverage to all, without discrimination. It helped strengthen UNCT dialogue with national authorities and contributed to ongoing reforms of the pension system.
  • Forged linkages with IFIs for inclusive and equitable recovery. In 2020, the SI supported, alongside the OHCHR Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, the development of a Lebanon UNCT Position Paper to the IMF through a human rights lens. This document serves as a framework to engage with the Lebanese authorities on the country’s recovery and development responses. The Paper consolidated a “one UN” position on how economic reform must aim to prevent and address negative impacts on human rights. Important note/disclaimer: Under the Surge Initiative, a specific project workstream has been created which provides small grants for so-called seeding-change projects, aiming to operationalize the goals of the initiative for greater impact. The two highlighted OHCHR initiatives below are the surge initiative as such and the seeding-change projects, which are administered under this initiative. It should be noted that the support provided by the initiative varies very much from country to country and may in some cases be very limited (e.g. providing inputs and guidance on a single document such as a national development plan or CCA) or can be extensive, for example including seeding-change projects over two years as well as other support. A report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights on the initiative is available here (E/2021/77).

Important note/disclaimer: Under the Surge Initiative, a specific project workstream has been created which provides small grants for so-called seeding-change projects, aiming to operationalize the goals of the initiative for greater impact. The two highlighted OHCHR initiatives below are the surge initiative as such and the seeding-change projects, which are administered under this initiative. It should be noted that the support provided by the initiative varies very much from country to country and may in some cases be very limited (e.g. providing inputs and guidance on a single document such as a national development plan or CCA) or can be extensive, for example including seeding-change projects over two years as well as other support. A report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights on the initiative is available here (E/2021/77).

Name: OHCHR Surge Initiative (SI)
Partners: (please list all partners) Varied and dependent on the country, at a minimum UNCTs and RCOs
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Haiti, Honduras, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Description: Above is a list of countries where the Surge Initiative has engaged in support of Member States or the UN system. The SI aims to fill a long-standing gap in the UN system to link human rights with economics, by translating human rights standards and recommendations of Human Rights Mechanisms (HRMs) on ESR into country-specialized advice and policy options for building back better and accelerating delivery on the 2030 Agenda. It is addressing a critical need to use, as an essential lever to realizing the 2030 Agenda, key recommendations of HRMs, such as allocating maximum available resources for the progressive realization of ESR. Within this optic, the SI contributes human rights-based macroeconomic analysis to joint UN advocacy, planning and programming processes, including to Common Country Analyses and UN Sustainable Development Country Frameworks, to SEIAs and SERPs, Regional Monthly Reviews, national development plans, national budgets and other key development processes.
Website: Coming soon

 

Name: OHCHR Surge Initiative Seeding-Change Projects (distinct projects managed by the OHCHR Surge Initiative)
Partners: (please list all partners) UN Agencies (including UN Women and UNICEF), civil society organizations, and national partners
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, South Sudan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay
Description: Through the provision of grants of US$15,000-25,000, the SI has supported 38 projects - often designed and implemented in partnership with other UN agencies - to catalyse change and generate in-depth analytical and advocacy contents, build disaggregated datasets and collect evidence to feed into COVID-19 emergency and longer-term socio-economic planning. These projects are bringing different parts of the UNCT together in leveraging their mandates, pushing conceptual and methodological boundaries, for instance, by starting to compute costs for essential levels of ESR and by developing human rights-based advice to international financial institutions (IFIs). This work is facilitating cross-fertilization of impactful country approaches, creating space for UN entities, governments and local development and human rights actors to influence country plans and strategies, anchored in human rights, to implement the SDGs. The SI’s field-facing, field-driven and operational character is responding and contributing to UN field colleagues’ demand for practical and solution-oriented engagement.
Website: Coming soon

 

 

3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

Name: Various Guidance Documents
Publishing entity: OHCHR
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,15,17
Target audience: Member States, UN System, NHRIs, civil society, other stakeholders
Resource description: OHCHR has produced a wide variety of guidance notes, infographics, and other materials linked to COVID-19 and human rights. All these products are collected and available from a specific webpage (see below)
Website: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
Language: English  

 

Name: Aide memoire: NHRIs, Human Rights and COVID-19
Publishing entity: OHCHR
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,15,17
Target audience: National Human Rights Institutions
Resource description: This document aims to facilitate the integration of human rights in preparedness and response to COVID-19 by identifying key issues and recommendations for national human rights institutions
Website: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Press/HCCOVID19lettertoNHRIs.pdf
Language: English  

 

Name: Infographics: Relevance of human rights recommendations in responding to the pandemic
Publishing entity: OHCHR
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,15,17
Target audience: Select Member States and all relevant stakeholders in those countries
Resource description:

country-specific infographics identifying recommendations by human rights mechanisms that OHCHR assesses as being particularly relevant to respond to the pandemic and its consequences in an inclusive and sustainable way. Infographics have been produces for the following UN Member States: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guinea, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, Peru, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan

Website: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/COVID-19.aspx  -under "infographics"
Language: Various

 

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

N/A

 

5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

Leaving no one behind/ addressing inequalities is at the center of OHCHR’s recalibrated programmatic direction for 2021 and 2022. OHCHR has further heightened our support for system-wide action to place vulnerable people at the centre of policy guidance and the global response plan for Covid-19. The Office’s framework of human rights indicators forms part of the UN framework for socioeconomic response to the Covid-19 crisis and is being used in several countries.

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing

N/A

5.3 enhancing national implementation

see under point 2

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

See entry under point 5.9 on fostering collaboration at the national level between national human rights institutions and national statistical offices In addition, given that most Member States have established structures or processes for 2030 Agenda as well as for human rights reporting and implementation (usually referred to as national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up or NMRFs), OHCHR is advocating for systematically connecting these structures and making sure they work hand in hand to improve coherence and reporting quality as well as help secure greater participation and ownership. This can also ease reporting burdens and allow for sharing of information and analysis to make sure no one is left behind, including in the context of COVID-19.

5.5 bolstering local action

OHCHR has been supporting work linked to local governments, cities and human rights, including supporting the Human Rights Cities initiative, collaborating with UCLG, and supporting initiatives such as Human Rights Go Local: What Works, Academy and Conference on Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels 2022, organized by the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security at the University in Graz, Austria, in partnership with OHCHR. The work of the Human Rights Council on local governments In its resolution A/HRC/RES/45/7 of 9 October 2020, the Human Rights Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report, in consultation with all stakeholders including local government, on “the challenges faced in the promotion and protection of human rights, including in relation to the right to equality and non-discrimination and the protection of persons in vulnerable and marginalized situations, with a view to identifying possible elements of principles guiding local and national governments in this regard”. The report will be submitted the fifty-first session of the Human Rights Council in 2022. Special Rapporteur on the right to housing During the Habitat III Conference in Quito (Ecuador), OHCHR, the then Special Rapporteur on the right adequate housing and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) launched “The SHIFT”. The goal of this initiative is to bring together diverse stakeholders all of whom believe that if housing is to be adequate, affordable and accessible for all and if Sustainable Development Goal 11 and Target 11.1 are to be met, and “shifting” the way housing is generally seen: from a commodity to a human right. Up to now, more than 40 cities and local governments have joined this initiative: Amsterdam; Asunción; Bangangté; Barcelona; Barcelona Provincial Council; Beitunia; Berlin; Birmingham; Blantyre; Bologna; Buenos Aires; Cascais; Copenhagen; Durban; Eyyübiye; Geneva; Jakarta; Lisbon; London; Mannheim; Mexico City; Medellin; Montreal; Montevideo; New Taipei; New York; Paris; Rennes; Río Grande; San Antonio de Areco; Seoul; Strasbourg; Taipei; Terrassa; Tlajomulco; Vienna; Zaragoza and Metropolitan entities, namely Barcelona Metropolitan Area; Greater Manchester and Plaine Commune Grand Paris. This process is ongoing. World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) Since 2011, the Gwangju Metropolitan City holds “the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF)” every year. This global event brings together local and city officials, civil society organizations and other international actors aiming at establishing and implementing “systems in order to ensure human rights of citizens in their daily lives” as articulated in the Gwangju Declaration on Human Rights Cities. The WHRCF is the most important yearly event on human rights cities. OHCHR has supported this event for a number of years. Since 2020, OHCHR cosponsors the event through a letter of agreement. OHCHR’ annual meeting with local governments In 2019, OHCHR hosted its first meeting with local government. During this meeting, local governments demanded to establish a place of dialogue among local governments, local government networks, OHCHR and civil society organizations, as well as to enhance the links between local governments and their networks and the UN Human Rights system. It was decided that the meeting would be annualized. Due to the global pandemic, the event could not take place since, but should resume this year. Work with UCLG Over the past years, OHCHR has been closely working with UCLG and, in particular, the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights. OHCHR is in the process of formalizing and stepping up its work with UCLG through an agreement. The common work will include a wide range of activities, including establishing a dedicated space of dialogue between local governments, OHCHR, human rights mechanisms and other stakeholders to promote cross-fertilization, sharing of experiences and mutual learning and a promoting a common vision of localizing human rights. OHCHR headquarters and field presences interactions with local governments The Office headquarters and field presences work on a wide range of issues with local governments and their network, including: - Institutional level (for instance Human Rights Council) - International processes (Habitat III, HLPF, etc.) - Thematically (SDGs, urbanization, right to housing…). For instance, OHCHR’s Regional Office in Brussels issued a publication on promising practices of local authorities on the right to health of migrants in Europe.

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience

N/A

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

N/A

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

OHCHR’s recalibrated direction for 2022-2023 places an emphasis on the use of digital technologies and its human rights implications.

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs

OHCHR has been working to strengthen the human rights-based approach to data, including in data gathered for the SDGs. As part of these efforts, special attention is given to fostering systematic collaboration between national human rights institutions and national statistical offices. See for instance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgpgZDhR2s&list=PLXTJS18e7IhB-WDp_S5gj… As part of this initiative, a total of 11 countries have signed an MoU between the two institutions: Philippines, Mongolia, Moldova, Albania, Jordan, Kosovo, Albania, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, and Occupied Palestinian Territory. In Moldova, Palestine and Albania human rights/SDG indicators are being mapped for VNR and human rights reporting purposes, and in the Philippines SDG indicators 16.10.1 and 16.1.2 are going to be part of the UN Joint Programme on Human Rights results framework. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/HRIndicators/Flyer.pdf OHCHR is the custodian for 4 SDG indicators. Since 2015, as part of the global SDG indicators reporting the Office has provided data on discrimination, civilian deaths in conflict, as well as deaths and disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists. There is also new data available on progress of national human rights institutions. See: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/New-global-data-on-human-righ…

5.10 strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

OHCHR engages in and supports the work of the HLPF in various ways, while focusing on strengthening the integration of human rights and human rights-based approaches to development, stemming from the fact that the 2030 Agenda is deeply grounded in human rights. This includes submitting and facilitating submission of official inputs to the HLPF from OHCHR, UN Human Rights Council (including UPR), and UN Treaty Bodies. The Office further contributes to the HLPF preparations, including (to a limited extent) the Regional Forums on sustainable development and (to a greater extent) the annual HLPF preparations, including contributing to the expert meetings, background notes, and selection of speakers. At the annual meeting, OHCHR is represented at the highest level (e.g. the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was a speaker at the 2021 HLPF session dedicated to leaving no one behind) and takes part in side events, learning events as well as VNR labs. Further, OHCHR endeavors to support, through its field presences, the preparation of voluntary national reviews in a manner that adequately integrates human rights concerns.

6. In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

Some vital elements that can contribute to tackling these challenges are: 1) Working across the UN System and with all national stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on engaging vulnerable groups, to systematically embed the content of universal human rights norms and standards, which are closely mirrored in the sustainable development goals and more broadly in the 2030 Agenda, in all implementation, follow-up and review efforts, at all levels. In the works of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, this is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do and it can resume progress towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and human rights for all. 2) Focusing on offering global leadership as well as providing dedicated policy support when it comes to at increasing fiscal space, including faster implementation and expansion of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the redirection of Special Drawing Rights from countries with strong external positions to middle- and low-income countries faced with high levels of inflation, unemployment and reduced revenue, adoption of progressive tax policies and fiscal transparency and accountability measures, including increased participation of civil society in budget monitoring. 3) Providing viable alternatives to across-the-board austerity measures. This recommendation comes against the backdrop of recent analysis revealing that austerity measures are projected to affect 6.6 billion persons or 85 per cent of the world’s population in 2022 and by 2025, 6.3 billion people or 78 per cent of the world’s population may still be living under austerity. Austerity policies often target public sector spending and disproportionally impact low-income individuals. They often also further limit resources for social services, such as health care, social protection and education. A strong focus on viable alternatives to such austerity measures can be a game-changer in the context of achieving sustainable recovery while delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda to prioritize those furthest behind. 4) Renewing the commitment to SDG 16 amidst growing threats to democracy and fundamental freedoms, in recognition that sustainable development requires advancing the rule of law, empowering people everywhere to speak up freely, it demands greater civic space as well as transparent, inclusive and accountable decision-making with the full participation of civil society.

7.  Please review your organization's information contained in the UN System SDG Implementation Database. If you wish to submit any updates, please share details below.

Information in the database is correct but may need to be updated once OHCHR has a new Office Management Plan (expected in 2023).

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021