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Food security is one of the most acute and severe global challenges

The Global Food Security Summit 2022 concluded at #UNGA77 with strong statements from world leaders to combat global hunger and to keep food security high on the agenda.

Right before the Summit, President Biden announced over $2.9 billion in new assistance from the U.S. Government to address global #food insecurity.

Moreover, more than 100 United Nations member states have endorsed the Roadmap for Global Food Security – Call to Action. Actions agreed upon include:

🔒 Making new, additive financial donations to key humanitarian organizations to allow for an increased provision of immediate life-saving #humanitarianassistance wherever possible.

🔒 Provide, where possible and as needed, in-kind donations and necessary associated costs to key humanitarian organizations for transportation and delivery of food commodities based on assessed needs by governments of affected countries or humanitarian organizations.

🔒 Keep food, #fertilizer and #agricultural markets open and avoid unjustified restrictive measures, such as #export bans on food and fertilizer, which increase market volatility and threaten food security and #nutrition at a global scale;

🔒 Support an increase of fertilizer production, where possible and as needed, in order to compensate for shortages, accelerate and scale-up fertilizer #innovations, support their marketing, and promote methods to maximize fertilizer efficiency;

🔒 Accelerate efforts to support #sustainable agriculture and food systems, through strengthening agricultural productivity, particularly in the most affected countries to build their resilience and support domestic production, including as appropriate through efforts to support an #energy transition that is just and equitable, to make them more resilient and available to producers of all scale, including small holder #farmers.

🔒 Increase investments in research and technology to develop and implement science-based and climate-resilient agricultural innovations, including #seeds, that contribute to building sustainable and resilient agricultural sectors and food systems.

🔒 Monitor markets affecting food #systems, including futures markets, to ensure full transparency, and to share reliable and timely data and information on global food market developments, especially through the relevant international organizations.

President of the European Council Charles Michel co-chaired the event together with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Chairperson of the African Union and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.

If you would like to know more about the implications of these commitments for your company or industry, send us a message!

The #TransformingEducation Summit closes today

The Summit elevated education to the top of the political agenda – bringing together leaders and youth activists to combat the global education crisis brought about by the pandemic.

Key outcomes include:

🎓The launch of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) – a multi-billion dollar finance facility for cheap loans to developing countries;

🎓Social impact bonds for education, launched by The Education Outcomes Fund;

🎓Member State Commitments to Action on Foundational Learning, advocated for by UNICEF and The World Bank;

🎓Further commitment to the UNICEF and International Telecommunication Union Giga Initiative to increase digital connectivity in schools;

🎓 A call to expand the international right to education, backed by more than 60 Nobel Peace Prize winners, current and former UN Special Rapporteurs, the former Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and others.

Contact us to obtain an in-depth analysis of the meeting, commitments made, and follow-up trajectory towards the Future Summit in 2024.

#righttoeducation #letmelearn #sdg4 #unitednations #unga77

UNGA 77: 10 Moments to watch out for

For many reasons, UNGA is especially important this year. It is the first fully in-person gathering since the outbreak of COVID-19, the world is facing multiple crises, but also, civil society is invited to participate like never before.

With so much going on – 178 items on the agenda of the General Assembly, as well as hundreds of official and unofficial side events being organized – we’ve compiled a list of essential moments to watch out for during this 2022 edition.

1. 16 – 19 September: Transforming Education Summit
In the midst of the global education crisis, leaders discuss how to move forward on SDG4.

2. 19 September: UN Private Sector Forum
Co-hosted with United Nations Global Compact, business- and government leaders gather for an urgent rescue effort for the SDGs.

3. 19 September: SDG Moment
Kicking off the High-Level Week, this event stresses the importance of the SDGs as ‘the world’s to-do list’.

4. 21 September: seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The fund hopes to raise at least $18 billion for its work in the next three years.

5. 21 September: Leaders’ Round Table on Climate Action
Ahead of COP27, a small group of world leaders aims to reboot cooperation on climate action.

6. 21 September: 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities
This High-Level meeting takes stock of and evaluates the implementation of the Declaration.

7. 22 September: Security Council meeting on Ukraine
World leaders will address the Security Council on maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine.

8. 22 September: High-level General Assembly meeting on challenges in the Sahel
Solutions to poverty, insecurity, terrorism, displacement, and climate change in the region will be discussed.

9. 23 September: Ending COVID-19 Pandemic
This event addresses priority areas for equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

10. 26 September: High-level meeting to commemorate International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Heads of State will discuss global nuclear risks against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

For an in-depth summary and analysis of these (or other) #UNGA77 meetings, reach out to our team to define topics of interest.

The busiest diplomatic season of the year has started! Follow our Linkedin page for daily updates and reports from #UNGA77

Today, the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly opens under the theme ‘ A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges’ .

In the coming 2 weeks, political- , business- and civil society leaders from all over the world gather in New York City to find joint solutions to the world’s current interconnected crises:

🌎 the COVID-19 pandemic,
🌎 the war in Ukraine,
🌎 humanitarian challenges of unprecedented nature,
🌎 a tipping point in climate change,
🌎 as well as growing concerns about threats to the global economy.

The agenda consists of general assembly meetings, high level ministerial meetings, as well as numerous side events bringing together key stakeholders.

Want to keep updated on the outcomes of these historic talks? Three simple steps will provide you with all the information you need:

1.) Keep following this page for daily updates;
2.) Sign up for our free Dr2 Global Policy newsletter, which this month features exclusive in-depth UNGA reports and analyses;
3.) Contact us with your main topics / SDGs of interest. We’ll send you a list of UNGA events to follow, many of which are virtually accessible.

Talk soon!

#sustainabledevelopmentgoals #2030 #globalaffairs

Happening now: The most important SDG event of the year

The United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is happening in New York this week, yearly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The aim of the meeting is to take stock of the progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in Member States, and to determine a course of action towards next year.

This years’ theme is “Building back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the #2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Despite its name, the HLPF offers many opportunities for input from civil society through the preparatory #consultation process and the many side events currently happening.
See the slides below for an initial overview of the #HLPF2022.

Our consultants will be following many of the political discussions in the coming 2 weeks. For in-depth monitoring and analysis reports, or if you would like to know how to get involved towards the #SDGsummit2030, send an e-mail to: s.ros@dr2consultants.eu

HLPF agenda 2022

A global plan to cut agriculture emissions

In a letter to the UN FAO, coordinated by the FAIRR Initiative, major companies ask for a central roadmap with key milestones that #investors can use to align portfolios to address #climate and nature risks. To compare, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently made a major impact on the worldwide #energy sector in a similar Net Zero Roadmap.

Even if fossil fuels were eliminated immediately, #food systems alone would make it impossible to keep global warming to 1.5˚C. All modelled pathways assessed by the IPCC that limit warming to 1.5ºC or well below 2°C require land-based mitigation and land-use change.

Currently, food systems account for around a third of global #ghgemissions. #Agriculture is the main threat to 86% of species at risk of extinction, whilst around three-quarters of the deforestation in the Amazon between 1978-2020 was caused by cattle ranching.

Therefore, the investors ” (…) urge the #FAO to produce a global roadmap to #2050 that mitigates these risks and sets a standard for the industry. It is crucial that this roadmap aligns with the #Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C while ensuring the protection and restoration of nature, and achieving food and nutrition security goals.”

The FAO has yet to respond, but the letter is expected to form an important base for discussion on agriculture reform and #methane emissions rules during #COP27 in Egypt later this year.

First Global Meeting of National Focal Points for the Fifth Montevideo Programme

Happening now: First Global Meeting of National Focal Points for the Fifth Montevideo Programme of the UN Environment Programme, 6-9 June, at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Aim of the meeting is to guide national governments and the international community in developing science-based environmental law and standards of conduct. The Montevideo Programme has helped conceive several multilateral environment agreements. The main topics on the agenda this time are: – Legal responses to address the air pollution, climate, and biodiversity crises (the work on air pollution has started already and will now be continued); – Legal responses to strengthen frameworks on environmental crime and environmental liability; – Environmental law and the three pillars of the United Nations Charter; – Arrangements for a partnership and stakeholder engagement strategy under the Programme. Read more about the programme by clicking on the button underneath. If you would like to receive a detailed summary of the meetings, please mention so when subscribing to Dr2 free news updates. 

News updates Programme

Business Guide – Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis

How can the private sector help battle the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine?

United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations OCHA have now updated their business guide on Ukraine with the latest information.

The guide contains suggestions for practical actions companies can take either in partnership with  and other initiatives or individually.

Read the document to find out which steps you can take ??

U.N. Document

March Digest: A historic UN Plastic Treaty, IPCC controversy, and stopping the next pandemic

Plastic Waste: The UN Environment Assembly in March became a defining moment as leaders of the world adopted a resolution to start negotiations on the UN treaty on plastic pollution, to be concluded by the end of 2024. The negotiation process will offer ample room for input and collaboration from knowledge institutions and the private sector to road-test what works, analyze data gaps, and to help rapidly shape a legally binding global agreement to end single-use plastics.

Sustainable Finance: UN Global Compact has launched the CFO Coalition for the SDGs – a group of 70 CFOs who have pledged to collectively invest more than $500 billion in support of the SDGs. The aim of the group is to grow to 100 members this year, to direct trillions of corporate investments towards the SDGs and create a $10 trillion market for SDG-directed finance by 2030.

Water Management: This year’s edition of the UN World Water Day focused on groundwater as a critical natural resource to achieve the SDGs. Based upon the latest UN World Water Development Report, a groundwater conference was announced for the end of this year, which aims to urge policy makers to unlock the enormous potential of groundwater. Next to providing input on strengthening environmental regulations, the private sector will be involved to acquire data and information, and to reinforce human, material, and financial resources.

Gender Equality: The Commission of Women of the UN concluded its two week negotiations end of March with a focus on empowering women and girls in the context of climate action. The Commission offers a range of observations and recommendations for government action, such as enhancing education curricula, expanding gender-responsive finance, and creating accessible and inclusive health-care services.

Gender Equality: The International Labour Organization – a specialized agency of the United Nations – has released a report on investing in care leave and services for a more gender-equal world of work. The report gives a global overview of national laws and practices on care policies, including maternity, paternity, child and long-term care. It presents findings from 185 countries about protection and legal gaps, and makes the case for greater investment in the care sector.

Climate Action: This weekend scientists and government representatives were locked in marathon talks in a race to complete the last installment of climate report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The landmark UN report is published every 6-8 years, is based on thousands of studies by hundred of scientists, and the summary is a document of dozens of pages intended to guide policymakers. The most contented issue this weekend is the fundamental, underlying declaration that the world has to get off fossil fuels as quickly as possible – a recommendation that is being contented by countries with economic interests in coal, oil, and gas.

Climate Action: Continuing the aim of getting below national government partners more involved in achieving the SDGs, last week UN Chief Mr. Guterres urged private investors, businesses, cities, states and regions to do more to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions. He launched a new group of experts coming from these entities around the world to make recommendations for a roadmap to translate standards and criteria for net-zero commitments into international and national level regulations. Their work will be finished by the end of this year.

Health: The UN’s health agency, the World Health Organization, has launched an ambitious plan to prevent a new impending pandemic. Common, mosquito-borne diseases (“arboviruses”) threaten more than half the world’s population. The WHO calls upon health care organizations and pharmaceutical partners to work together to build the capacity to deal with arboviral pathogens at front-line health-centers, as well as at the regional and global level.

This is a summary of our ongoing policy monitoring activities. To request a proposal for tailor-made monitoring service or to receive a free copy of our in-depth United Nations and Global Policy newsletter each month, please send an email to: s.ros@dr2consultants.eu

Three trends in human rights and business you should know about

The United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) for business and human rights celebrated their first 10 years of existence last week. During the UN Business and Human Rights forum – which partly was a wake for the memory of the late UNGP author Professor John Ruggie – a roadmap was presented for the next 10 years to raise the pace and scale of the principles’ implementation.

The main conclusion of the forum: Human rights do not only matter to production-heavy companies that have supply chains to manage. They are an issue to be considered for all companies, no matter how and where they operate. To illustrate, environmental rights and digital rights are now also very clearly seen as human rights.

“Swift implementation of the UNGP is especially important in the post-COVID situation and in rapid digital markets pushed forward by the pandemic.”

Nazhat Shameem Khan, Chair of the UN Human Rights Council

So how can CSR and public affairs professionals expect to interact with human rights policy on the road to 2030? From the Forum and the presented roadmap, we can distinguish three trends that will increasingly determine thinking and action revolving human rights and business:

1)     Respect for human rights by business is more and more seen as a strategic – rather than a merely operational or supply chain – issue: Frontrunners in corporate social responsibility integrate human rights due diligence into corporate governance, signifying real change in corporate culture and business models. In doing so, the UN Sustainable Development Goals take a more prominent role: The cross-cutting nature of threats like the pandemic and climate change require businesses to take a better look at how to prevent and address adverse impacts across their business activities and value chains. The growth of sustainable finance in the next ten years is a major opportunity: Investors increasingly manage human rights risks in their investment activities and show how they take action in managing those risks.

2)     This affects the conduct of public affairs as well. Responsible political engagement is ever more being viewed as a human rights issue. Business associations and internal public affairs and government affairs functions are progressively expected to apply due diligence and to create coherence between company sustainability and human rights efforts. This trend – which was started already years ago when Apple and other major companies left the US Chamber of Commerce in protest when the Chamber was still lobbying against climate policy – can be observed in CSR and public affairs teams often being merged into units with more of a ‘global impact’ focus. And its not just about mitigating negative correlations, it is also about using public affairs for good. As Nora Mardirossian of the Columbia Center told the Forum:

“Lobbying has been a taboo, with rights-holders harder to identify. But companies should be speaking out in favor of states’ right to regulate in the public interest and argue positively for the Sustainable Development Goals and the defense of human rights.”

Nora Mardirossian, Lead Food Sector and Sustainable Development Goals at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

3)     There is momentum towards mandatory human rights due diligence. The UNGP roadmap towards 2030 propose ‘a mix of smart policy measurements’, and we see that human rights is already taking an increasingly prominent role in trade and investment agreements. Regional governments like the EU are taking legislative initiatives for mandatory human rights due diligence, and some member states – like the Netherlands, Germany and Norway, recently even drive national legislation to raise ambitions higher. Courts are riding on this trend as well: The ‘soft law’ of the UNGP is increasingly referred to by courts in ‘hard law’ judgments. 2021 was a landmark year for corporate human rights litigation. Judges on all continents addressed companies’ duty of care in court actions on human rights abuse, or deemed environmental damage to be a human rights violation. For example in May, the The Hague District Court ruled in its ruling against Royal Dutch Shell that ‘all companies, no matter size, sector, operational context, property relations or structure’ have an obligation to respect human rights, implying all must do their share against climate change.

The last few years have seen companies are taking up their place in the drivers’ seat when it comes to environmental change. Now human rights are becoming a part of that mission as well. CSR and public affairs professionals will need to closely work together to not only avoid negative legislative backlash, but especially to drive your company to make a positive impact on the systems in which it operates. Are you and your teams ready?