UN Update -2020 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development ramps up response to COVID-19 – Virtual meeting

2020 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development ramps up response to COVID-19 – Virtual meeting

WHEN:  10:00 A.M., 23 April 2020

WHERE:  Virtual Meeting (Live on webtv.un.org)

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development will hold an informal virtual meeting, at 10 a.m., New York, 23 April 2020

The President of ECOSOC will convene a high-level virtual meeting to advance bold and concerted global action to address the immediate socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 and finance a quick, inclusive and resilient recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to immense suffering for people across the globe. No nation is being spared by its devastating multi- dimensional impacts. The global health crisis has triggered economic and financial shocks, exposing and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and inequalities.

Over the past two weeks, the entire UN membership has come together under the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development to chart a programme of action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, restore sustainable growth and put the global economy on a more sustainable path.

The programme of action (also serving as the outcome of the Forum), if adopted, represents the first universally agreed UN set of policies to finance COVID-19 response and recovery. The policy package aims to boost concessional finance for the most vulnerable countries, reduce debt vulnerabilities, facilitate smooth flows of essential goods and supplies, and align the massive relief investment with the 2030 Agenda.

The April 23 meeting, held under the auspices of the FFD Forum, will provide an opportunity to acknowledge these efforts as well as the solidarity and resolve of the entire UN membership in addressing the financing needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.


  • President of ECOSOC Mona Juul
  • UN Secretary–General António Guterres
  • UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
  • Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair, GAVI
  • Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Board Chair, Action Aid International
  • Mr. Jay Collins, Vice Chairman, Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory, Citigroup


The FfD Forum, now in its fifth year, is a global platform for policy and action to finance the SDGs, convening Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development and Central Bank Governors, along with the heads of UN agencies, the World Bank and the IMF. The Forum has universal participation of 193 UN member states and permanent observers. The Forum’s outcome document contains policies and commitments to finance the SDGs, taking into account the trends and progress in development finance outlined in the latest Financing for Sustainable Development Report.

UN News : COVID in the Asia-Pacific Region

The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender:                           Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Pacific

Authors/editor(s): GiHA WG

Emerging Gender Impacts

  • Exacerbated burdens of unpaid care work on women and girls: Where healthcare systems are stretched by efforts to contain outbreaks, care responsibilities are frequently “downloaded” onto women and girls, who usually bear responsibility for caring for ill family members and the elderly. The closure of schools further exacerbates the burden of unpaid care work on women and girls, who absorb the additional work of caring for children.
  • Meeting the needs of women healthcare workers: Women constitute 70 per cent of the workers in the health and social sector globally, and are on the frontlines of the response. Within this sector, an average gender pay gap of 28 per cent exists, which may be exacerbated in times of crises. Women healthcare workers have called attention to their specific needs beyond personal protective equipment, including to meet menstrual hygiene needs. Psychosocial support should also be provided to frontline responders.
  • and more…

To read the whole article click here


HeForShe launches #HeForSheAtHome campaign

Isaac Molalo, Vodacom Mum & Baby Customer Limpopo, South Africa

HeForShe launches #HeForSheAtHome campaign

As a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people now find themselves indoors. Gender inequalities, particularly of women in the home, are becoming increasingly apparent when it comes to housework, cleaning and caring for children, the sick or the elderly.

In responding to the outbreak, women make up 70 per cent of workers in the health and social sector and do three times as much unpaid care work at home as men. Women are in the lead across the world as front-line responders, health care professionals, scientists, doctors and more. The #HeForSheAtHome campaign aims to highlight this unfair burden on women and encourage men to do their equal share.

In providing useful tools and tips, the #HeForSheAtHome campaign seeks to inspire men to help balance the burden in their households. Whether it’s learning to use that new vacuum cleaner or the game you play when washing the dishes, we want to hear your stories. In sharing these stories of positive male role models from all over the world, we hope to inspire many more to do their fair share.


Generation Equality Forum Postponed Until 2021

Generation Equality Forum

ANNOUNCEMENT – 3 April 2020

Generation Equality Forum Postponed

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves, the number of people around the world affected by this disease continues to increase. This global public health crisis has direct implications for the Generation Equality Forum and for gender equality and women’s human rights. We recognize that women are playing a disproportionate role in responding to this disease—as caregivers, frontline healthcare workers, community leaders and mobilisers, often at great risk to their health. We stand in solidarity with them.

In light of this crisis, the Generation Equality Forum will be postponed until the first half of 2021. The new dates will be announced in the coming months. In the months leading to the Generation Equality Forum, a series of virtual engagements will be organized in collaboration with partners to foster continued momentum, participation and commitment of all stakeholders.

We are convinced, especially now, that the objectives of the Forum remain stronger than ever. We express our continued collective commitment to bringing the world together, mobilizing all actors – especially young people – to chart an agenda of transformative action to achieve gender equality and to strengthen feminist and young people’s solidarity, movements, and leadership.


UPDATE: IWHC has also put out a press release.

Australian Human Rights Commission News: A message from the President

President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM
Dear friends,

As you all know, we are in very challenging times.

On behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, all our Commissioners and staff, I would like to update you on what we are doing in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are closely monitoring updated advice provided by health experts and the relevant authorities. Above all, we are still working hard and maintaining our key functions in protecting and promoting human rights, especially for our most vulnerable people. That means we are still available to help you with your concerns and our work will continue, but with some adjustments.

To look after our staff and the public we are closing our offices and areas that have been open to the public, until further notice. Our National Information Service phone line and our Complaints function will remain operational. If you have concerns about discrimination or other breaches of human rights, we are ready to assist you. Contact us on 1300 656 419 04 or 02 9284 9600 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 11.30am to 1.30pm AEST or email us at any time on
infoservice@humanrights.gov.au. To lodge a complaint, go to
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints .

Our Commissioners will continue to engage with key stakeholders and communities to uphold and improve human rights.

Human rights are as important now, as they ever were. We can all do our part to uphold and respect our rights and the rights of others, and to look after each other. We face this challenge as a community, and we will overcome this challenge if we come together as a community .

My very warmest wishes to you all

Rosalind CroucherEmeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM

Australian Human Rights Commission
Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
T +61 2 9284 9600  communications@humanrights.gov.au 
Human rights: everyone, everywhere, everyday

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