The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many longstanding inequalities, exposed global fragilities, devastated lives, economies and communities everywhere. It has led to an alarming surge in violence against women and girls.
In the context of a complex and multiple problems that we are facing today, there is a dire need to forge alliances and build partnerships; invest in digital advances and innovation; and work towards a green recovery to win climate change in order to tackle the multiplier effects.
UNDP’s response to COVID-19: “Beyond recovery: towards 2030”, emphasizes “peaceful and resilient institutions and societies capable of prevention, preparedness and risk management” as a central pillar, with the prerogative to leave no one behind and reach the most vulnerable first.
The three UNDP projects out of the 100 that have been selected for the Paris Peace Forum highlight the success of fruitful partnerships for peace and development, as well as of digital advances and innovation. UNDP’s work relates to the main themes of the Paris Peace Forum— a reason why UNDP is a proud partner to contribute in the “Space for Solutions”.
Our multilateral partnership spans across national and international stakeholders, including governments, civil society, religious leaders, and community-based organizations, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners.
Our ability to reach out to all tiers of society such as communities, youth associations, women’s networks and volunteer groups fosters social cohesion, strengthens citizen-state relations and promotes community dialogue for conflict prevention. For example, in Yemen, the ‘Insider Mediators’ including 30 percent of women, play a vital role in building community resilience in rural areas. They are trained and deployed to initiate inclusive dialogue with conflicting parties and members from local authorities, with support from UNDP and partners.
Our investment to improve the governance of health strengthens procurement practices, supply chain and fund management of governments, as well as oversight in health policy making. This enables national and local core governance functions in countries to efficiently deliver lifesaving public services and address critical bottlenecks in the delivery of essential services.
Our data driven and evidence-based action enables governments to be inclusive, to address the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. Together with partners, UNDP has conducted 117 socioeconomic impact assessments through the Digital Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) tool. The data is visualized on dashboards and digital maps that offer almost real time insights to decision makers on recovery policies and interventions. The SEIA toolkit is being used in 50 plus countries. In addition, UNDP’s COVID-19 data dashboards help in understanding the huge disparities among countries’ ability to cope and recover.
Our belief that women need to be at the center of recovery efforts uncovers the spectrum of gender issues compounding the impacts of the pandemic. The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker developed jointly with UN Women monitors policy measures enacted by governments worldwide to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. It includes national measures that directly address women’s economic and social security, including unpaid care work, the labour market and violence against women.
We believe it is important that the international community supports common and harmonized approaches with governments in the lead, considering the limited human and financial resources available to address the impact of COVID-19. For example, our COVID-19 Recovery Needs Assessment (CRNA) tool selected to be featured at the Paris Peace Forum provide a costed recovery plan to support vulnerable groups with health care, basic services, social protection as well as support to revive small and medium businesses, jobs and livelihoods. It also makes effort to establish an accurate baseline for a truly gender-responsive recovery strategy.
Last but not the least, the Early Warning Early Response Mechanisms (EWER), one of the selected projects for the 2020 Paris Peace forum, developed within the framework of the European Commission and UNDP Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF) is intended to recommend best courses of action and contribute to peaceful and conducive environment around elections. The COVID-19 pandemic has in many contexts hampered democratic processes and shrunk civic space, making tools and mechanisms that facilitate peaceful democratic process even more crucial.
UNDP has been a keen supporter to the Paris Peace Forum since its inauguration in 2018. As a firm believer in multilateralism and “partnerships for peace”, UNDP welcomes global platforms and advocacy to advance global governance and development processes, and thanks the French government for its continuous efforts to promote peace.