Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the High-level Committee on Management, through its Networks, has conducted an intense activity of coordination among all CEB member organizations to develop and put in place a set of common and consistent measures, policies and administrative guidelines aimed at supporting strategic guidance, operational decision-making, and overall monitoring of the response to the outbreak.
These include improving the Duty of Care of UN system organizations for their personnel, ensuring continuity of finance, banking and procurement processes, and addressing challenges related to virtual meetings and interpretation.
In the wake of the pandemic, key CEB focus areas – from tackling inequalities to innovating UN data and statistics, to promoting climate action and utilizing nature-based solutions – have taken on added significance and constitute important contributions towards efforts to build back better.
CEB’s first regular session of 2020, held in an abbreviated virtual format, reflected on the positioning of the multilateral system in the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Principals recognized that deep-rooted and intersecting forms of discrimination and inequalities were being magnified by the pandemic, affirming the salience and urgency of the High-level Committee on Programmes' renewed collective effort through its Inequalities Task Team, which, in October 2020, produced a short policy brief on “COVID-19, inequalities and building back better”.
CEB members further reflected on the role of the UN system in supporting Member States: (i) to unlock additional financing for the COVID-19 response while sustaining the ambition for the Decade of Action; and (ii) to align the response to COVID-19 within national economic policies and financial systems with the 2030 Agenda.
Recognizing that protecting nature will be critical to preventing future pandemics, the Board, in considering ways to reverse the current trajectory of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, while rebuilding stronger and more resilient economies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the need for a stronger focus on nature across the whole UN system. More information here.
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