11 november 2020

— The World Health Organization says on its website that “in a year that has seen more than 1.2 million lives lost to a deadly coronavirus pandemic, WHO’s 194 Member States are expected to adopt a resolution to strengthen preparedness for health emergencies EB146.R10, at the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly. The draft resolution renews the commitment to better prepare for health emergencies such as COVID-19, through ‘full’ compliance with the International Health Regulations,” urges Member States “to ‘dedicate domestic investment and recurrent spending and public funding to health emergency preparedness,’ and to ‘improve government and decision-making processes and enhance institutional capacity and infrastructure for public health,'” and “calls on the global health community to ensure that all countries are better equipped to detect and respond to cases of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.”

— In a message to the Madrid Call to Action on Tuesday, United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres said in part, “We cannot simply return to the systems that gave rise to the current crisis. We need to emerge better with more sustainable, inclusive, gender-equal societies and economies. In doing so, we must reimagine the way nations cooperate. As I said in my address to the opening of the General Assembly, we face a 1945 moment. The central question is: How do we reinforce or even build structures for the challenges of our age? … We have a first blueprint: the UN75 Declaration. Now is the time to think together about how to make multilateralism more inclusive, more networked and more effective.”

— René Wadlow of the Association of World Citizens writes at his blog about United Nations Day, calling it “a day not only of celebration, but also a day for looking at how the U.N. system can be strengthened, and when necessary, reformed. … While in practice there have been modifications in the ways the U.N. works; few of these changes have recognized an expert group’s recommendations as the source of the changes. Some of the proposals made would have strengthened some factions of the U.N. system over the then current status quo.” But “while the vocabulary of ‘win-win’ modifications is often used, in practice few States want to take a chance, and the status quo continues.”

— International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda presented her office’s 20th report on the Situation in Libya to the UN Security Council, stating in part that on October 23, “we witnessed the signing of the ceasefire agreement by Libyan parties in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations. This is indeed a welcome concrete development. We call on the parties to assiduously implement the agreement to usher in the much awaited peace and stability for the people of Libya. … Libya remains a high priority situation for my Office and our commitment to seek justice and accountability on behalf of the victims remains unshaken.”

— Human Rights Watch praises the “landmark agreement” between the European Union Council, Parliament, and Commission “on the details of a new mechanism that makes EU funding conditional on respect for the rule of law. This means governments that dismantle their judiciary and erode institutional checks and balance could lose money. This is, in itself, a breakthrough.” The parties “agreed to broaden the scope of the mechanism compared to the version Germany had proposed in September that was narrowly focused on fraud and corruption. Now, threats to judicial independence and lack of effective remedies could also lead to funds being cut.”

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