In an Intervention to the United Nations, Maat Calls for Developing Strategies to Cope with the Challenges of COVID-19 in Achieving Sustainable Development
Okeil: Donor countries should allocate part of the national income for development assistance
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights presented an oral intervention on the sidelines of its participation in the fourth intersessional meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Human Rights & 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Geneva, which focused on two main goals of sustainable development, namely SDG 5 on gender equality, and SDG 17 on revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development, in the presence of 19 countries, whose representatives referred to the efforts of their countries in this regard.
The intervention discussed the challenges facing the implementation of the sustainable development goals. The Coronavirus pandemic was one of the challenges that adversely impacted the efforts aimed at achieving these goals, especially SDG 5 & 17. Despite the commendable progress aimed at achieving the objectives of SDG 5 over the past five years, these efforts have been reduced as a result of the social and economic consequences of the emerging Coronavirus pandemic, as 245 million women and girls in only 13 countries were exposed to physical and sexual violence in 2021. For example, Turkey has had the highest gender-based murder rates in the last two years, with 755 women murdered by their husbands or relatives.
With regard to the SDG 17 on revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development, Maat confirmed that despite the increase in official development assistance to member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, the net bilateral flows to low-income countries decreased by 3.5% compared to 2019, making the achievement of SDG 17 an unattainable end.
In this context, the human rights expert and president of Maat, Ayman Okeil, stressed that there is a close relationship between human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Therefore, the reduction of development aid would directly lead to a deterioration in the human rights situation, especially in terms of vulnerable groups, including women, which impacts the achievement of SDG 5.
Okeil called for the need to adhere to the commitments undertaken by countries in this regard. Achieving SDG 17 requires the developed countries to fulfill their commitments and provide development assistance to the least developed countries, by allocating 0.7% of the gross national income of these countries for development assistance, in line with their unfulfilled pledges.
Finally, Maat recommends the expansion of monitoring and analysis of data on gender-based violence to monitor the impediment of progress towards achieving SDG 5, in order to end all forms of violence against women. Maat also recommended the need for United Nations member states to use the Coronavirus pandemic crisis to develop sustainable strategies and policies to promote and protect human rights and achieve sustainable development goals.