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WOMEN RISE FOR ALL – Unite to support the United Nations’ call for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to defeat coronavirus

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  • ’Like no other time in recent history, women are on the frontlines of COVID-19 and bearing the brunt of this human crisis. – UN Deputy Secretary-General
  • ‘’We are women leaders rising in solidarity to save lives and protect livelihoods. We call for all leaders in all countries and in all sectors to meet the human crisis of COVID-19.- UN Deputy Secretary-General
  • This crisis cries out for leadership, solidarity, transparency, trust and cooperation. This is no time for self-interest, recrimination, censorship, obfuscation or politicization. — UN
  • The tone set by leaders at the national and local level matters. – UN
  • Given the world’s extensive economic and social interrelationships and trade — we are only as strong as the weakest health system’’   UN                            
  • SENTIMENTS APART Our women, girls, and mothers, who exert moderating influence that is unquantifiable, have huge roles to play in fostering global development, especially at this critical period. We have asserted every so often that women are the pivots of not only family units; but also societies in which they live. Suddenly, CORONAVIRUS has reawakened the consciousness of the global community to the importance of women in nation-building. Last April 27, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Ms. Amina J. Mohammed initiated an activity tagged: ‘’WOMEN RISE FOR ALL’.  We, at TERRIFIC HEADLINES are obligated to support this brilliant move because it conforms to one of our mandates.

The UN programme aims at ‘’working together to prioritize the needs of the poorest and the most vulnerable people around the world and is essential to ending the COVID-19  pandemic once and for all. It’s been remarkable to see the speed with which people around the world have stepped up to do their part’’ the United Nations notes in its records.   It went further to remark quote the Deputy Secretary-General as remarking that:  ‘’Like no other time in recent history, women are on the frontlines of COVID-19 and bearing the brunt of this human crisis. They are the first responders in hospitals and clinics, leading in science and research, and on the frontlines of politics and communities. I’ve been truly inspired, and I know others will be too. It is time for us to rise as women leaders taking action to conquer the pandemic and come out stronger.

WOMEN LEADERS RISE IN SOLIDARITY TO SAVE LIVES & PROTECT LIVELIHOODS Convened by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, Rise for All is a global advocacy effort to support the UN roadmap for social and economic recovery from COVID-19, and to fully fund the UN Response and Recovery Trust Fund. Ms Mohammed in her advocacy campaign said: ‘’We are women leaders rising in solidarity to save lives and protect livelihoods. We call for all leaders in all countries and in all sectors to meet the human crisis of COVID-19. Stopping this pandemic and recovering from it is a shared responsibility requiring global solidarity. We must recover better. And we can, by building back better together’ Ms. Mohammed said that  ‘’Together, the women are supporting the United Nations’ call for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to “build back better” and ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. This includes support for the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, an inter-agency mechanism designed to help those countries and people most exposed to the economic hardship and social disruption the pandemic has caused

She went further at the inaugural session: : The first to join this cohort today are the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, the Prime Minister of Norway and Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General, Erna Solberg, Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates, Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General Dia Mirza, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan Muniba Mazari, along with the Executive Directors of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, of UN Women, Phumzile MlamboNgcuka, and of UNFPA, Natalia Kanem.

Each of these prominent women who are role models expressed total support for the initiative and pledge to RISE FOR WOMEN. Together, the women are supporting the United Nations’ call for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to “build back better” and ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. This includes support for the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, an inter-agency mechanism designed to help those countries and people most exposed to the economic hardship and social disruption the pandemic has caused:

  • Working together to prioritize the needs of the poorest and the most vulnerable people around the world is essential to ending this pandemic once and for all. It’s been remarkable to see the speed with which people around the world have stepped up to do their part. …. Even on our darkest days, they give me hope. Hope that we can rise above this threat if we rise for all. — Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates
  • Let us rebuild. Let us retool. Let us repurpose, because this is perhaps the most apt reminder of what we must fight for in the multilateral system, in the global community of nations on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. We can do it, working together, but we need to respect each other, to see each other, to hear each other and to work together. — Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley
  • If you don’t intervene, the effects of this crisis will have disastrous education and economic effects on our young people. It will be leading them down a dangerous path of hopelessness and possibly extremism.… Let’s be proactive and think long-term, and instead of working from fear, we must take this opportunity to narrow the digital gap and bring innovative solutions to our children and youth. Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar
  • This is a global crisis. Delay in action means death. We all face the same enemy and we stand to gain by bringing the full force of humanity together to fight it. There cannot be victory over the virus in one, or some countries alone. … I stand in support of the United Nations Secretary General’s appeal for solidarity — President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde
  • The corona virus knows no borders. … This pandemic requires urgent efforts in the spirit of multilateralism: a united global response with the United Nations at its core. In our global village, solidarity is the only option … I strongly encourage other countries as well as the private sector and the foundations to step up and contribute to the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. — Prime Minister of Norway and Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General, Erna Solberg

 UN RESPONSE AND RECOVERY FRAMEWORK: Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s initiative is premised on The United Nations Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19: Shared responsibility, global solidarity and urgent action for people in need call for protecting jobs, businesses and livelihoods to set in motion a safe recovery of societies and economies on a more sustainable, gender-equal, and carbon-neutral path. Whole societies must come together. Every country must step up with public, private and civic sectors collaborating from the outset.  But on their own, national-level actions will not match the global scale and complexity of the crisis. This moment demands coordinated, decisive, and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies, and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries, who will be the hardest hit. Given the world’s extensive economic and social interrelationships and trade — we are only as strong as the weakest health system’’

The Rise for All brings together women leaders in support of this UN roadmap for social and economic recovery, and to advocate a fully funded COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Throwing his weight behind the inventiveness, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remarked that the threats of COVID-19 loom largest where the female gender should be safest. — In their own homes. He, therefore, renewed his appeal for peace at home — and in homes — around the world. ‘’We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence.

WHY IMPACT IS SEVERE: THE WORLD WAS CARELESS – The United Nations in its records observes that: ‘’Had we been investing – MDGs and SDGs – we would have a better foundation for withstanding shocks. A hard truth is that we could have been better prepared for this crisis. The MDGs and the SDGs could have put us on track towards a world with access to universal health coverage and quality health care and more inclusive and sustainable economies. Instead, most countries have underinvested in health systems; facilities are insufficient for the level of the unexpected demand and rely heavily on imports. Most countries are characterized by weak, fragmented health systems that do not ensure the universal access and capacity needed to face the COVID-19 health crisis. Political leadership and cooperation to combat COVID-19 At the geopolitical level, this crisis cries out for leadership, solidarity, transparency, trust and cooperation. This is no time for self-interest, recrimination, censorship, obfuscation or politicization. The tone set by leaders at the national and local level matters. While temporary border closures, travel bans or limits on the sale of critical supplies may be warranted in the short-term, such national-level measures must not impede a global coming together and global solution for all.

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY; GLOBAL SOLIDARITY — CALL TO ACTION: Guterres continued: ‘Whole societies must come together. Every country must step up with public, private and civic sectors collaborating from the outset. But on their own, national-level actions will not match the global scale and complexity of the crisis. This moment demands coordinated, decisive, and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies, and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries, who will be the hardest hit. Given the world’s extensive economic and social interrelationships and trade— we are only as strong as the weakest health system. Guterres outlined three steps required urgentlyThe second step is to do everything possible to cushion the knock-on effects on millions of people’s lives, their livelihoods and the real economy.

That means the direct provision of resources to support workers and households, provision of health and unemployment insurance, scale-up of social protection, and support to businesses to prevent bankruptcies and massive job losses. That also means designing fiscal and monetary responses to ensure that the burden does not fall on those countries who can least bear it. A large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response amounting to at least 10 per cent of global GDP is needed now more than ever. This crisis is truly global. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that developing countries have the best chance of managing this crisis, or COVID-19 will risk becoming a long-lasting brake on economic recovery.

 WOMEN MUST BE GIVEN SPACE TO DEVELOPMENT TO BE REAL: Kofi Annan pleaded in one of his speeches that: ‘’What unites us is stronger than what divides us. “More than ever before, in human history, we share a common destiny. ‘’We can master it only if we face it together.”  Furthermore, he believed that this action needs to include the actions of all. ‘’For him, young people are never too young to lead, and for all of society to benefit and grow, women must be given the space and the freedom to thrive, and villages around the world to make their own lives better.’’ Annan was confirmatory that:  Peace is never a perfect achievement. ‘’While this thought is a sobering reminder that peace very often follows war, suffering and hatred, it also fills us with hope. Peace is not perfect just as the world is not; yet there is no bridge too broken to rebuild, no past too difficult to overcome, no conflict too complex to solve, and no act of peace too small to make a difference.’’ — Kofi Annan; in his Year 2001 acceptance speech as a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

 WHY AFRICA MUST BE REASONABLE: What is it that makes we African take up arms against one another? Foreign nations who are suppliers of small arms and deadly weapons do not use these against themselves. We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives. But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core. The IMF has just reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009. The IMF projects recovery in 2021 only if the world succeeds in containing the virus and take the necessary economic measures. In the face of such an unprecedented situation in recent history, the creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis – and the magnitude of the response must match its scale. No country will be able to exit this crisis alone. This report is a call to action, for the immediate health response required to suppress transmission of the virus to end the pandemic; and to tackle the many social and economic dimensions of this crisis. It is, above all, a call to focus on people – women, youth, low-wage workers, small and medium enterprises, the informal sector and on vulnerable groups who are already at risk

OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES: THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: UN Secretary-General affirms that: ‘’The third step is to learn from this crisis and build back better. Had we been further advanced in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we could better face this challenge – with stronger health systems, fewer people living in extreme poverty, less gender inequality, a healthier natural environment, and more resilient societies. We must seize the opportunity of this crisis to strengthen our commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By making progress on our global roadmap for a more inclusive and sustainable future, we can better respond to future crises. The recommendations in this report are geared to empower governments and propel partners to act urgently. The United Nations family – and our global network of regional, sub-regional and country offices working for peace, human rights, sustainable development and humanitarian action, will support all governments, working with our partners, to ensure first and foremost that lives are saved, livelihoods are restored, and that the global economy and the people we serve emerge stronger from this crisis. That is the logic of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs. More than ever before, we need solidarity, hope and the political will and cooperation to see this crisis through together.

 WHY PEACE ELUDES AFRICA:  Peace has continued to elude several nations. It is obvious that we have been most unreasonable in the African continent, given the fact that the United Nations has spent 75% of its resources in dealing with conflicts in Africa, thus making the continent a liability to the world body. We cannot and should not continue in this manner. Enormous resources committed to peace-building and enforcement generally could have otherwise been expended on developing societies. Nigeria is so strategic to the present and future of Africa such that our political and elite classes cannot afford to be unreasonable. Conflicts slow down development and the much touted foreign investments might not come except there are assurances of peace through our individual and collective conducts. We must prevent competition for spoils of office from consuming 200 million Nigerians; the West-African sub-region. And even the African continent. Nelson Mandela asserted that the black world will not be respected except Nigeria takes the lead. We have the resources to build a truly united and progressive polity.

 AFRICA MUST STOP ALL ACTS OF VIOLENCE: The United Nations’ Charter begins with the words: “We the peoples.” What is not always recognized is that “We the peoples” are made up of individuals whose claims to the most fundamental rights have too often been sacrificed in the supposed interests of the State or the nation. ‘’A genocide begins with the killing of one man — not for what he has done, but because of who he is. A campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing’ begins with one neighbour turning on another. Poverty begins when even one child is denied his or her fundamental right to education. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations. In this new century, we must start from the understanding that peace belongs not only to States or peoples, but to each and every member of those communities. The sovereignty of States must no longer be used as a shield for gross violations of human rights. ‘’Peace must be made real and tangible in the daily existence of every individual in need. Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security.’’—Kofi Annan