Kate Dodson, UN Foundation and Nellie Bristol, CSIS Senior Associate: “Process got in the way of ambition in New York.”
Kate Dodson, UN Foundation and Nellie Bristol, CSIS Senior Associate, survey the outcomes of the UN General Assembly during the third week of September, with a special focus on SDGs and the health High Level Meetings (HLMs on pandemic preparedness and response, TB, Universal Health Coverage). Big cross-cutting themes emerged–gaps in finance, equity, health workforce, access, R&D, and intellectual property. Results were decidedly mixed: “process got in the way of ambition.” Overload carries a price, as do acute geopolitical tensions. Senior U.S. officials “showed up” at every point. President Biden spoke early about the SDGs–before Ukraine. What happened in New York may help nudge the negotiators in Geneva working on the pandemic accord. The results in New York may argue for greater precision in the 2024 High Level Meeting on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). One resounding signal–members of the African Union were exceptional in their engagement.