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Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have led to a series of knock-on effects. Some measures have contributed to increased social conflict and violence. Understanding how to sus-tain peace, while implementing measures that had drastic psycho-socioeconomic impacts has been challenging for countries around the world. This policy brief looks at Colombia, a country with some success in the management of the pandemic, and highlights lessons learned on how the United Nations can support governments to be conflict sensitive when a country is hit by an external shock such as the COVID-19 crisis.

Jul 01, 2022
Céline Monnier
Latin America

There is currently a North-South gap in discussions on peacebuilding financing, despite the fact that emerging powers are playing an increasingly important role in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Now is the moment to create opportunities for mutual engagement, coordination, and learning.

Apr 20, 2022
Priyal Singh, Gustavo de Carvalho

Mexico's Tribuna de la Bahia highlighted the Pathfinders flagship report "From Rhetoric to Action Delivering Equality & Inclusion" in this recent article.

Sep 23, 2021
Faiza Shaheen
Latin America

Energy subsidies are one of the few domains where there is a near full-throated consensus among progressives, governments, and economists over the need for reform. Nearly everywhere, energy subsidies are regressive, vastly favoring the car-and energy-consuming parts of the population that are the least in need. The costs of these subsidies can vary, but in many countries, they represent a large fiscal burden. Prior to its 2005 reforms, for example, Indonesia's fuel subsidy was nearly the same amount as its health budget and its targeted anti-poverty programs combined. From the perspective of global climate change, few economic policies are as damaging as the direct and indirect contributions of fossil fuel subsidies.

Sep 23, 2021
Tara Moayed, Scott Guggenheim, Paul Von Chamier
Central Asia, Latin America

States and societies are in crisis around the world, as questions arise around the nature and quality of existing social contracts. COVID-19 has laid bare profound vulnerabilities within and across societies. The global pandemic is revealing deep failures in policy visions, institutional fragility, and incapacities of states to harness societal compliance where trust and a sense of national belonging is weak. At the same time, our interdependencies have never been so clear, as all countries, developed and underdeveloped alike, confront similar challenges. Crisis, however, offers opportunity to do things better, to build forward better – strengthening social contracts at all levels. How then, can social contracts, and compacting in times of crisis, offer pathways to address inequality and exclusion?

Aug 10, 2021
Erin McCandless

The global pandemic has laid bare the digital inequities across vertical (income) and horizontal (social, political, and identity) dimensions, while exposing the extent to which pre-pandemic approaches to bridging the digital divide have been dominated by economic considerations even while they are not universally treated as policy priorities.

Jun 09, 2021
Laura E. Bailey, Nanjala Nyabola
Latin America, South Asia

There is nothing equal about COVID-19. It is now well established that poor and underprivileged social groups have absorbed most of the pandemic’s negative impact. However, the connection between COVID-19 and inequality might run even deeper. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, one additional point of the Gini coefficient correlated with a 1.34 percentage point higher rate of weekly new infections across countries. This difference in infection rates compounds like interest every week.

With each new year of data, and each new intergovernmental report, it becomes harder to deny the scale and urgency of the energy transition required to prevent catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges countries to take action to prevent a rise in temperature by more than 1.5°C, and warns of catastrophic consequences of a rise above 2°C. Yet current policies and pledges fall far short of hitting these targets.

All three of the recent UN secretary-general reports on peacebuilding and sustaining peace (2018, 2019, and 2020) take note of the need to enhance collaboration between the UN—not only its development system but also its peace and security and humanitarian arms—with international financial institutions (IFIs), namely the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Dec 09, 2020
Sarah Cliffe, Paige Arthur, Leah Zamore
United Nations

What can we do to truly tackle group-based inequalities in society, and what can we do about this divisive narrative that is beating back progressives in large parts of the world? We asked three thinkers and activists in different parts of the world—South Africa, Colombia, and Europe—to draw on their local experiences to tell us how we can see progress on this issue. Despite geographic location, there was significant overlap in conclusions about the need for both policies to redistribute resources as well as recognize historic injustices.

Mar 21, 2022
Europe, Latin America, South Africa

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