In mid-June, the Open ended Working Group (OEWG) held virtual negotiations to discuss the “emerging threats and norms” of the Chair’s proposed pre-draft report. Two things to note:
- The timeline is currently unclear. We still don’t know when the third substantive meeting will happen, or when the final report will be presented to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Most member states supported the Chair’s proposal to hold the third meeting in March 2021 and report to the 76th session of UNGA later in the year, but Russia’s disapproval has meant a return to the drawing board.
- The negotiations held few surprises—but there were a couple of interesting takeaways. For the first time ever, there was a joint “Africa region” statement; and there are tentative signs that the impasse around the GGE norms (How should they be implemented? Are new ones needed? etc.) might be breaking—with emerging consensus on the need to recognise health facilities as critical infrastructure, and the possibility of a joint proposal on norms.