Global Policy Watch Blog

New Release: Interest rate turnaround. A turning point for development finance?

By Bodo Ellmers
Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, development finance has operated under conditions of low interest rates and high liquidity in global financial markets. This has changed with the recent turnaround in interest rates. The briefing paper Interest rate turnaround. A turning point for development finance? describes the current trends, analyzes the implications for financing sustainable development in the Global South, and formulates policy recommendations on how countries in the Global South and their financing partners in the North can respond to the interest rate increases. Read more

Sustainable Development, Corporate Influence and Private Finance

By Antje Hipkins and Elena Marmo

Crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda is SDG 17, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. Increasingly, discussions now take the form of multistakeholder partnerships and engagement with the business sector as a tool to mobilize finance for the SDGs or generate needed capacity – often to develop a pipeline of bankable projects. This partnership orientation has become a regular feature of the UN agenda, from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Operational Activities Segment in May 2022 to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022. Read more

Global South Voices at 2022 UN High-level Political Forum

By Antje Hipkins
At the first High-level Political Forum held in person since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2022, 44 countries presented VNRs, including many Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These countries focused on progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda and the impact of COVID-19 on countries’ development plans, progress on gender equality, specific vulnerabilities in the face of multiple global crises, and the urgency of increasing climate resilience. Some emphasized the importance of a shift away from reliance on Gross National Income (GNI) as a key measure of development, as well as concern about the ability of LDCs to continue developing sustainably after graduating from the category. Read more

Ensuring Social Protection for All

This GPW Round Up #2, Ensuring Social Protection for All, highlights the critical importance of universal social protection not only in recovering from the pandemic, but also its vital role to address pre-existing deep-seated inequalities between and within countries. It details gaps in social protection coverage and financing, especially in poor countries, and failures of the targeted, or means-tested approach, often promoted by IMF and World Bank. Read more

Debt Crisis & Illicit Financial Flows

This GPW Round Up #1, entitled “The Debt Crisis and Illicit Financial Flows” looks at the UN Secretary-General’s proposals in his report Our Common Agenda to address this crisis, starting with a Biennial Summit between the G20, ECOSOC and IFIs, and asks “Does Our Common Agenda provide solutions?” Read more

Building Back Better? Dubious Strategies to close the SDG Financing Gap

By Isadora Jahanfar Tholin
With less than eight years left to 2030, countries around the world are struggling to even come close to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a huge part of why has to do with financing. More specifically, USD 3.3-4.5 trillion per year is needed to close the so-called financing gap. There are several reasons why this massive gap exists. Read more

LDCs and their “development”

By Barbara Adams and Julie Kim
One of the global processes falling prey to the Omicron variant of the Covid virus was the fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed countries, originally scheduled for the end of January in Doha, Qatar. It has been replaced with a meeting in New York on 17 March 2022 for the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA); a full meeting will be held in March 2023, where governments will gather with stakeholders “to build new plans and partnerships for the delivery of the DPoA over the following decade”. The LDC conferences and programmes of action have a long history of marking the state of global solidarity with countries most in need of co-operation and of the underlying root-causes for global inequalities. Read more

Private Sector Financing of UN Funds and Programmes

By Elena Marmo
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) embarked on an effort to harmonize UN Development System (UNDS) activities with the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs as well as system-wide pressure for greater country ownership of in-country activities. Part of this process includes the 2017 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (A/RES/71/243) and ongoing reform proposals for the UNDS, all aimed at improving the quality of development and meeting the needs and priorities of host countries and donor governments. Read more

Global Health & Private Sector Partnerships at the UN: The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility

By Elena Marmo
The COVID-19 crisis continues to have profound consequences across all sectors of society. Following the initial worldwide shutdown and resulting economic crisis, governments were forced to respond quickly to the virus, while also addressing the profound socioeconomic impacts—widespread job loss, inadequate social protection systems, and industries on the brink of collapse. Read more

Heard at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly High-level meetings

Against the backdrop of COVID-19’s ongoing impact on economies and societies worldwide, the United Nations is bringing the lens of COVID-19 recovery to its High level meetings. September saw the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Our Common Agenda on 12 September’, the opening of the UN General Debate on 14 September and a series of High-level meetings ranging from sustainable development to nuclear disarmament. Read more