Global Policy Watch Blog

Urgent climate action as key component of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development

by Karolin Seitz
How can we ensure that implementation of the Paris Agreement truly helps foster more just and sustainable development, and what is standing in the way of this progress? It is no secret that a dual relationship exists between climate change and sustainable development. While climate change influences the environment and has deep impacts on human living conditions and therefore affects the cornerstones of social, economic and environmental development, the way society chooses to develop has implications on greenhouse gas emissions. Read more…

Preventing Future Conflicts: The Case of Climate Change

With climate change front and center as the United Nations Climate Change Conference / COP23 opened in Bonn, Germany, the Australian Mission to the UN hosted a meeting in New York focusing on the impact of climate change. This meeting was part of a series organized jointly with the United Nations University on Preventing Tomorrow Conflicts. Read more…

UN partnerships in the public interest? Not yet.

by Barbara Adams and Sarah Dayringer
The World Bank, together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the development banks, have been proclaiming since 2015 that “to meet the investment needs of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community needs to move the discussion from ‘billions to trillions’” — that is from billions in official development assistance (ODA) to trillions in investments of all kinds: public and private, national and global, in both capital and capacity. Read more…

New Position Paper: Toward global Regulation on Human Rights and Business

Trade and investment protection agreements facilitate business enterprises’ access to markets and raw materials, and protect investor interests with enforceable rights. Although human rights are a cornerstone of international law, so far there are only voluntary guidelines to safeguard them within the activities of global enterprises. This needs to change; human rights need a mandatory commitment. This is where the “UN treaty process” comes in. It offers the chance for binding international regulation of global business: Since 2015, an intergovernmental working group has been negotiating an international human rights treaty that is binding for the contractual parties, outlines clear rules for business enterprises and strengthens access to justice for affected parties. The Treaty Alliance Germany – a coalition of organizations supporting such an approach – have formulated demands in a new position paper. Read more…

Invitation: Launch of Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 in Geneva

Join the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNRISD and FES for the Geneva launch of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 report. Carrying the subtitle “Reclaiming policies for the public. Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality – assessments and alternatives”, the civil society “shadow” report provides a wide-ranging independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. At the event, contributors will present and discuss key findings and recommendations of this year’s report. Read more …

Letter from CSOs about the Agenda of the WTO

More than 300 civil society organization from around the world have signed on to a letter regarding the ongoing negotiations of the WTO towards its 11th Ministerial meeting (MC11) in Buenos Aires from December 10 to 13, 2017. The organizations express increasing concern about press reports indicating that some WTO member are pushing a dangerous and inappropriate new agenda under the disgues of “e-commerce”, even though there had been no consensus to introduce the issue during or since the Nairobi Ministerial of 2016. The letter also raises concerns and questions on proposals to limit the scope and effects of public interest regulation, around fishery subsidy disciplines that discourage overfishing by rich countries, agricultural rules and more. Read more…

UN Security Council Priorities under the French Presidency

This month H.E. Ambassador François Delattre of France is Chairing the UN Security Council. During a #MeetUNSCPres briefing to civil society, he highlighted the situation in the Sahel region of Africa, the protection of civilians and human rights in conflict situations, and the on-going crisis in the Middle East and Myanmar as the key priorities for the French presidency, noting that above all, France seeks a multilateral approach that encourages the UN as a whole to respond to global challenges, voiced by French President Macron in his statement to the UN General Assembly. Read more…

“Women are losing out”

In countries of the Global South, trade and investment agreements often have a negative effect on the weakest parts of society, in particular women. Why is this so? And how can unequal power relations that foster an economic system at the expense of the weakest be challenged? At a recent International sef: Expert Workshop, Ranja Sengupta shared the results of her research in India. Read more….

The G20 and the 2030 Agenda: Contradictions and conflicts at the Hamburg Summit

by Jens Martens
On 7 and 8 July 2017, the summit meeting of the G20, the group of 19 major economies and the European Union, was held in Hamburg, Germany. Media perception of the event was marked by the US President’s appearance and the conflicts in climate and trade policies. In contrast, other topics, including the G20 activities regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, took a backseat. Hardly any attention was given to the Hamburg Update of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda.
Many observers representing academia and civil society viewed the Summit resolutions as insufficient or even counterproductive. Above all, they criticized the blind faith in economic growth reflected by the Summit documents and the one-sided focus on private investments to finance development. Read more…

Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world – A false start?

Reflections on the 2017 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

In his opening remarks, the UN Secretary-General said that 20 years ago “there was the idea that globalization would not only increase global wealth, but that it would trickle-down and would benefit everybody in our planet”.

He went on to describe that at the present time, “globalization and technological progress have dramatically increased global trade and global wealth. It is true that the number of absolute poor has been reduced and that living conditions have improved all over the world but it is also true that globalization and technological progress together have been factors in the increase of inequality”. Read more…