Author: Ana Zeballos

Fit for Whose Purpose?

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

A critical issue repeatedly arising in the post-2015 negotiations relates to responsibility. There is shared responsibility, the preference of rich countries who would like to shift traditional official development assistance (ODA) and other “burdens” given the “rise” of some developing countries. There is common but differentiated responsibility, stressed by developing countries to link common commitment with the reality of varying capacities.

Debates also circle, directly or otherwise, around the role of the state, with some camps continuing to promote its central responsibility. Others call for more room for “stakeholders” to be responsible—notably, the private sector.

For a look at how the balance between public and private responsibility has shifted, and what this means in the real world in terms of adherence to international standards and norms, one needs to look no further than the United Nations itself. A new Global Policy Forum Report—Fit for Whose Purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations—details how private corporations and corporate philanthropic organizations are increasingly paying to play there.Read more…

Civil Society Response to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development

We, members of hundreds of civil society organizations and networks from around the world engaged in the Third FfD Conference, would like to express our deepest concerns and reservations on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, based on both our ongoing contributions to the process and the deliberations of the CSO FfD Forum (Addis Ababa, 10-12 July 2015).
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) lost the opportunity to tackle the structural injustices in the current global economic system and ensure that development finance is people-centred and protects the environment. Read more…

Financing for Development is ‘Preserving’ the Status Quo

“We started from an optimistic viewpoint on FfD3 and now ending with so much disappointment over what seems like retrogression from old agreements. There is no mention at all of peace dividends generated from the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, and the reduction in defense spending. Debt relief and condonation are treated marginally. The emerging document suggests business as usual. It doesn’t explain the fundamental reasons for why there is lack of financing sustainable development,” lamented Isagani Serrano, co-convener of Social Watch Philippines.

An Action Plan Without Much Action

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

With pens still hovering over the Addis Ababa Action Plan, the outcome agreement for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), there is already a sense that for all the recent talk at the UN about ambition and transformation, it is falling short. For a financing document, the Action Plan includes an impressive number of references to issues at the core of sustainable and inclusive development, like social protection, essential services, decent work for all and sustainable industrialization. Read more…

Goals, targets, indicators: Diplomacy by numbers?

Bill Orme*

In the third week of June, diplomats reconvened in New York to redact and refine the draft text of the declaration to be announced next September to frame a new development strategy and officially launch the already informally agreed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . Sincere efforts to strengthen stated commitments to human-rights principles and official transparency and accountability will be met with counterproposals for more caveats and ambiguity in its few compliance requirements. Read more…

Should countries cooperate on taxes at the United Nations?

Marta Batalla, Social Watch

Globalization has changed the rules of the game regarding tax systems. Seeking ways to increase their profits, multinational corporations take advantage of regulatory gaps and the public sector is always one step behind, trying to close loopholes. Read more…

Partnership criteria

Roberto Bissio, Social Watch

The EU has announced its intention to sign “framework partnership agreements” with some global “non-state actors” of its choice. Read more…