Category: Blog

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…

Inequality will not be solved by attention-grabbing private sector initiatives – it requires serious transformation of power relations and resource distribution

On the last official day of the UN High-Level Political Forum, civil society express concern that ‘vision without implementation is hallucination’.

New York, 19 July 2017: Despite soaring rhetoric, glossy reports and slick presentations, the fact remains that implementation on the ground is “stalled”, as highlighted in a series of civil society national reports as part of the global Spotlight Report initiative. Read more…

Stalled implementation at national level – unhelpful international environment

Civil Society sees ‘room for improvement’ in national implementation of 2030 Agenda as well as an unfavourable international environment

New York, 18 July 2017: During the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) of 44 countries at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, many civil society activists raised questions, criticizing government (in-)action as well as crippling framework conditions that slow down implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level. Read more…

“We don’t need ‘trillions’ to achieve the SDGs”

New York City, 14 July 2017: With the first week of deliberations at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development coming to a close this Friday at the UN in New York, civil society activists are criticizing a piecemeal approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Especially worrisome to activists is a growing gap between aspirational goals and a lack of proper and comprehensive means of implementation. Read more…

We Have to Reclaim the Public Policy Space for SDGs

BONN, Jul 13 2017 (IPS) – At the High-Level Political Forum which currently takes place at the United Nations in New York several events, for instance a SDG Business Forum, are devoted to the critical role of business and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But many civil society organizations and trade unions warn in their joint report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 that the various forms of privatization and corporate capture have become obstacles to implement the 2030 Agenda and its goals. By Jens Martens Read more…

State of Play in the WTO Toward the 11th Ministerial in Argentina

By Deborah James
The 11th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 10–13, 2017. After years of languishing while other “free trade” agreements were negotiated, big business has turned its focus back to the WTO, particularly among the high-tech sector that now includes five of the seven largest corporations globally. They are determined to achieve in WTO what they have yet to secure in any other deal: new rules that will lock in profit-making opportunities in the digitalized economy of the future. The prize they seek in Argentina is a mandate for new negotiations under the rubric of “e-commerce,” but the reality is that these new rules will further constrain the ability of governments to promote prosperity and reduce inequality, even as they suffer the political consequences of the revolts of communities that have been left behind. Read more…

Advance chapter: The role of transnational corporations and extractive industries in seabed mining, and the impacts on oceans health and food security

As in 2016, the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will launch its “Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017” during this years High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July in New York. As an advance exceprt, the Group publishes the chapter on SDG 14 by Maureen Penjueli (Pacific Network on Globalization) on occasion of the Ocean Conference (June 5-9, 2017 at UNHQ, New York). Read more…

Funding Needs for UN’s 2030 Development Agenda

As the United Nations assesses the implementation of its 2030 Agenda for Development, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the estimated funding needs keep skyrocketing—from the initial millions and billions to trillions of dollars annually. The President of the General Assembly, Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, said on April 18 that SDG financing, including the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030, is going to cost about $6 trillion annually —and then to a hefty $30 trillion through 2030. At the same time, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), which outlines the implementation of the 17 SDGs, points to an infrastructure gap of some $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion annually in developing countries, while estimates of the global gap generally range from $3 trillion to $5 trillion annually. But the international community—and specifically the least developed and developing countries—is unlikely to succeed in raising the funds needed to achieve the UN’s ambitious goals, including lifting some 550 million people out of poverty. Nor does the state of global economic growth augur well towards achieving all—or most—of the 17 SDGs. Read more…

Which Finances for Whose Development?

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum) met four days at the UN headquarters in New York to review the promises made at the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and its predecessors (the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development). The FdD Forum is also the place for diplomats to discuss the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but civil society is disappointed by the scarce results and the excessive confidence on the private sector filling in the funding gap. Read more…

Civil Society engages during Financing for Development Forum

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum), meeting in New York from May 22 to 25, is dedicated to reviewing not only the fulfillment of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and its predecessors (the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development), but also the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and feeding its results into the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Civil Society is engaging in the forum in several ways, with interventions, side-events and written comments. Read more…