Category: Blog

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…

Financing for Development – stock-taking at the UN | Part 2

The central substantive piece during the preparations for the 2017 FfD Forum has been the work of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and its report “Progress and prospects”. However, during open briefings from the IATF on the report, Member States – mostly members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – expressed frustration, wanting to understand the division of responsibilities among Task Force members in report preparations. Read more…

Financing for Development – stocktaking at the UN | Part 1

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum) 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). Read more…

Civil Society comments on Draft Outcome of the ECOSOC FfD Forum 2017

The Civil Society Financing for Development Group has formulated comments on the zero draft of an outcome document for the upcoming ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up. The Group, a very broad platform of civil society organizations, networks and federations from around the world, that followed closely the Financing for Development since its origins, has facilitated civil society’s contribution to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, and continues to provide a facilitation mechanism for the collective expression of civil society in the FfD Follow-up process. While the group is diverse and positions might differ on specific issues, this document expresses the elements of common concern. Read more…

CSW highlights importance of public sector and tax justice

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres challenged participants at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 61) in March 2017: “Do not let us at the UN off the hook. Keep our feet to the fire.” Many civil society organizations (CSOs) are doing just that – calling for more from the CSW. Read more…

Harmonization of ECOSOC and the General Assembly for the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is driving discussions on reforming UN working methods. Consultations are being held at the UN headquarters, which aim to enhance synergies and coherence, and to reduce overlap between the agendas of the UN General Assembly (GA) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), including in the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF). Read more…

The UN Tax Committee holds out the begging bowl

Last week the UN Committee of Experts on International Tax (UNTC) met at the United Nations HQ in New York, a few metres from the Security Council meetings on Syria, followed by a special session on tax of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The undercurrent of the detailed technical discussions during the week has been a crisis of global tax governance. While, for example, the grand-sounding Addis Tax Initiative included a commitment to double the aid for tax issues to developing countries, very little has come to the UNTC. Funds are needed especially to facilitate the work of subcommittees, which are essential to work through technical details. Lacking travel funds, it is difficult for developing country members to attend, and the shortage of staff makes it hard to provide secretarial support. At several points during the meeting of the Committee there was frustration that an issue was being raised which had received no or insufficient attention in a subcommittee, and some work was not completed as a result. Read more…

Corporate influence on the G20

Over the past eight years, the G20 has emerged as one of the most prominent political fora for international cooperation. For transnational corporations and their national and international associations and lobby groups, the G20 process provides important opportunities to engage with the world’s most powerful governments, shape their discourse, and influence their decisions. For this purpose, business actors have created a broad network of alliances and fora around the G20, with the Business20 (B20) as the most visible symbol of corporate engagement. A new working paper published by GPF and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung maps out the key business players and associations from the different sectors and branches involved in the work of the G20, and analyzes their core messages and policy recommendations. Read more…