Category: Blog

Warnings of a new global financial crisis

By Martin Khor
There are increasing warnings of an imminent new financial crisis, not only from the billionaire investor George Soros, but also from eminent economists associated with the Bank for International Settlements, the bank of central banks.
The warnings come at a moment when there are signs of international capital flowing out of some emerging economies, including Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia. Read more…

“Market discourse has captured the development agenda to a point that may be incompatible with UN mandates”

CIVICUS speaks with Barbara Adams, senior policy analyst at the Global Policy Forum (GPF), an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the United Nations and scrutinises global policy-making. Founded in 1993 by a group of progressive scholars and activists, GPF promotes accountability and citizen participation in decisions on peace and security, social justice and international law. It does so by gathering information and circulating it through a comprehensive website, playing an active role in civil society networks and other advocacy arenas, organising meetings and conferences and publishing original research and policy papers. Read more…

Trading away the SDGs?

By Roberto Bissio*   Less than two years after having committed themselves to implement the 2030 Agenda, the same governments that unanimously adopted an ambitious set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the UN...

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…

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…

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….

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…