Category: Blog

The Truth About Trade Agreements

Statement by Tessa Khan, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development during the Joint Session between FfD and Post-2015 Processes: Interactive Dialogue with Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (23 April 2015).

In both the financing for development negotiations and the post-2015 development process, attention is given to trade policies as an instrument for sustainable development, both within the World Trade Organisation and preferential trade and investment agreements. The question of how to align those policies with our objectives here requires us to urgently re-order the hierarchy of obligations to which many Member States currently subscribe. It is a question of policy coherence at its most stark. Read more…

Financing for Development Conference 2015: Views from the Global South

by Manuel Montes, South Centre

Developing countries—emerging, middle-income, and least developed—will be going to the Third Financing for Development (FfD) Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015 with a set of demands to reform and rebalance the international financial system in order to facilitate the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more…

Universality as Human Rights in the Financing for Development Agenda

By Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum

The outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) will affect the ability of states to fulfill their human rights obligations, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets being set for the post-2015 agenda. Both human rights and the SDGs are similar in that they are universal, and entail individual as well as common responsibilities, taking into account varying national capacities to achieve them. Read more…

Has the time come for a legally binding framework to ensure that private sector’s activities contribute to (and not undermine) sustainable development?

By Marina Ponti, Social Watch

As the negotiations on the zero draft of the Third Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) progress civil society organizations, Governments and the UN met at the occasion of the roundtable entitled Towards a Private Sector Accountability Protocol for Sustainable Development1 to discuss the proposal of a Private Sector Accountability Protocol for Sustainable Development. Such a framework would entail, among others, mandatory social and environmental reporting and financial transparency rules to align the private sector’s activities with SDG’s and human rights obligations.
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Responding to Systemic Issues to Achieve Industrialization and Development

In the Roundtable Discussion “Systemic Issues, including Global Economic Governance and External Debt” that took place in the framework of the UN General Assembly Hearings with Civil Society in preparation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development Marina Durano, member of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, said that we need to respond to volatile flows of finance that become external sources of instability for open economies. Colleagues have already spoken about unpredictable aid flows. We need to take a critical look at investment capital that search for gains from interest rate or currency arbitrage brought on by very loose monetary policies of developed countries. These flows affect the value of developing country currencies as well as prices in their assets markets.

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Size matters: Corporations and small business in sustainable development

At the opening of the United Nations hearings with business and civil society, Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio defends Sustainable Development Goals as expression of a new paradigm. For the SDGs to bare fruit, the power of the biggest 200 corporations, with combined sales that are bigger than the total economies of 180 countries, needs to be harnessed. The UN should not tarnish its image associating its programs with big tax evaders or endorsing private-public partnerships that are exclusive, untransparent and too frequently associated with corruption. A binding legal instrument for business and human rights, while disliked by business leaders, might introduce a predictable framework that ultimately benefits the small and medium entrepreneurs that create most of the jobs in times of crisis.

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Hold the Rich Accountable in New U.N. Development Goals, Say NGOs

By Thalif Deen, IPS
The Civil Society Reflection Group (CSRG) on Global Development Perspectives will be releasing a new study which calls for both goals and commitments – this time particularly by the rich – if the U.N.’s 17 proposed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 development agenda are to succeed.
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Do you need to be counted to count?

By Sabá Loftus

The 23-27 March session of the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets. In this context on the 18th March, at the special request by the Co-facilitators, the Bureau of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) provided a “Technical report on the process of the development of an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda”. This has re-sparked ongoing discussion over whether the indicators should be technical or politically negotiated.

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Political vision should come before technical practicality

By Marina Ponti, Social Watch

On Monday, the 23rd of March 2015, government representatives will meet at UN Headquarters for five days of negotiations on the SDG’s goals, targets and indicators.

Governments should resist the temptation –particularly when looking at targets and indicators- to be restricted by existing quantitative monitoring systems and the current (and limited) availability of data.
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