Category: Blog

Political Declaration for the HLPF and the SDG Summit – from Zero to Second Draft

By Elena Marmo

The Political Declaration for the High Level Political Forum will be adopted by Heads of State and Government (HOSG) at the General Assembly’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit in September 2019. With the aim of reaching consensus, Member States have started negotiations and are now deliberating a second draft of the Political Declaration. The Declaration is currently titled, “Gearing up for a Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development: Political Declaration of the SDG Summit” and is divided into three sections: “I. Our Commitment, II. Our World Today, III. Our Call to Accelerated Action.” Read more…

State of emergency: UN convenes Financing Forum while a new wave of debt crises threatens to derail sustainable development

By Bodo Ellmers and Tove Ryding

This week, governments will meet at the United Nations in New York for the Financing for Development Forum, and the challenge is very clear. Too little progress has been made towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), which to a large extent is the consequence of lacking finance. The 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a UN framework adopted at the same time as the SDGs, which is supposed to ensure money flows toward development and the achievement of the SDGs, is not fulfilling its objective. Read more…

Decoupling is the glue that holds “sustainable” and “development” together, material footprint is its indicator

By Roberto Bissio
“Development” is usually understood as a synonym of “economic growth” and it is universally measured by per capita gross domestic product (GPD). “Sustainable” is usually understood as “within planetary boundaries” or “in harmony with Nature” or “respecting the rights of future generations and it is measured… well, the problem is that the world cannot agree on how to measure it and thus “sustainable development” is an unbalanced promise. Read more…

The Beirut Consensus on Financing for Development

The evaluation of the Financing for Development process from the First International Conference on Financing Sustainable Development indicates that the international financial system is not generating the volume of long-term financing needed to meet the sustainable development goals because of inadequate reforms and cooperation at the international level. The Beirut Consensus on Financing for Development was delivered by Mr. Mounir Tabet, Acting Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) at the conclusion of the conference organized by UNESCWA in Beirut on 28-29 November 2018. Read more…

Member States call for commitments to overcome crisis in multilateralism

UNHQ, 31 October 2018 — Perceiving this growing crisis for multilateralism, the presidents of the UN Charter bodies hosted a high-level dialogue with Member States: “Reviewing the Commitment to Multilateralism”, convened by the Permanent Missions of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in association with the Center on International Cooperation. The President of the General Assembly (PGA), Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés emphasized that UN Member States should focus on a synergistic approach to the work of the UN, especially for those issues “which cannot be addressed except through multilateral cooperation”, such as “protracted humanitarian crises, climate change, human trafficking, sustainable development, large scale human rights abuses, and threats to peace and security”.

How United Nations reform can support a reimagined democracy

By Chantal Line Carpentier
Just three years ago our world leaders committed “to working tirelessly” for the full implementation of a “comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative goals and targets” (para 2). The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, also commonly referred to as the Global Goals, is made up of 17 powerful and, some say, overly ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taken as a whole, Agenda 2030 envisions a world free of poverty, hunger, inequalities, sickness and war, and the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources, by 2030. Read more…

What role for the people in public private partnerships?

By Roberto Bissio
Over the last months multinational corporations have jumped from the ‘economy and business’ pages of world newspapers to the sections on ‘crime and police’: Volkswagen was found guilty of programming its cars to cheat on emission tests enabling it to contaminate while on the streets way beyond the acceptable limits. The sugar industry was exposed as having a long record of fake scientific research aimed at blaming other factors for the health problems that they create. Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government in 2001 to lie about the state of its economy, in order to be admitted into the Eurozone. Between 2012 and 2015 the most powerful banks of the world, including Barclays, Chase Morgan, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and others, paid billions of dollars in fines for having manipulated for their own benefit the exchange rates among global currencies and the Libor interest rates that determine the cost of billions of credit operations around the world every day. Read more…

Public Event: Changing Course for Sustainable Development

“The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018. At this event, co-organized by UNRISD and FES, some of the key findings and recommendations of this year’s global Spotlight Report will be presented and discussed from various perspectives. Read more…