Category: Briefings

Fit for Whose Purpose?

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

A critical issue repeatedly arising in the post-2015 negotiations relates to responsibility. There is shared responsibility, the preference of rich countries who would like to shift traditional official development assistance (ODA) and other “burdens” given the “rise” of some developing countries. There is common but differentiated responsibility, stressed by developing countries to link common commitment with the reality of varying capacities.

Debates also circle, directly or otherwise, around the role of the state, with some camps continuing to promote its central responsibility. Others call for more room for “stakeholders” to be responsible—notably, the private sector.

For a look at how the balance between public and private responsibility has shifted, and what this means in the real world in terms of adherence to international standards and norms, one needs to look no further than the United Nations itself. A new Global Policy Forum Report—Fit for Whose Purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations—details how private corporations and corporate philanthropic organizations are increasingly paying to play there.Read more…

An Action Plan Without Much Action

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

With pens still hovering over the Addis Ababa Action Plan, the outcome agreement for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), there is already a sense that for all the recent talk at the UN about ambition and transformation, it is falling short. For a financing document, the Action Plan includes an impressive number of references to issues at the core of sustainable and inclusive development, like social protection, essential services, decent work for all and sustainable industrialization. Read more…

The struggle to shape the Agenda

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

It is not surprising that the political battles have already become fierce in the concurrent negotiations for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) and the post-2015 development agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At stake is who will shape the agenda—and how much real impact it will have.
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Are FfD3 and Post-2015 striking the right public-private balance?

By Barbara Adams, Gretchen Luchsinger
Getting the right balance between public and private sector roles and responsibilities in the Financing for Development and Post-2015 process will be fundamental to prospects for sustainable, inclusive development. Yet early evidence suggests this balance is already awry, skewed far in favour of private interests. Are we seeing a process of outsourcing the international agenda?
Read more… / Spanish version

Post-2015: Measuring the (real) scope of ambition

By Barbara Adams, Gretchen Luchsinger
The post-2015 development agenda aspires to global transformation. Its content so far, including the set of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed in last year’s Open Working Group, affirms that aim through an unprecedented commitment to inclusion, sustainability and universality. This suggests that the world might finally move beyond current imbalanced patterns of consumption and production that have left wide swathes of human deprivation and pushed the limits of planetary boundaries.

Yet the main question, after the most recent intergovernmental negotiations on the agenda in March in New York, is: will the political process live up to the agenda’s promise? Read more…

The 2015 Declaration: Meeting great expectations (maybe)

By Barbara Adams, Gretchen Luchsinger

The most recent step in the post-2015 negotiations was the 17-20 February debate in New York on the Declaration, meant to be the framework political statement. Despite strong emphasis on transformation and high aspiration, traditional lines were drawn between (mostly) Northern and Southern positions. Read more… / Spanish version

Post-2015 and FfD3: Debates Begin, Political Lines Emerge

By Barbara Adams, Gretchen Luchsinger

Download this briefing (pdf, 150 KB)

This document is also available in Spanish and in French.

2015 is a pivotal year. The post–2015 sustainable development agenda currently being drafted is premised on the reality that the present model of development is not working, given worsening inequalities and straining planetary boundaries. All countries and peoples—and the planet on which we depend–have the right to live with a better model, one that is inclusive and sustainable. Read more… / Spanish version