Category: Publications

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…

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017: Reclaiming Policies for the Public

In the 2030 Agenda governments committed to a revitalized Global Partnership between States and declared that public finance has to play a vital role in achieving the SDGs. But in recent decades, the combination of neoliberal ideology, corporate lobbying, business-friendly fiscal policies, tax avoidance and tax evasion has led to a massive weakening of the public sector and its ability to provide essential goods and services. Read more…

Options for Strengthening Global Tax Governance

by Wolfgang Obenland

The importance of global cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually. While steps to curb the losses are underway, gaps in global tax governance remain both in the institutional setting and with regard to substantive issues. For example, there is still no body with universal membership that could discuss issues that are of particular importance to countries in the Global South. In order to fill these gaps, either existing institutions need to be further developed, or new ones established, or both. In any case, a new body would have to perform certain functions and meet particular criteria with regard to composition. A new paper formulates options for achieving this. Read more …

Is the UN fit for the ambitious new Sustainable Development Agenda?

New study highlights private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations

New York City, 22 September 2015. More than a hundred Heads of State and Government will gather in New York this week to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda is intended to make the UN ‘fit for purpose’, but it is important to ask, ‘whose purpose will it be fit for’? Read more…

New Discussion Paper asks: Leave no-one out of the Post-2015 Agenda – particularly not the rich

The Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectivestoday launches its latest Discussion Paper. “Goals for the Rich – Indispensable for a Universal Post-2015 Agenda” deals with the question of how a fair sharing of costs, responsibilities and opportunities among and within countries can be achieved in formulating and implementing a Post-2015 Sustainability Agenda. Read more…

The “A” Word: Monitoring the SDGs

Twenty-two UN independent human rights rapporteurs wrote to the Rio+20 Summit that “real risk exists that commitments made in Rio will remain empty promises without effective monitoring and accountability.” This danger also exists for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Could Universal Periodic Reviews (UPRs) of SDG progress be the answer?

Read and analysis on this question by Roberto Bissio (Social Watch) in a new briefing paper for Future United Nations Development System. Read more… / Spanish version