Global Policy Watch Blog

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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A ‘universal’ financing for development agenda?

by Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum

For the first time, the international development agenda, through the FfD3 and post-2015 processes, is considered universal, applying to every country. Current deliberations, however, reveal different understandings of what universality means. Read more…

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…

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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Public-Private Partnerships: Benefiting or hindering international development?

By Sabá Loftus, Social Watch
On the 18th March, the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) hosted a side event in New York to promote the report “Why Public-Private-Partnerships don’t work”. The report assessed the impact of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) actually undertaken in rich and poor countries. These global case studies show that there is no evidence that PPPs are cheaper or more convenient for governments in the long-term.
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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…