Global Policy Watch Blog

The long-term positioning of the UN development system

The United Nations – a 70-year-old institution – has reached an inflection point and like other institutions, is facing challenges in rapidly demanding times, challenges to which it must adapt in order to survive. Some Member States are asking if this important institution will maintain its relevance and credibility. They’re asking whether the UN development system will be able to be country-led and to deliver to all countries, and in particular demonstrate its commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Read more…

Options for strengthening global tax governance

The importance of international—or even better, global—cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident in the light of tax evasion and avoidance scandals during the last few months and years. Countries in the global North and South were shown to offer preferential treatment to foreigners—from Panama to Luxemburg from the Cayman Islands to Hong Kong. Individuals as well as huge transnational corporations are using a fragmented and inconsistently regulated global system of trans-border taxation to evade and/or avoid taxes. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually. Depending on the model of estimation, developing countries are losing more than one trillion US dollars per year in illicit financial flows, the majority of which can be attributed to the abuse of transfer pricing rules. A panel of the UN Economic Commission for Africa chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki estimates the losses of Africa alone at approximately 50 billion US dollars per year. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) puts global revenue losses from Base Eros ion and Profit Shifting at an annual 100 to 240 billion US dollars. Read more…

Mind the Gap – from CSW to FfD

Less than one month ago the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) adopted its “ agreed conclusions” on “Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development.”

From 18-20 April, the Financing for Development Forum (FfD Forum) will provide an early test on the commitment and ability of Member States and the UN system to finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and address structural obstacles to development. Read more…

Accountability and transparency of multi-stakeholder partnerships at the UN

During the session on “accountability and transparency of multi-stakeholder partnerships” held in the framework of the Partnership Forum at the UN, Barbara Adams from Global Policy Forum and Social Watch said that partnerships are based in a win-win dynamic but there is a need to understand of what is “win-win”. See the video here.

2030 Agenda and the SDGs: indicator framework, monitoring and reporting

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

On 11 March 2016 the UN Statistical Commission agreed “as a practical starting point” with the proposed global indicator framework by which to measure progress towards the 17 goals and 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognized that the development of a robust and high quality indicator framework is a process that will need to continue over time and authorized the Interagency and Expert Group for Sustainable Development Goals (IAEG-SDGs) to continue its work. Read more…

SDG Indicators: Cross Threading and Classifying

Throughout the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the commitment to the integrated nature of sustainable development. The challenge of how to capture this has shown some interesting dynamics, most recently in regard to the global indicators. Statisticians have sought to integrate their work across indicators on decent work and social protection, which can be found in SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 16. Similarly indicators on gender equality go across many of the same goals. This cross-cutting dynamic should help to do more rather than less. Disaggregation across the goals should increase in income level, gender, age, and geographic location. Read more…

Obstacles to Women’s Rights and to the SDGs

During the United Nations observance of International Women’s Day 2016, Barbara Adams from Global Policy Forum and Social Watch addresses the obstacles to Women’s Rights: the unfair global trade and investment system and the lack of a debt workout mechanism deviate the resources that should ensure an universal social protection floor.

See the video here.

UN Statistical Commission takes up Global Indicators for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) is comprised of Chief Statisticians from National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and has a working method of decision by majority vote, rather than by consensus. “Data needs are vast and the Data Revolution is reshaping the landscape quickly,” John Pullinger, former chair of the UNSC said in his opening remarks of the 47th session of the Commission. Read more…

What can we expect from the 47th Session of the UN Statistical Commission?

On 8-11 March 2016, the 47th Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York. A major item on their agenda will be the consideration of the global SDG indicator framework, by which to measure progress on achieving the 169 far-reaching SDG targets generated by the Interagency and Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs. After several rounds of consultation led by IAEG-SDGs co-chairs Enrique Ordaz (Mexico) and Lisa Bersales (Philippines), 231 indicators have now been agreed upon by the IAEG-SDGs. John Pullinger, Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission, said that the Commission’s overarching commitment is to make sure “countries have the information they need to ensure that by 2030 no one individual, region or country is left behind.” Read more…