Global Policy Forum

What's new

New briefing: FENSA - a fence against undue corporate influence on WHO?

Briefing_0916_FENSAAfter several years of intense discussions and negotiations, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the World Health Organization’s Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors (FENSA) on 28 May 2016. The establishment of the framework was a response to the growing concerns of many governments and civil society organizations about the corporate influence on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) normative and operational activities. The objective of the new framework was therefore to provide guidelines for clear and informed decision making on WHO’s engagement with non-State actors, and to improve transparency and accountability. FENSA constitutes a precedent. It is the first comprehensive regulatory framework within the United Nations system that covers all types of interaction with non-State actors. The new briefing paper provides an overview on the recently adopted framework. It outlines the process leading up to this document, presents the agreed provisions, describes lobbying attempts by the private sector, and discusses the final outcome.
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Silos or system? An approach to the 2030 Agenda

GPW_templateThe 2030 Agenda is both a problem and a solution for the UN system. The UN, especially the UN development system, must be encouraged to return to its value-driven role in the public interest, grounded in the explicit adoption of norms and standards and delivered through programming that does not deviate from its core business. Otherwise it will find itself caught in a self-inflicted vicious circle of decline. “More of the same” will see the continuation of its shrinking role in global affairs at a time when so many challenges require international co-operation and resolve.

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Panel Discussion: Corporate accountability and influence in the UN

UN_Treaty_TitelseiteThe international debate surrounding the environmental, social and human rights responsibilities of corporations has been gaining momentum. Growing public criticism of transnational corporations and banks has furthered this debate.  A historic decision of the UN Human Rights Council (of 26 June 2014) to establish an intergovernmental working group “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises” is one of its results. For the first time since decades, an intergovernmental body of the UN was established to address the international regulation of corporations. You are invited to a panel discussion on October 4, 2016, at the Church Center in New York, to assess the state of the current debate, discuss the pros and cons and the potential content of a legally binding instrument (or a treaty), and explore links to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and to the agenda and responsibilities of the incoming Secretary-General.

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Put corporate lobbyists in the spotlight - vote now!

logodemocracyforsalebigIt’s an open secret: corporate lobbies enjoy a particularly cosy relationship with the trade officials at the European Commission. Behind closed doors, the infamous TTIP trade deal is being written hand in hand by regulators and the corporations they are meant to regulate. Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth, LobbyControl and WeMove.EU launched the Democracy for Sale Awards, an initiative giving citizens the opportunity to call out the corporate lobbyists most successful in undermining democracy and the public interest by capturing the EU positions for TTIP.
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Sign Petition: Tell EU to support UN treaty for businesses and human rights!

Final_inforgraphic_July_2016The UN Human Rights Council is currently negotiating a treaty with binding rules for businesses and human rights. This treaty could protect people from human rights abuses by corporations and bring corporate human rights violators to justice. Unfortunately, the European Union and its member states have so far taken a pro-business approach and have been boycotting negotiations. Help bring justice to the victims of corporate abuse and uphold the rights of people. Tell the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, that we need a binding treaty on business and human rights! Please sign and distribute the petition.

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Diskussionsveranstaltung "Der Treaty-Prozess bei den Vereinten Nationen"

GPF_Logo_4CkBislang setzten Politik und Wirtschaft auf globaler Ebene auf freiwillige Initiativen, um Menschenrechtsvergehen durch Unternehmen zu verhindern. Aber sie konnten bislang die Kluft zwischen dem menschenrechtlichen Anspruch und der Wirklichkeit fortgesetzter Menschenrechtsvergehen nicht überbrücken. Vor diesem Hintergrund setzte der Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen im Juni 2014 eine Arbeitsgruppe ein, um ein rechtsverbindliches Instrument („Treaty“) zu entwickeln, mit dessen Hilfe transnationale Konzerne und andere Wirtschaftsunternehmen wirksamer für Menschenrechtsvergehen zur Verantwortung gezogen werden können. Vom 24. bis 28. Oktober 2016 findet die zweite Tagung dieser Arbeitsgruppe in Genf statt. Aus diesem aktuellen Anlass wollen wir bei der Diskussionsveranstaltung über den derzeitigen Treaty-Prozess bei den UN informieren und über das Für und Wider eines rechtsverbindlichen internationalen Instruments diskutieren.

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New Report of the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Agenda-2030_engl_titel_smallIndependent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges are key factors for the success of the SDGs. It is for this reason, the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development together with other civil society organizations and networks has produced the first annual Spotlight Report assessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the structural obstacles in its realization. The report puts a spotlight on the fulfillment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues.

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Neuer Bericht: Deutschland & die UN-Nachhaltigkeitsagenda

Agenda-2030_dt_titelDie 2030-Agenda der Vereinten Nationen und ihre 17 Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung versprechen die Transformation unserer Welt. Sie gelten für jedes Land, für die Länder des globalen Südens und des globalen Nordens, und damit auch für Deutschland. Gemeinsam mit VENRO, Forum Menschenrechte, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, terre des hommes und Open Knowledge Foundation hat das Global Policy Forum nun den Bericht „Deutschland und die UN-Nachhaltigkeitsagenda 2016 - noch lange nicht nachhaltig“ herausgegeben. Darin ziehen 40 Expertinnen und Experten kritisch Bilanz über Deutschlands Beiträge zur Erreichung der SDGs sowohl zu Hause als auch global. Sie erkennen Schwächen und Anknüpfungspunkte für Reformen und fordern wirksame Schritte von Entscheidungsträgerinnen und -trägern in Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.

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Reinventing Development

adams_un_reformTransformational changes are needed to make the UN into a body that advances the public interest through democratic governance and commitment to its founding values. These changes will not be easy to bring about, but Adams and Judd give us the guideposts we need to set off on this path in the field of development. For one thing is clear: A piecemeal approach won’t get us the UN we need. A reform agenda that’s worth pursuing will recognize the entrenched interests that support the status quo and take on critical issues of financing, adopting a values-based framework, integrating the three UN pillars—human rights, sustainable development, peace and security—into that framework, and developing a culture of accountability.

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Partnerships and the 2030 Agenda: Time to reconsider their role in implementation

On-Partnerships-GPF-input-to-discussion“Partnership” is a misleading term to cover every type of engagement between UN entities and non-State actors. It promotes a false sense of equality. Lumping CSOs and corporate actors together according to their non-State status ignores the profound differences in their orientation, interests and accountability. Before considering ways to enhance the effectiveness of partnerships between UN entities and non-State actors and establishing a system-wide delivery support, more fundamental questions should be addressed. This Background Note poses necessary questions and offers perspectives both from the work of Global Policy Forum as well as from previous proposals on partnerships offered by some Member States.

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Neues Briefing: Die SDGs auf der G20-Agenda

GPF-Briefing_0916_SDGskleinAm 4. und 5. September 2016 fand das Gipfeltreffen der Gruppe der 20 führenden Industrie- und Schwellenländer (G20) in Hangzhou, China statt. Auf der Tagesordnung stand dort neben vielen anderen Themen auch die Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda der Vereinten Nationen und ihrer Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs). Als Ergebnis vereinbarten die Staats- und Regierungschefs einen speziellen G20-Aktionsplan zur 2030-Agenda. Er kann als politisches Signal verstanden werden, künftig „nachhaltige Entwicklung weit oben auf die G20-Agenda“ zu setzen. Mit dem Aktionsplan verpflichtet sich die G20, ihre gesamte Arbeit an der 2030-Agenda auszurichten. Wie dies geschehen soll, bleibt allerdings unklar, denn der Aktionsplan ist nur einer von vielen.

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In Need of Rethinking

127614"Free trade has both been negatively affected by and an active contributor to an anti-globalisation backlash in the public opinion of many advanced economies. Further trade liberalisation is increasingly resisted. Much of the backlash can be viewed as a reaction to the underlying policies that, in the past, have produced many »losers« – not just »winners« – and especially have increased income inequality. Most of the »low-hanging fruit« in trade liberalisation has already been harvested. In the search for further cost savings, the frontier of trade negotiations has moved away from the borders deep into the arena of national policies. Attempts to use trade negotiations to modify regulations that express societal preferences and had been established for reasons that are unrelated to international trade have largely eroded the confidence in trade negotiations and trade negotiators – and added to the backlash." writes Hubert Schillinger of FES' Geneva Office in a recently published Briefing Paper.
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N2Africa, the Gates Foundation and Legume Commercialisation in Africa

N2-Africa-reportAfrican Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) published a new report entitled “N2Africa, the Gates Foundation and legume commercialisation in Africa”. This report considers the N2Africa programme, which aims to develop and distribute improved, certified legume varieties, promote and distribute inoculants and synthetic fertiliser and develop commercial legume markets for smallholder integration in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. N2Africa was started in 2009 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While ACB can recognise the potentially valuable technical and organisational contributions of such efforts, it criticizes that they currently are oriented exclusively to supporting a modernisation agenda that can only benefit few. A legume development programme that integrates farmers into seed enhancement and production, and develops appropriate quality control systems based on farmer priorities and under the control of farmers, could offer a more sustainable and inclusive approach than a private sector, profit-driven approach.
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Neues Briefing: Die Mittel zur Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda auf dem Prüfstand

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Ein neues Briefing Paper von Global Policy Forum beleuchtet die schleppende Verwirklichung der Beschlüsse, die die Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung voranbringen sollen. Beim Financing for Development Forum im April, beim ersten Technology Facilitation Forum im Juni sowie im Juli beim Hochrangigen Politischen Forum wurde eine erste vorläufige Zwischenbilanz gezogen bzw. wurde versucht, die Umsetungspläne zu konkretisieren. Weniger als ein Jahr nach den Beschlüssen von Addis Abeba und New York war allerdings auch nicht zu erwarten, dass schon über tatsächliche Fortschritte berichtet werden würde. Vielmehr wurde zunächst eine Art Inventur der bereits existierenden Umsetzungsmittel vorgenommen und es ging um die Ausgestaltung zukünftiger Berichtsrunden sowie die Einbeziehung verschiedener Akteursgruppen.

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New publication: The Struggle for a UN Treaty

UN_Treaty_TitelseiteIn June 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council took the historic decision to establish a working group “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.” This binding agreement should complement the existing UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which show serious shortcomings. Between 24 and 28 October 2016, the second session of the working group will take place in Geneva. Agains this background, Global Policy Forum and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-New York Office published a new working paper. It presents the basic facts concerning the current discussions at the UN Human Rights Council, outlines the events leading up to today’s discussions, describes the controversies and lines of conflict, sets out the potential content of a legally binding instrument and concludes with some remarks on the further process.

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Das Nachhaltigkeitsforum der UN 2016

GPF-Briefing_0816_online"Das HLPF ist ein zwischenstaatliches Forum, an dem alle 193 Mitgliedsstaaten der Vereinten Nationen teilnehmen können. Zusätzlich haben Vertreter/innen gesellschaftlicher Gruppen und Organisationen weitgehende Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten. Das Forum hat allerdings weder konkrete Entscheidungskompetenzen noch eine direkte Koordinationsfunktion gegenüber Regierungen und UN-Organisationen. Es dient in erster Linie dem Erfahrungsaustausch über Strategien zur Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda, der Präsentation nationaler (Erfolgs-) Stories und der kritischen Analyse von Hindernissen und Rückschritten bei der Verwirklichung der SDGs." In der ersten Ausgabe einer neuen Briefing-Paper-Serie des Global Policy Forums zur 2030-Agenda analysiert Jens Martens das erste HLPF nach Verabschiedung der Nachhaltigkeitsagenda.

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Side-events during the HLPF in New York - Spotlight on Sustainable Development

GPF_Logo_4CkGPF, together with various partners including the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be co-hosting several side-events during the upcoming High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York, July 11 to 20, 2016. During the HLPF, the first issue of Spotlight on Sustainable Development will be launched. Also, national Reports from countries around the world will be presented. Feel invited to join us for these events (though participation requires registratin to the HLPF.

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Workshop "Das Nachhaltigkeitsforum der UN und die 2030-Agenda"

GPF_Logo_4CkUm die Umsetzung der im September 2015 beschlossenen 2030-Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung auf globaler Ebene zu überprüfen, findet vom 11. bis 20. Juli 2016 in New York das Hochrangige Politische Forum für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, HLPF) statt. Das Forum soll jährlich auf Ministerebene und alle vier Jahre auf Ebene von Staats- und Regierungschefs – sozusagen als Weltnachhaltigkeitsgipfel, unter dem Dach der UN-Generalversammlung – zusammentreten.
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Five Western Donors Shape a Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture

unholy-alliance-cover_0The Unholy Alliance, Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture, a new report released today by the Oakland Institute, exposes how a coalition of four donor countries and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is shaping a pro-business environment in the agricultural sector of developing countries, especially in Africa.

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UN Treaty Must Address Corporate Capture

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Amigos de la Tierra/Victor Barro

The Treaty Alliance has called on civil society organisations (CSOs) everywhere to take action to combat corporate capture. At the recent treaty Alliance gathering in Brazil they particularly called on CSOs to demand that the forthcoming United Nations (UN) binding treaty contains strong provisions that prohibit the interference of corporations in the process of forming and implementing laws and policies, as well as administering justice, at all national and international levels.

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