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INVITATION - Web conversation: Building better without building back a broken system

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The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined socio-economic development in many countries. Many now demand to build back better. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed transformational change? What kind of policies and strategies are necessary to ensure that human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals form integral components of all stimulus packages and government responses to the current crisis? How to revalue the importance of care and to rebuild global public services? These questions will be discussed in this year's report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. It is closely related to the theme of the HLPF 2020. With this virtual side event, we will present preliminary findings to be found in the report later this year.


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Regulating corporate power for a better tomorrow

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Civil society organizations from across the world publish a statement urging member states from the UN Human Rights Council to continue negotiations towards a UN Treaty on Transnational corporations and human rights.

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Steuergerechtigkeit, Coronakrise und der globale Süden

Steuergerechtigkeit2Die wirtschaftlichen Folgen der Corona-Krise treffen Entwicklungsländer mit voller Wucht, gleichzeitig stehen weniger Ressourcen für ausgleichende Maßnahmen zur Verfügung.

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Ein Weltsolidaritätsgipfel zur Bewältigung der Menschenrechtskrise

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Die Weltgemeinschaft steuert auf gleich mehrere globale Krisen zu. Dabei handelt es sich nicht nur um eine Gesundheits- und Wirtschaftskrise, sondern ebenso um eine Menschenrechtskrise. Die Folgen werden besonders für die bereits mehrfach Benachteiligten am schwerwiegendsten sein.

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Corona und die SDGs: Folgen der COVID-19 Pandemie für die Verwirklichung der globalen Nachhaltigkeitsziele

Briefing_0520_Corona-SDGs-3Die COVID-19-Pandemie und die politischen Maßnahmen, mit denen die Regierungen auf sie reagierten, haben gravierende Folgen für die globale Nachhaltigkeitsagenda. Auch wenn sich das ganze Ausmaß der Krise und ihrer Auswirkungen derzeit noch nicht abschätzen lässt, droht schon jetzt die Gefahr, dass die Pandemie die Verwirklichung der international vereinbarten Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) in ihrer Gesamtheit gefährdet. Das neue Briefing des Global Policy Forums skizziert für jedes der 17 SDGs anhand einiger punktueller Beispiele, welches Ausmaß die globale Coronakrise in verschiedenen Sektoren haben kann. Es macht deutlich, dass die Agenda 2030 und ihre Nachhaltigkeitsziele scheitern werden, wenn sie in den politischen Antworten auf die Coronakrise nicht systematisch berücksichtigt werden.

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Online-Seminar: Finanzierung nachhaltiger Entwicklung in der Corona-Krise

Bodo-WebinarDie Corona-Pandemie hat die Welt überraschend und unvorbereitet in eine Dreifachkrise geworfen: eine Gesundheitskrise, eine Wirtschaftskrise und eine Finanzkrise. In einem Online-Seminar von VENRO erläutert Bodo Ellmers, welche neuen Rahmenbedingungen für die Agenda 2030 und die Finanzierung nachhaltiger Entwicklung sich damit ergeben.

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CSOs call for halt to WTO negotiations during COVID-19 crisis

Letter-StopNegotiationsFocusOnSavingLives_2020-04-17.ENG-2Over 250 civil society organizations (CSOs) have called for a halt to all trade and investment treaty negotiations during the COVID-19 outbreak and instead to refocus on access to medical supplies and saving lives. In an open letter to trade ministries as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the CSOs said they were shocked that “some trade negotiations are still continuing in the WTO, as well as bilaterally and regionally, using virtual technologies.” The first and only priority for trade negotiators at this time should be to remove all obstacles, including intellectual property rules, in existing agreements that hinder timely and affordable access to medical supplies, such as lifesaving medicines, devices, diagnostics and vaccines, and the ability of governments to take whatever steps are necessary to address this crisis, they said.

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Die globale Coronakrise: Weltwirtschaftliche Auswirkungen und internationale Reaktionen - ein Update

Briefing_Corona_Weltwirtschaft-UpdateDie globale Corona-Pandemie hat nicht nur gravierende Auswirkungen für die Gesundheitssituation in vielen Ländern der Welt. Sie wird auch den Welthandel, die Finanzmärkte und die Verwirklichung der international vereinbarten Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) massiv beeinflussen. Das ganze Ausmaß der Krise und ihrer Folgen lässt sich derzeit noch nicht abschätzen. Fest steht aber schon jetzt, dass das Coronavirus die Weltwirtschaft in einer kritischen Phase getroffen hat. In vielen Ländern des Globalen Südens hatte sich die gesamtwirtschaftliche Lage bereits vor Ausbruch des Virus erheblich verschlechtert. Ein Teufelskreis von Verschuldung und Austeritätspolitik bedrohte die sozio-ökonomische Entwicklung von Argentinien bis zum Libanon. Infolge der weltwirtschaftlichen Abhängigkeiten spitzt sich die Lage nun auch in den Ländern zu, die vom Coronavirus selbst zunächst kaum betroffen waren. Dies gilt insbesondere für die ärmeren rohstoffexportierenden Länder. Um eine weltweite Rezession abzuwenden, haben der Internationale Währungsfonds (IWF), die Weltbank, die EU, nationale Regierungen und die führenden Zentralbanken Milliardenprogramme angekündigt. Richtig eingesetzt böten sie die Chance, nicht nur die öffentlichen Gesundheitssysteme zu stärken, sondern auch umfassendere Konjunkturprogramme aufzulegen, die der sozial-ökologischen Transformation im Sinne der SDGs dienen.

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The global corona crisis – A summary of key policy mappings and databases

GPF_Logo_4CIn addition to the health aspects of the virus, the global coronavirus crisis also has financial, socio-economic and developmental consequences. For this reason, a large number of policy measures have been announced by governments and international organizations, on the one hand to contain the pandemic, on the other to mitigate the economic consequences. The main target groups of planned loans and cash injections are the healthcare system, as well as larger banks and companies. However, some strategies are also aimed at small and medium-sized companies as well as groups of individuals, their savings, private pensions and other private assets. The current situation is particularly problematic for many developing countries. In many countries, health systems are weak, governments have little financial flexibility and the majority of populations are not protected by social safety nets, making sickness, unemployment and loss of wages in these circumstances even more problematic than in Europe or the USA. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank are therefore beginning to tailor measures specifically for this context. In order to gain an overview of the various national and international measures, various actors have created policy mappings and databases, each with a different focus. Global Policy Forum continuously analyzes relevant policy measures and highlights databases which are particularly useful.

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Don’t say nobody warned us

GPMB_Annual_Report_English"There is a very real threat of a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic of a respiratory pathogen killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5% of the world’s economy. A global pandemic on that scale would be catastrophic, creating widespread havoc, instability and insecurity.” In his new article by the coordinator of Social Watch, Roberto Bissio points out that as early as September 2019, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board published a report entitled A World at Risk conclusively highlighting that the world is not prepared for an impending catastrophic pandemic. Bissio argues that the emphasis of the Global Preparedness Report on public health services is particularly striking if it is noted that both the World Bank – co-sponsor of the Board – and the Gates Foundation, represented on the Board have been active advocates of public-private partnerships in health (PPPs) and have undermined universal public services. They favoured instead focused attention on the poorest and on specific diseases, such as Malaria or Ebola, but at the cost of the dismantling of generic health systems. The Board itself recognized in its 2019 Report that “entities providing funding and programmatic support for countries, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (Global Fund) and Gavi, do not explicitly include prevention and preparedness to achieve broader health security.” The lack of foresight in the face of the announced pandemic is now forcing governments around the world to resort to extreme and innovative sanitary measures, but the looming debt crisis is now also calling for foresight, leadership and innovation.

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Die deutsche EU-Ratspräsidentschaft 2020: Welche Priorität haben Nachhaltigkeitsagenda und SDGs?

Deutsche_EU-Ratsprsidentschaft_2020_06Deutschland übernimmt ab dem 1. Juli 2020 für sechs Monate die Präsidentschaft im Rat der Europäischen Union (EU). Dies geschieht zu einer Zeit, in der die EU durch die Corona-Pandemie vor die größte Herausforderung in ihrer Geschichte gestellt ist. Neben der Bewältigung der unmittelbaren Krise und des damit einhergehenden Wirtschaftseinbruchs muss dem Klimawandel und seinen Folgen weiter Rechnung getragen werden.

Das neue Briefing des Global Policy Forums skizziert, welche Priorität Nachhaltigkeitsagenda und SDGs dabei haben.
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"TEAM EUROPE" Corona package for partner countries: More honesty and fresh money needed

EU_TEAMThe figure sounds impressive: With a total amount of 36 billion euros the EU wants to help its partner countries in the Global South to deal with the economic and social consequences of the Corona virus crisis. However, the official communication by the EU no longer discloses which part of the package is fresh money and which part is reallocated from existing programs.

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Deutsche EU-Ratspräsidentschaft: NGOs fordern die Bundesregierung auf, das Thema Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte prioritär zu behandeln

Forderungspapier_EUDas CorA-Netzwerk und weitere Organisationen fordern die Bundesregierung in einem Positionspapier auf, das Thema Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte prioritär zu behandeln.

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Die Coronakrise wird in Afrika zur Schuldenkrise

GPF_Logo_4CWährend der afrikanische Kontinent bis dato (Mitte Juni) eine relativ geringe Anzahl an Covid-Fällen aufweist, wird er von den wirtschaftlichen Folgen umso härter getroffen. Auch in afrikanischen Staaten ist durch Lockdowns die Wirtschaftsleistung eingebrochen. Fast alle Säulen der externen Finanzierung sind durch die Coronakrise parallel weggebrochen. Damit wird es für immer mehr afrikanische Staaten auch schwierig, ihre Auslandschulden zu bedienen. Eine massive Welle von Schuldenkrisen droht.

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Corona Lobby Watch - Opportunistic lobbyists abuse the EU’s unprecedented health crisis

corona-lobbywatch-1Lobbyists for many industries are opportunistically repackaging old demands, or developing new ones, and using the Corona Crisis to justify them, even though in many cases there is no clear link to the health emergency. Corporate Europe Observatory has set up Corona Lobby Watch, in order to ensure that civil society can continue to monitor the moves of 'Coronawashing' lobbyists.

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Weathering the storm?

GPF_Logo_4CDeveloping countries have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Commodity prices have collapsed, and with them their export revenues. Since mass unemployment has spread in the global north, remittances from migrant workers have also been falling. Quarantines and travel restrictions have made tourism nonexistant. Capital flight from developing countries since the beginning of the corona crisis has been faster and greater than during the great financial crisis of 2008. In March alone, an estimated $ 100 billion left the Global South towards ostensibly safer havens. The article by Bodo Ellmers asesses why the recently agreed debt relief by the G20 is far from what is needed. The author argues that states must prioritize human rights-related expenditures - such as for education and health services - over debt servicing when funds run out.

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Time to rally behind the World Health Organization

UN-WHOThe unprecedented outbreak of the new coronavirus once again places the WHO at the centre of global public action for health. Independent global health experts in countries around the world have highlighted the importance of the WHO in the response to this global public health crisis both in terms of transparency and timeliness of recommendations and decisions. This is no small feat given heavy critique of its handling of the Ebola Crisis in West Africa in 2014/15, the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in 2009, and the SARS outbreak of 2003. It shows that this unique UN Organization has taken a big step forward in the performance as the coordinating agency in global health. US President Donald Trump’s serious accusations, disgraceful campaigning and threats of withholding WHO funding can only be understood as a blame-game by a government that scapegoats others for its own lack of responsibility and failure to prevent and manage the crisis. In a joint letter, members of the Geneva Global Health Hub condemn this tirade against WHO as baseless and unacceptable, particularly in such a critical situation that requires solidarity.

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Tribute to Martin Khor

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Photo: Andrew Ng Yew Han

Global Policy Forum shares with deep sadness the news that Martin Khor (1951-2020), Third World Network’s Chairman and former Director, passed away peacefully in the early hours of 1 April 2020 in his home in Penang, Malaysia. Global Policy Forum honors all the years of great cooperation with him. His death is a very sad loss, but his messages and ideas for a world in solidarity will live on forever. It will be the task of all of us to continue his work, which is more important in these days than ever before. Andrew Ng Yew Han has put a video together as tribute to Martin Khor.

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WHO-business joint COVID-19 letter to G20 raises concerns

TWN_logoOn March 23 a joint letter signed by the WHO Director-General, the Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Saudi Arabia chair of Business 20 (B20), a private sector grouping of G20 was addressed to the G20 Heads of State and Government prior to their virtual summit. The letter highlights the economic fallout due to COVID 19 can have potentially a massive impact on the health sector. It makes a set of demands in health and economic matters. Though the ICC termed the letter as a historical collaboration, for many observers this letter raises concerns of conflict of interest i.e. the risk of secondary interest influencing the primary interest of the WHO. An new article by K.M. Gopakumar from Third World Network questions if this kind of partnership meets the organizations Framework of Engagement with Non-state Actors (FENSA) since a few issues advocated in the joint letter bear the risk of furthering business interest over public health. The author rather argues that the ICC and B20 joint letter with WHO provides business with an opportunity to whitewash their image to project them as part of the solution by covering up their past deeds.

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Die globale Coronakrise - Weltwirtschaftliche Auswirkungen und internationale Reaktionen – eine Momentaufnahme

Cover_SDGs_CoronaDie globale Corona-Pandemie hat nicht nur gravierende Auswirkungen für die Gesundheitssituation in vielen Ländern der Welt. Sie wird auch den Welthandel, die Finanzmärkte und die Verwirklichung der international vereinbarten Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) massiv beeinflussen. Das ganze Ausmaß der Krise und ihrer Folgen lässt sich derzeit noch nicht abschätzen. Fest steht aber schon jetzt, dass das Coronavirus die Weltwirtschaft in einer kritischen Phase getroffen hat. In vielen Ländern des Globalen Südens hatte sich die gesamtwirtschaftliche Lage bereits vor Ausbruch des Virus erheblich verschlechtert. Ein Teufelskreis von Verschuldung und Austeritätspolitik bedrohte die sozio-ökonomische Entwicklung von Argentinien bis zum Libanon. Infolge der weltwirtschaftlichen Abhängigkeiten spitzt sich die Lage nun auch in den Ländern zu, die vom Coronavirus selbst zunächst kaum betroffen waren. Diese Momentaufnahme vom 18.03.2020 ordnet in Form eines Briefings die Entwicklungen ein und erläutert verschiedene sozio-ökonomische Auswirkungen auf die SDGs.

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