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The UN development system: Can it catch up to the 2030 Agenda?

Cover_adamsThe current model of UN development assistance—operating country by country, and issue by issue, with priorities heavily driven by individual donors and their interests—is no longer fit for its intended purpose. The ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development challenges the UN development system to fully respond to the inextricable links across countries and among social, economic and environmental concerns. This is not just an issue of greater efficiency and effectiveness within existing arrangements. It is a question of how the UN development system can meet the high demands of new commitments aimed at transforming the course of development so that it is equitable, sustainable and aligned with human rights, and remains within planetary boundaries.

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Neuerscheinung: Ländersache Nachhaltigkeit

Laendersache__NachhaltigkeitWegen ihrer Zuständigkeit für wichtige Politikfelder spielen die Bundesländer bei der Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda in und durch Deutschland eine zentrale Rolle. Ganz im Sinne der im September 2015 in New York verabschiedeten Nachhaltigkeitsagenda sind davon prinzipiell alle Sektoren betroffen, von der Sozial- über die Landwirtschafts-, Bildungs- und Umweltpolitik bis hin zur Wirtschafts- und Industriepolitik. Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier gibt eine Übersicht über die Strategien und Strukturen, die die Bundesländer unter den Stichworten „Nachhaltigkeit“ und „Entwicklungszusammenarbeit“ bislang geschaffen haben. Es liefert keine lexikalisch vollständige Aufzählung, sondern beschränkt sich bewusst auf einige zentrale Beispiele, aus denen sich unterschiedliche Ansätze, aber auch gemeinsame Trends ablesen lassen.

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Neue Publikation: Gestiftete Entwicklung? Kooperation zwischen deutscher Entwicklungspolitik und privaten Stiftungen

Gestiftete_Entwicklung_CoverWeltweit boomt die Gründung von privaten Stiftungen. Angesichts stagnierender öffentlicher Mittel setzen Entwicklungspolitiker ihre Hoffnung auf die Philanthropie. Auch das Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) arbeitet seit einigen Jahren verstärkt mit privaten Stiftungen zusammen. Durch die Kooperation mit der Gates-Stiftung hat diese Form der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit eine neue Dimension erreicht – sowohl in quantitativer, als auch in qualitativer Hinsicht. Um die Zusammenarbeit weiter zu stärken, wollen BMZ und Gates-Stiftung Anfang 2017 ein neues Memorandum of Understanding unterzeichnen. Ein neues GPF-Arbeitspapier nimmt die bestehenden Kooperationen der Bundesregierung mit privaten Stiftungen im Bereich der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit genauer unter die Lupe und diskutiert die Risiken und Nebenwirkungen.

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Bundesregierung verabschiedet schwachen Nationalen Aktionsplan für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte

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Andi Weiland|www.venro.org

Die Bundesregierung hat am 21. Dezember den Nationalen Aktionsplan für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte (NAP) verabschiedet. VENRO, das Forum Menschenrechte und das CorA-Netzwerk für Unternehmensverantwortung kritisieren die fehlende Verbindlichkeit: Unternehmensverantwortung bleibt für deutsche Unternehmen weiterhin eine freiwillige Angelegenheit. Das Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte  spricht von einer „zögerlichen Umsetzung".
Der politische Wille hätte nicht weiter gereicht. Deutschland setze die UN-Leitprinzipien um, allerdings nur mit kleinen Schritten. Zwei Stellungnahmen zum NAP

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World’s largest business association gets direct voice in UN decision making

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Picture: Patrick Gruban/flickr

In an unprecedented and historic move, the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly recently granted observer status to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The resolution was submitted by France, Albania, Colombia, the Netherlands and Tunisia and was adopted during the seventy-first session of the General Assembly. The resolution sets out the ICC’s position as observer in the General Assembly from 1 January 2017 on.

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Affordable Housing in Tanzania. Local initiatives and challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda

fv_2016-03_shewiyoThe 2030 Agenda identifies extreme poverty and social inequalities as the greatest global challenges for sustainable development. It also highlights the need to implement measures at the local level, thereby sending countries down to work on their social policies, development plans and their respective implementing strategies. One symptom of poverty and inequalities is the fact that the majority of low income people are left behind and resort living in informal settlements. Therefore, among others, measures in the area of adequate and affordable housing are one way of tackling these challenges. In the current edition of the sef: Foreign Voices Series, Joseph I. Shewiyo, Zonal Commissioner for Lands at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Tanzania, gives an insight into local initiatives and challenges Tanzania has set up in the area of adequate and affordable housing. He highlights the challenges but also the opportunities embedded in strategies to provide decent housing in Tanzania.

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Event: International cooperation in tax matters

GPF_Logo_4Ck2016 marks the first year after the adoption of three major international outcome documents including the the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. To implement these decisions, all countries will need to step up the mobilization of domestic resources and increase international cooperation. One of the decisions of the 3rd FfD-Conference was to strengthen the work of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UNTC). At our side-event, we want to learn from experts and discuss where the reform of the work of the UNTC stands more than one year after the adoption of the Addis Ababa outcomes. What is the relationship among the different formats for international cooperation? Has the goal “that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope and should fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries, in particular least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and African countries” been achieved? Are there steps still to be taken? At a side-event on December 8 in New York, we want to discuss these questions.

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New analysis: Big polluters' have back-door access to UN climate talks

PollutersAbout one week after the countries descended on Marrakech for the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a new infographic by Corporate Accountability International reveals the true extent of the fossil fuel industry’s access to, and influence over, the talks. The analysis exposes the financial and membership ties between some of the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations and accredited business groups and trade associations at the UNFCCC. These ties present an irreconcilable conflict of interest and bolster a movement among governments and civil society groups to develop a policy within the UNFCCC to protect from such conflicts.

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Corporate accountability: Is the EU ready to listen?

cropped-logo-wordpress-1The European Commission should start listening to its citizens and come out with concrete plans to enhance corporate accountability, at home and abroad, urge Jerome Chaplier, Urs Rybi and Sandra Cossart. The European Commission is slow in responding to a letter by eight EU parliaments urging the institution to develop an ambitious legal proposal requiring corporate respect of human rights. But acting with a lack of urgency means delaying justice and remedy for victims and affected communities across the globe. The Commission should stop deferring responsibility and own up to its commitment to protect and promote human rights and the environment.
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The Monsanto Tribunal: A Report-Back

monsanto-tribunal-logoThe Monsanto Tribunal was held from October 14th to October 16th in The Hague, Netherlands at the headquarters of the International Court of Justice. For two days, victims, experts, and witnesses from around the world shared their experiences with five internationally renowned judges in order to assess Monsanto’s activities, particularly in terms of the right to food, the right to health, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to information.

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Peasants Negotiating a Global Policy Space

9781138214873Being the public voice of over 180 member organisations across nearly 90 countries, La Vía Campesina, the global peasant movement, has planted itself firmly on the international scene. A new book by Ingeborg Gaarde explores the internationalisation of the movement, with a specific focus on the engagement of peasants in the processes of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Since the reform of the CFS in 2009, civil society actors engage in the policy processes of this UN Committee from a self-designed and autonomous global Civil Society Mechanism. The author sheds light on the strategies, tensions, debates, and reconfigurations arising from rural actors moving between every day struggles in the fields and those of the UN arena.

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Neuerscheinung: SDGs für die Bundesländer

GPF-Briefing_0117_SDGs_BundeslanderDie Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda und der in ihr enthaltenen Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) ist nicht allein Aufgabe der Bundesregierung. Auch den Bundesländern kommt in den Bereichen, für die sie Kompetenzen besitzen und über Kapazitäten verfügen, eine besondere Rolle in der Verwirklichung der Agenda zu. So haben diverse Bundesländer bereits im Vorfeld der Verabschiedung der 2030-Agenda die Gelegenheit ergriffen und ihre jeweiligen Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien bzw. Entwicklungspolitischen Leitlinien überarbeitet. Das vorliegende Briefing fasst die Ergebnisse eines zeitgleich erscheinenden Berichts von Uwe Kerkow zusammen, der ebenfalls von Global Policy Forum herausgegeben wird.

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Workshop: Globale Partnerschaften

GPF_Logo_4CkDie 2030-Agenda und ihre Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) messen sogenannten Partnerschaften zwischen öffentlichen und privaten Akteuren eine wichtige Rolle bei. Bereits seit der Jahrtausendwende gab es einen regelrechten Partnerschaftsboom. Diverse globale Partnerschaften und Multi-Akteurs-Initiativen, u.a. in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Ernährung und Energie, wurden seitdem ins Leben gerufen. Dem Boom liegt die Annahme zugrunde, Regierungen seien allein weder strukturell noch finanziell in der Lage, die globalen Probleme zu bewältigen. Kooperationen, die Wirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft einschließen, gelten dagegen als pragmatisch, lösungsorientiert und effektiv. Für die Umsetzung der SDGs gelten sie bei Vielen als unentbehrlich. In unserem Workshop wollen wir gemeinsam mit Akteuren aus Politik, Zivilgesellschaft und Wissenschaft diese Fragen mit Blick auf verschiedene globale Partnerschaften in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Ernährung und Energie diskutieren. Gemeinsam wollen wir überlegen, wie Politik und Zivilgesellschaft zukünftig mit solchen globalen Partnerschaften umgehen sollen. Wo bestehen Grenzen bzw. Risiken des Partnerschaftsansatzes? Welche Alternativen gibt es? Welche Regeln und Standards wären notwendig, um Rechenschaftspflicht und Transparenz zu stärken und Interessenkonflikte zu vermeiden?

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Illicit Financial Flows Undermining Gender Justice

12984This paper explores some of the links between tax- and gender justice at the global level by highlighting two central ways in which illicit financial flows and gender injustice are connected. First, through the effects of tax evasion and avoidance and secondly, through the role of financial secrecy jurisdictions and global networks of facilitators which enable illicit financial flows which result from trafficking in women. The paper argues that confronting and dismantling the global enablers and secrecy jurisdictions will be beneficial not only for transparency and global equality but also for achieving greater gender equality and the respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of women and girls. The analysis ends with a list of policy recommendations for the global as well as the national level and thus provides guidance for combating tax evasion, avoidance and dodging, as well as money laundering derived from criminal activities.

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“Morality cannot be legislated, but behaviour can be regulated”

GPF-Briefing_1216_Zweite_Tagung_TreatyAm 26. Juni 2014 setzte der Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen (UN) auf Initiative Ecuadors und Südafrikas eine Arbeitsgruppe ein, um ein rechtsverbindliches Instrument zu formulieren, mit dem transnationale Konzerne (TNCs) und andere Wirtschaftsunternehmen für Menschenrechtsverstöße zur Verantwortung gezogen werden können. Vom 6.-10. Juli 2015 tagte die Arbeitsgruppe zum ersten Mal. Ein neues GPF-Briefing berichtet über die zweite Tagung, die vom 24.-28. Oktober 2016 statt fand.

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The Corporate Crime Principles

CCHR-0929-FinalThe Corporate Crimes Principles were developed by a group of eminent legal experts, with the support of ICAR and Amnesty International, to encourage State actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They were developed following extensive global consultations with investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and civil society actors. The Principles provide practical guidance on issues such as: case selection, evidence collection, identifying tools, resources and strategies for effectively pursuing such cases, cross-border collaboration, and victims’ access to justice and witness protection.

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Options for Strengthening Global Tax Governance

12958The 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.

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180 countries adopt landmark public health decisions on tobacco control

caiAt the conclusion of the seventh session of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty negotiations, governments representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population adopted policies that will protect public health over the narrow interests of the tobacco industry. These include tools to hold Big Tobacco legally liable for the harms of its products, recover healthcare costs, facilitate access to justice for victims of tobacco-related disease, and safeguard public health policymaking from the industry at the national and international level. Advance policies to hold industry legally liable and protect policymaking despite Big Tobacco’s attempts to undermine talks.

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EU Action Plan on SDGs overlooks human rights risks of corporate activity

A new plan of the EU Commission to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overlooks the urgent need to address the negative impacts the private sector has on people and the planet. ECCJ, the European civil society coalition working on corporate accountability, believes the Commission’s plan does not reflect the responsibility of companies to respect human rights, throughout their operations and supply chains, and their primary obligation to do no harm by preventing and mitigating abuses.

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Fragile! Handle with Care: Multinationals and Conflict

Report-FragileA new report by SOMO reveals that multinational companies operating in conflict-affected areas often lack proper policies for how to deal with conflict situations – thereby running the risk of contributing to human rights violations and sparking renewed conflict. To meaningfully contribute to peace, multinationals must act with much greater care in situations of fragility and conflict.

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