Global Policy Forum

Global Policy Forum

Strengthening public participation at the UN for Sustainable Development

UNDESA_MGs__ReportIn a report commissioned by UN DESA/DSD Major Groups Programme in response to the Rio+20 outcome document, Barbara Adams and Lou Pingeot (Policy Advisors at GPF but acting in their personal capacities) take stock of the reviews of the history of Major Groups' engagement with the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and highlight examples of best practices that were deemed successful and efficient and those that did not work. Furthermore, they identify lessons learned from the experience and concerns raised by participants interviewed in the preparation of the report. Although the study finds support for the Major Groups framework, it also denotes serious issues and concerns - not all specific to the Major Groups framework - that should be addressed in a future interface with the high level political forum that will be replacing the CSD from September 2013 onwards. Finally, the study highlights best practices emerging from the CSD experience and other UN processes that should be replicated. Options and recommendations for consideration by Member States, the UN, Major Groups and other stakeholders are identified throughout and highlighted in the conclusion.

Read more...
 

The Battle to Keep Water Out of the Internal Market - a Test Case for Democracy in Europe

8609554423_6032da5885_n
Picture Credit: flickr.com/nico.herzog

A new European Directive is threatening to privatize Europe’s municipal water services by requiring even those municipalities with minimal use of the private sector to offer their contract to EU-wide bidding. This would allow large multinationals like Suez and Veolia to expand their operations. In addition, Troika resolutions on the financial crises in Greece and Portugal have resulted in several public water utilities being put on the market for privatization. Although the European Commission sees privatization as the way forward, the directive has faced much opposition from the public and civil society groups that want water services to be exempted from it. Recently, approximately 1.3 million Europeans petitioned to recognize water as a human right. Privatization would likely contradict this with putting profits back in the hands of companies that own and run water systems, rather than improving services for the people.

Read more...
 

Looking for Answers After CAR Coup d'Etat

2420888111_4681cb86ae_m
Picture Credit: flickr.com/hdptcar

The President of Central Africa Republic (CAR) has fled the country after being ousted by armed groups. The Séléka rebels of CAR have taken control of the capital, and issued a statement claiming that they will hold elections early next year. Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the coup, and the African Union has suspended CAR’s membership. One of the rebel leaders, Michel Djotodia, has declared himself interim president, but not all Séléka factions endorse that claim. The Séléka argue that their demands under the January peace deal with the government have been ignored. According to the NGO Conciliation Resources in CAR and many other observers, political turmoil was inevitable because the recent peace deal was drafted by an Economic Community of Central African States commission - not by the warring parties. Despite CAR’s history of power sharing agreements and political dialogue, four coups have been launched between 1996 and 2003.

Read more...
 

Mali: Old Wine in New Bottles?

Le_Mali_arrte_des_informateurs_dal-Qaida_5954087853
Picture Credit:
wikipedia.org/magharebia

The French government attempted to justify its military intervention in Mali on humanitarian and security grounds. Francois Hollande’s government argued that the Islamist forces in Mali represented an intolerable threat to the human rights of Malian citizens as well as the security of West Africa and Europe. Despite its public relations efforts, the French government has not been able to avoid accusations of neocolonialism. Some have argued France has failed to abjure its outmoded paternalistic-colonial tendencies, while other critics suggest more immediate economic concerns motivated the intervention. Regardless of the actual reason for the campaign, France seems unwilling or unable to extricate its contemporary foreign policies from its colonial legacy. 

Read more...
 

Civil Society Wants Bigger Role in Green Climate Fund Planning

Civil_Society_Wants_Bigger_Role_in_Green_Climate_Fund_Planning
Picture Credit: iatp.org

Civil society groups are bothered by their limited level of access and participation during discussions concerning the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Created in 2010 under the UNFCCC framework, the GCF has received pledges of $30 billion from developed countries that will be used for aiding developing countries in their adaptation and mitigation efforts against climate change. However, just $7 billion have been contributed to date, partly because of the current economic situation, and discussions are now centered on the potential role of the private sector in donor contributions. Several fear that limiting the role of civil society groups in discussions surrounding matters with a large impact on communities will significantly impact the success of the GCF. Janet Redman from the Institute for Policy Studies suggests that when considering private sector financing it is important to source from local companies that will help build the economy rather than multinationals looking to profit from vulnerable populations. However, the difficulty in channeling private financing to those most in need is a strong case for public funding for the GCF.

Read more...
 
Page 1 of 113

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.