Proposals, conflicts and prospects on the way to the Summit of the Future 2024 and the Financing for Development Conference 2025

Calls for reforms of the international financial architecture are becoming ever louder. Governments, UN institutions, expert groups and civil society organizations are criticizing the fact that the network of institutions and rules that currently determine global monetary and financial policy and control global financial flows are not up to the current crises. The international financial architecture is “outdated, dysfunctional and unfair”, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

In view of these challenges, the UN Member States made the reform of [...]

From October 23 to 27, 2023, 76 states met at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council to negotiate an international human rights treaty to regulate companies and their value chains (also known as the “UN Treaty”). Since the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 26/9 in 2014 and mandated an intergovernmental working group to draft such legally binding instrument, it has met nine times. After a slow start, the process has emerged surprisingly stronger from the ninth round of [...]

The adequate mobilization of climate finance remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Under the United Nations (UN) climate agreements, rich countries have pledged to support the global South in the fight against climate change and the associated human rights violations through financial transfers. However, the repeated failure to meet the corresponding target of providing US$ 100 billion per year has led to diplomatic tensions and is one of the main reasons for the lack of success in [...]

A rapid analysis of the Rockefeller Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Private foundations play an increasingly important and influential role in global health; however, this role has been poorly monitored and largely unevaluated, prompting calls for greater accountability. At a minimum level, clear information should be provided about their grant-making activities. We describe the global health granting patterns of three private foundations: the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), the Wellcome Trust (WT), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), using data publicly available on their websites, for the years 2018 – 2020 [...]

The increasing fragmentation of the global health architecture through ever new multi-stakeholder initiatives

National and regional go-it-alone efforts characterized government action against the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), as the overarching and coordinating health body, to ensure equitable and efficient distribution of vaccines and other necessary medical products to contain the pandemic was not heeded. Several governments, philanthropic foundations, and the WHO launched the global multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI) Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) at short notice, with participation of pharmaceutical industry and other MSIs, as a key [...]

The World Bank is considered to be the most important multilateral development bank (MDB). Since it was founded in 1944 at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference to finance the reconstruction of war-torn Europe, it has reinvented itself several times. The most significant change was the transformation from a reconstruction bank to a development bank. Today, the World Bank finances exclusively in countries of the global South, while continuing to be controlled by the economic powers of the global [...]

An international agreement on business and human rights (“UN treaty”) in the sense of a feminist foreign and development policy

In spring 2023, guidelines for a feminist foreign and development policy were presented to the German Federal Cabinet. An international treaty on business and human rights, as negotiated in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council since 2014, would address the discriminatory global power structures and structural causes of global inequality and contribute to a systemic change in the sense of a feminist foreign and development policy. Women and marginalized groups are particularly affected by exploitative business practices in global [...]

GPW Round Up #5

This GPW Round Up – 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5): Highlights from High-Level Roundtable discussions at LDC5 – features a selection of perspectives from different groups of participants at the LDC5 Conference held in March 2023.

GPW Round Up #4

This GPW Round Up #4, UN 2023 Water Conference: Highlights from the conference in UN year for Water Action and Focus, features a selection of perspectives from different groups of participants at the UN Water Conference held in March 2023.

An EU mandate for negotiations on an international agreement on business and human rights

The European Union (EU) is on the verge of introducing an EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). An agreement among the EU institutions involved is to be reached by the end of 2023. This also brings the EU’s active participation in negotiations at the United Nations (UN) level on an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights, also known as a “UN treaty,” ever closer. After all, it is in the EU’s interest that high standards apply [...]