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 [...]

Perspectives on the future of international cooperation in times of multiple crises

This new report Spotlight on Global Multilateralism offers critical analyses and presents recommendations for strengthening democratic multilateral structures and policies. Its contributors cover key areas such as peace and common security, reforms of the global financial architecture, calls for a New Social Contract, an inclusive digital future, the rights of future generations and the transformation of education systems. The report also identifies built-in deficiencies and weaknesses of current multilateral structures and approaches. This applies, inter alia, to concepts of corporate-influenced [...]

United Nations score success

The United Nations Financing for Development Forum 2023, which was recently held over four days in New York, was dominated by multiple crises. Setbacks to the 2030 Agenda have increased political pressure to make substan­tial progress on financing for development. The chapters in the outcome document on taxation and debt issues were particularly vigorously negotiated. African countries in particular want to further strengthen the UN’s work on taxation. With the escalating debt crisis, it is also becoming more important [...]