On 31 October 2011 the Reflection Group submitted a statement to the secretariat of the Rio+20 Conference to be held in June 2012. It was prepared during a drafting session in October in New Paltz, NY and highlights some of the issues and proposals that will come up in the final report of the Reflection Group again. The final report will come out in spring of 2012 after a final meeting of the Group.

An interim balance of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Central African Region

In numerous countries, the exploitation of mineral and fossil natural resources is resulting in violations of human rights, rising poverty and violence. Many partner organisations of “Brot für die Welt” and MISEREOR are campaigning for the people affected. They are urging that those concerned actually benefit from the exploitation of natural resources in their countries, that they can realise their human rights, that the environment is not destroyed, and, above all, that they are comprehensively informed about plans, projects and [...]

Interim assessment of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Central African Region

“We share a belief that the prudent use of natural resource wealth should be an important engine for sustainable economic growth that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction, but if not nmanaged properly, can create negative economic and social impacts”(EITI Principle 1)

In 2000, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) launched the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign to oblige corporations and governments to disclose payments in the context of natural resource extraction and oil and gas production. The aim [...]

Development Models and Indicators of Well-being Beyond the MDGs

Over the years since the Millennium Summit, the MDGs have proved to be an instrument of development policy that is both effective as publicity and suitable for campaigns. They are easy to understand and to communicate to a broader public. The civil society and UN campaigns on the MDGs have contributed to enhancing public awareness of the problems of poverty and hunger in the countries of the South – including not only those people especially concerned with development. Under the [...]

Towards an Agenda for Change

The financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009 only reached the developing world with a time lag. At least in parts of the Global South the crisis is having a huge social and economic impact. As a result, the prospects of achieving the internationallyagreed developing goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by2015 are receding ever more into distance.But the crisis has also brought about a change in the economic policy discourse. The blind faith of neo-liberal economists and the overnments [...]

Documentation of a workshop held at the ACUNS annual meeting 6 June 2008

Having seen dynamic developments in the 1990s, relations between the United Nations (UN) and civil society are now at a critical stage. The number of private actors participating in international negotiations has been increasing and led to a more extensive involvement of these actors in global policy processes. But all attempts to extend formal participatory rights for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the UN have failed so far.

Some governments have responded rather defensively to the increasing (quantitative) presence of non-state [...]

Midpoint Review and Prospects for the Future

Jens Martens and Tobias Debiel point out that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are much less ambitious than previous international development goals. Even so, the UN, World Bank and NGOs agree that most countries will not achieve most of the MDGs on time. The authors further argue that the MDGs fail to deal with the structural root causes of poverty, such as unequal distribution of wealth, land and political power, as well as unfair global trade rules.(Institute for Development [...]

The Ruggie Report 2008: Background, Analysis and Perspectives
Global Policy Forum's Jens Martens gives a critical analysis of the 2008 report by UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights John Ruggie – "Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights." Martens calls the report "a description of the status quo" that does not leave the door open for developing new ideas on international law and corporate responsibility. Martens offers concrete steps, based on Ruggie's recommendations, towards increasing corporate accountability, such as creating an International [...]
Analyzed (July 2008)

This paper discusses the main causes of the steep run-up in global food prices and the resulting spread of hunger to nearly a billion people worldwide. Authors James A. Paul and Katarina Wahlberg conclude that biofuels and the agro-industrial approach to food production are the main culprits of the food crisis. The paper looks at a wide range of factors endangering nutrition for all, including population growth, unsustainable consumption, international trade policy and climate change. The authors argue for effective [...]

Global Policy Forum's Katarina Wahlberg criticizes the World Bank's proposal to create a Green Revolution in Africa. By focusing on boosting agricultural production through scientific development of more productive crops, the Bank disregards the fact that the Earth's biological systems cannot be exploited forever. The supporters of the new Green Revolution also fail to address the major causes of the global food crisis, including biofuel production and unsustainable global consumption of meat. The author calls for a shift from industrial [...]