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Conversation with authors of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

Reclaiming policies for the public: Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality - assessments and alternatives

Baha'i International Community, Suite 120 (first floor)
866 UN Plaza, New York
18 July 2017, 1:15-2:45pm

A global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions present the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 report. The report provides a comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2017 edition focuses on privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and the impact they have on sustainability and inequality. The articles and textboxes cover all sectors of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. According to the report, it is time to counter privatization trends, reclaim public policy space and take bold measures to strengthen public finance, regulate or reject PPPs, and weaken the grip of corporate power on people’s lives. These are indispensable prerequisites to achieve the SDGs and to turn the vision of the transformation of our world, as proclaimed in the title of the 2030 Agenda, into reality.

At the roundtable event authors of the Spotlight Report will present key findings and recommendations to participants for discussion.

Speakers include Barbara Adams/Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum), Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Ziad Abdel Samad (Arab NGO Network for Development), Corina Rodríguez Enríquez (DAWN), Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network), Kate Donald (CESR), Stefano Prato (SID), Sandra Vermuyten (PSI).

As space for this side event is limited, we kindly ask you to RSVP by 14 July 2017 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Side-Event during the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Policy Coherence and Financing for Sustainable Development With Equality

13 July 2017 | 8:15 – 9:30 AM
UN Headquarters, Conference Room E

Jointly organized by Civil Society Financing for Development Group including the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development, Femnet, Forum for Women and Democracy, Womankind Worldwide in co-operation with inter alia Society for International Development, Global Policy Forum, Brot für die Welt, MISEREOR, Christian Aid, Social Watch and many more.

The pursuit of the 2030 Agenda requires UN Member States to provide the necessary regulatory and financial means, including the removal of structural barriers to social, economic, and ecological transformation of countries both in the global North and South as well as  the fulfilment of human rights. While the need for scaling-up financial resources, particularly public investments, is undeniable, there remains significant underestimation of the possible leverage generated by regulatory and policy interventions in the context of the democratization of global economic governance.

In this respect, one of the most pervasive structural obstacles come in the form of gender inequalities at all levels. Indeed, persistent production and consumption patterns and the sexual division of labor fail to properly recognize, value, reduce and redistribute unpaid domestic and care work, pushing the heavy and often hidden burden of work unevenly on women’s lives. While the need for scaling-up financing for gender equality has emerged strongly through the reviews of the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the agreement of the 2030 Agenda as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, financing alone will not be able to tackle the barriers to the realization of women’s rights. Deep contradictions remain between financing structures and international human rights frameworks and commitments.   

The political and policy space for the follow-up and review of the ‘means of implementation’ as well as the their linkages with the broader Financing for Development agenda has been established with the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum). How can the FfD Forum make a meaningful contribution to the HLPF? How can be ensured that human rights and gender equality are regarded as starting points and necessary pre-conditions for the journey as well as ends in themselves? How can both processes (HLPF and FfD Forum) benefit from each other and what role is there for civil society to play, in particular feminist and women’s rights organisations? How can the public policy space be protected from conflicts of interest in the emerging multi-stakeholder processes and strong private sector focus?

This side event will provide an interactive opportunity to discuss progress and challenges in delivering the 2030 Agenda and in particular the role of the FfD Forum and the HLPF as global policy spaces.



Corporate influence in the G20 and other international policy fora

Workshop at the Global Solidarity Summit

Hamburg, Kampnagel, room KX

Thursday, 6 July, 11:00 - 13:00

Transnational corporations and their national and international associations and lobby groups are using the G20 process as important opportunity to engage with the world’s most powerful governments, shape their discourse, and influence their decisions.

Corporations and their interest groups have become powerful actors in international policy debates on sustainable development and human rights as well. They are positioning themselves as more flexible, efficient and un-bureaucratic than states and are promoting “multi-stakeholder initiatives” and “public-private partnerships” as innovative models to tackle global problems. This rise of corporate influence goes along with a fundamental shift in economic thinking. Since the 1970s neoliberal and neoclassical thoughts became predominant. Many economists promote competition and market solutions while alternatives that include emancipatory and ecological considerations are suppressed in mainstream economics.

Business groups are constantly preaching economic growth as a panacea and a sine qua non condition for prosperity, ignoring more sophisticated concepts of sustainability; they urge the G20 to “optimize” and “re-evaluate” regulations intended to lessen the risk of another global financial crisis; they call on governments to strengthen investment protection and promotion agreements that de facto give priority to investors’ rights over human rights and the environment; they promote PPPs that minimize the risk for the private investor at the expense of the public; and they push for preferential treatment for the business lobby in global governance. Corporate actors often use a double strategy to achieve their goals. On the one hand they demonstrate their willingness to cooperate by participating in non-binding dialogues and multi-stakeholder initiatives. On the other hand, they use various methods to influence discourses and massive legal and political pressure against governments to avoid compulsory regulation.

The workshop assesses the extent of corporate influence in the G20, as well as in the United Nations debates on business and human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It discusses policies and safeguards to counteract corporate power and presents related civil society initiatives.

Speakers include:

  • Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum
  • Nancy Alexander, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
  • Klaus Schilder, Misereor
  • Sarah Lincoln, Brot für die Welt
  • Theresa Neef, „Was ist Ökonomie?" Berlin

Facilitator: Heike Löschmann, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Organizers: Brot für die Welt, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Global Policy Forum, Misereor, "Was ist Ökonomie?" Berlin

Download the flyer here.


 

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