Global Policy Forum

Past Events

Print

Conferences, Roundtables, Luncheons and Other Events


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | Archived events


2017

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.

Side-events during the 2017 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up

How a UN Intergovernmental Tax Body could tackle illicit financial flows and advance progressive and gender responsive tax systems

Monday, May 22, 2017 | 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. | Conference Room B

Organised by the CSO for FfD Group together with the Women’s Working Group on FfD

The AAAA is unequivocal in its “stress that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope and should fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries”. At the same time, there are issues on the international tax co-operation agenda that are currently not advancing rapidly enough and thus risk placing mobilization of domestic resources at risk.

These include tackling illicit financial flows which if developing countries are fully represented in international tax co-operation would put forward as a key concern with an ambitious definition that includes abusive tax practices under the AAAA and SDG target 16.4 on Illicit Financial Flows. Similarly, tax incentives could be discussed from the perspective of both developed and developing countries in a context where developing countries have a greater reliance on corporate income taxes (CIT) in relation to developed nations. Similarly developing countries depend far more on withholding taxes that are undermined by tax treaties that privilege residence countries over source countries. Greater tax co-operation could also advance gender responsive tax rules that take into account the large unpaid care work burden of women outside of the formal labour market.

This side-event will consider what international tax co-operation would look like from the perspective of developing countries, and map out concrete pathways for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Body for International Cooperation in Tax Matters where all countries will be democratically represented – and that is guided by the overarching aim of fulfillment of human rights, sustainable development and gender equality.

Moderator: Pooja Rangaprasad, Policy Coordinator, Financial Transparency Coalition

  • Andrew Chikowore, Advisor - Public Accountability and Tax Justice at ActionAid Tanzania
  • Kathleen Lahey, Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Kingston Ontario, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Jason Braganza, Deputy Executive Director, Tax Justice Network - Africa
  • Carola Iniguez Zambrano, Undersecretary of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ecuador


Public-Private Interfaces

New models of interaction between the public and private actors, successes and challenges and their meaning for development finance and the eradication of poverty

Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 8.00 ‑ 9.30 AM

United Nations Headquarters ‑ Conference Room B

The traditional models of interaction between public and private sectors, largely based on corporate regulation and public procurement, are relatively well understood and accepted. However, the most recent wave of economic globalization has been accompanied by a widened process of commodification with the effect that a widening range of goods and services are now being provided by market actors rather than states. At the same time, the classic models of public-private interaction have been challenged by the rise of new types of financing instruments that to variable degrees have introduced private actors in areas that were traditionally in the remit of public sector, like in the financing of infrastructures. The phenomenon of public concessions and benefits towards the private sector is fast evolving and clearly much broader than what usually is understood to be a public-private partnership, and it includes other modalities of interaction that should be critical catalogued and assessed.

Looking at this discussion within the context of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, with the central goal to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, this side-event intends to take a closer look at those new and old forms of public-private interaction and introduce the wider concept of public-private interfaces (PPIs) as an increasingly prominent dimension of the landscape of international development cooperation ‑ with significant ramifications beyond traditional actors that have dominated past development decades. The side event will therefore explore public-private interfaces for their capability to both achieve developmental outcomes, such as the eradication of poverty, highlight risks, and elaborate how to ensure adequate accountability to citizens for the use of public resources.

Preliminary programme

Opening remarks and presentation of the PPI concept and process: Stefano Prato, Civil Society Financing for Development Group

Comments and interventions by:

  • H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations (invited)
  • H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations (invited)
  • Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist: Development Finance, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP (invited)
  • Mr. Joe Klock, Representative to the UN and Vice President, New Humanity

Moderator: Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum

Lead Organizers: Civil Society FfD Group (including the Women’s Working Group on FfD), NGO Committee on FfD, NGO Committee on Social Development

Facilitating Organizations (preliminary list): Brot für die Welt, Christian Aid, Eurodad, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, Global Policy Forum, MISEREOR, Society for International Development (SID), New Humanity, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Medical Mission Sisters, Pax Christi International, Sisters of Charity Federation, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, VIVAT International

Public Panel

Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment through Human Rights

Friday March 17, 2017, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Church Center for the UN
777 First Avenue, 10thFloor
New York, NY, 10017

In cooperation with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office, Public Services International (PSI), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

International leaders and civil society activists will soon convene again at the UN Headquarters in New York for the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), which will take place from March 13 to 24, 2017. This year, the Commission will address the issue of women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, a subject of uttermost importance to tackle persistent gender inequalities. Today, most of the world’s poor are working, and the majority of those are women. This clearly shows how employment, while essential for development, is not enough to guarantee the economic rights of millions of women.

The legal barriers posed by the formal and informal economies, the lack of a gendered perspective in policy and planning processes, and the persistent disparities in the labor market pose difficult challenges to women’s advancement in the economic sphere. Trying to cope with the failures of neoliberalism to secure substantive equality, an international commitment becomes imperative.

We are co-organizing a Parallel Event along with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Public Services International (PSI), DAWN, and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

This panel will bring together researchers and activists to assess the current situation of women in the working world. The speakers will explore the importance of a global response for achieving women’s economic empowerment, from a perspective that takes the framework of human rights as a pathway to fulfill social justice. They will do so by assessing the contributions and shortcomings of this approach, outlining the situation of women workers in the global economy, and highlighting the challenges and opportunities of advocacy efforts for women’s economic rights within the international realm.

Speakers:

Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Gita Sen, General Coordinator, DAWN
Barbara Adams, Board Chair, GPF
Gloria Mills, Equalities National Secretary, Unison UK – PSI
Jennifer Fish, Chair of Women’s Studies, Old Dominion University

Facilitator: Stefanie Ehmsen, Co-director, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office

Free and open to the public. Registration here.

Download the flyer here.

2016

Side Event

Corporate Accountability and Influence in the UN

Current Trends in the Governance of Business & Human Rights, Global Health, Agriculture, Food and Nutrition

25 October 2016, 18.30-20.30 | The Graduate Institute, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Geneva
Room: Auditorium A2

Jointly organized by: FIAN International, Global Policy Forum, Social Watch, Society for International Development, Third World Network, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and the Environmental Student Committee of the Graduate Institute

The international debate surrounding the environmental, social and human rights responsibilities of corporations has been gaining momentum. Growing public criticism of transnational corporations and banks has contributed to this debate. The list of criticisms is long: pollution scandals, disregard for basic labour and human rights standards, massive bribery allegations, on top of widespread corporate tax avoidance.

At the same time, corporations and their interest groups have become powerful actors in international policy debates on poverty eradication, development, the environment and human rights. They are themselves positioning 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 issues.

Corporate actors often use a double strategy to achieve their goals. On the one hand they demonstrate their willingness to cooperate by participating in these kinds of non-binding dialogues and multi-stakeholder initiatives. On the other hand they use massive legal and political pressures against governments to avoid compulsory regulation. Corporations and their interest groups use various methods to influence discourses and political decision-making processes – including the discussions about food and nutrition at the Committee of World Food Security (CFS), the discussions on global health at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the business and human rights agenda of the UN.

On the other hand, there are emerging initiatives of civil society and some governments to counteract corporate power and to establish binding rules for transnational corporations. With the Working Group “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”, for the first time since decades, an intergovernmental body of the UN has been established to address the international regulation of corporations.

The panel will assess the state of corporate influence in the business and human rights debates, in global health, the agriculture, food and nutrition policy domains. It will discuss possible policies and safeguards such as WHO’s Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors (FENSA) and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that have been put in place to protect against conflicts of interest in these respective domains. It will also inform about further debates to regulate the UN’s engagement with private actors such as the discussions in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR).

Speakers:

  • Flavio Valente (FIAN International)
  • Barbara Adams (Global Policy Forum)
  • Roberto Bissio (Social Watch)
  • Mirza Alas (Third World Network)
  • Nathalie Rengifo (Corporate Accountability International)
  • Stefano Prato (Society for International Development)

Download the invitation and the programme here.

Corporate accountability and influence in the UN

Challenges for the new Secretary-General and the UN

Panel Discussion
4 October 2016, 1:00-3:00 pm | Church Center, 2nd Floor, 777 UN Plaza, New York City

The international debate surrounding the environmental, social and human rights responsibilities of corporations has been gaining momentum. Growing public criticism of transnational corporations and banks has contributed to this debate. The list of criticisms is long: pollution scandals, disregard for basic labour and human rights standards, massive bribery allegations, on top of widespread corporate tax avoidance strategies.

Confronting this reality is a historic decision of the UN Human Rights Council (of 26 June 2014) to establish an intergovernmental working group “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”. For the first time since decades, an intergovernmental body of the UN was established to address the international regulation of corporations.

The second session of the intergovernmental working group is scheduled for 24-28 October 2016 in Geneva.

The panel will assess the state of the current debate, discuss the pros and cons and the potential content of a legally binding instrument (or a treaty), and explore links to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and to the agenda and responsibilities of the incoming Secretary-General.

Speakers include:

  • Jens Martens/Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum
  • H.E. Horacio Sevilla, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations*
  • Dominic Renfrey, Corporate Accountability and Economic Policy Program Coordinator, ESCR-Net
  • James Hare, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

* to be confirmed

Download the invitation and the programme here.

Please RSVP by 30 September 2016 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

A Good or Bad Start?

Civil Society Reflection Group Report Launch: Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2016

Jointly organized by: Arab NGO Network for Development, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, Third World Network, Global Policy Forum and Social Watch with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Date: July 11, 2016, 6:15-7:30 pm
Venue: Conference Room D in the UN Conference Building, New York

Independent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges are key factors for the success of the SDGs. It is for this reason, a global alliance of civil society organizations and networks has agreed to produce an annual Spotlight Report assessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the structural obstacles in its realization. The report puts a spotlight on the fulfillment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues.

What are currently the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs? Are there transnational spill over effects that influence or even undermine the implementation of the goals? Are the current policy approaches, as they are reflected, inter alia, in the 2030 Agenda, an adequate response to the challenges and obstacles (or are they part of the problem)? What has to be done? Which specific policy changes (at international level) are necessary?

At the side event key findings and recommendations of the global Spotlight Report will be presented.

Speakers: Barbara Adams/Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum), Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Ziad Abdel Samad (Arab NGO Network), Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network), and others.

Contributing partners of the report include: ATD Fourth World, ITUC, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Public Services International, Global Alliance for Tax Justice, International Centre for Adult Education, ETC Group, NGO Mining Working Group at the UN, What Next Forum, Council of Canadians, Society for International Development, Global Action to Prevent War, Ecoropa and more.

Download the invitation here.

Please RSVP by 10 July 2016 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Civil Society Exchange

“Shadowing SDG-implementation”

Civil Society Action for meaningful participation and accountability

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Baha'i International Community | 866 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, Suite 120 (first floor)
Jointly organized by: alliance sud, Equipo Pueblo, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, ECESR, GPF, Social Watch Philippines, Social Watch, kepa and VENRO.


Shadow reporting is a well-established tool of civil society when it comes to holding governments accountable. A number of CSOs have already started to prepare shadow or spotlight reports or similar monitoring accounts to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda, especially its 17 goals and 169 targets. The main focus in this first year’s reports was to devise and discuss methodologies and to monitor governments’ efforts on drafting national implementation plans or strategies. In future reports they will point to governments’ short-comings in the implementation and highlight issues relevant for the successful achievement of the SDGs which have not been raised by their governments so far.

The aims of the event are thus to:

  • present a number of CSO shadow reports on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability as examples of good reporting practice
  • engage government and CSO-representatives in a discussion on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability with a specific focus on “leaving no one behind”
  • provide a space for mutual exchange and peer learning regarding national challenges and methods of CSO shadow reporting       

As space for this side event is limited, we kindly ask you to RSVP until July 10th.

Download the invitation and programme here.

“Shadowing SDG-implementation”

Civil Society Action for meaningful participation and accountability

Date: July 11, 2016 | 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue: Conference Room E in the UN Conference Building, New York
Jointly organized by: alliance sud, Equipo Pueblo, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, ECESR, GPF, Social Watch Philippines, Social Watch, kepa and VENRO.


Shadow reporting is a well-established tool of civil society when it comes to holding governments accountable. A number of CSOs have already started to prepare shadow or spotlight reports or similar monitoring tools to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda, especially its 17 goals and 169 targets. The main focus in this first year’s reports was to devise and discuss methodologies and to monitor governments’ efforts on drafting national implementation plans or strategies. In future reports they will point to governments’ short-comings in the implementation and highlight issues relevant for successful achievement of the SDGs which have not been raised by their governments so far.

The event aims to:

  • present a number of CSO shadow reports on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability as examples of good reporting practice; and
  • to engage government and CSO-representatives in a discussion on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability with specific focus on “leaving no one behind”

Speakers include: Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Areli Sandoval (Mexico, Equipo Pueblo), Daniel Jüttner (VENRO) / Marie-Luise Abshagen (German NGO Forum on Environment and Development), Marivic Raquiza (Social Watch Philippines), Jürg Staudmann (AllianceSud – Swiss Alliance of Development Organizations, Switzerland) and Mahinour El Badrawi (ECESR, Egypt)

Download invitation and programme here.


How to hold the 'rich and powerful' accountable in the 2030 Agenda

Roundtable discussion on monitoring, review and SDG indicators

Jointly organized by dAWN, Third World Network, Social Watch
8 March 2016, 1-3 pm
Baha'i International Community, 866 UN Plaza, New York

The 2030 Agenda adopted at the highest level in September 2015 has the potential to change the prevailing development paradigm by re-emphasizing the multidimensional character of sustainable development and its universal applicability.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda depends on the adoption of appropriate strategies and policies, available resources and other means of implementation. Accountability mechanisms are important tools for strengthening political commitment and effectiveness. Thus the success of the new Agenda relies a lot on adopting adequate mechanisms and indicators for the monitoring of progress or regressive developments in achieving the goals.

But monitoring and review should not be reduced to the implementation of the SDGs and their related targets. The monitoring of outputs or outcomes alone is by no means sufficient. Rather, policies and policy changes should be scrutinized. In particular, monitoring and review should include the structural obstacles to the implementation of the SDGs and disclose the actors and vested interests behind them.

As we are entering the implementation phase of the 2030 Agenda, it is necessary to identify the obstacles to the achievement of the SDGs and the ways to address them. This includes the need to analyze and reconsider the approach to work with indicators: Does the proposed set of SDG indicators reflect adequately the goals and aspirations of the 2030 Agenda and its universal character? What are structural and political obstacles to be addressed within and around the work on indicators? How can the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities be operationalized in the formulation and weighting of indicators? And what does this mean for the role of the UN and the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF)?

The Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development invites you to a discussion on these issues.

Panelists include:

  • Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum
  • Nicole Bidegain, DAWN
  • Roberto Bissio, Social Watch
  • Kate Donald, Center for Economic and Social Rights

Invitation (pdf, 150 KB)

Please RSVP by 4 March 2016 to sarahdayringer[ät]globalpolicy.org.

This event is supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

2015

Global tax reform Beyond BEPS

Side-event during the meeting of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | 13-15h
Room XXIV (tbc), Palais des Nations, Geneva
Jointly organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, MISEREOR, Global Policy Forum, Global Alliance for Tax Justice and Alliance Sud in cooperation with the ICRICT

Fair taxation can help in fighting inequality, realizing human rights, and ensuring the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, a succession of reports of tax dodging by multinational corporations have cast the spotlight on the need for reform of the international tax system. It has also become evident that international tax avoidance makes use of tax havens and the offshore secrecy system, which also facilitates capital flight and money laundering for criminal and terrorist purposes.

Recognizing the need for reform, in 2013, the G20 gave its support to the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative. The OECD has delivered the final reports and published them on 5 October 2015. This provides a welcome opportunity for a much wider debate, which should evaluate what progress has been made and what remains to be done. While the BEPS project clearly has made progress that would have been thought of as impossible just five years ago, it has evoked additional questions on the overall fitness of the international tax framework.
 
It is clear that even under an ambitious agenda like BEPS, issues central to the interests and priorities of developing countries, such as the source/residence taxation split and more practical measures like withholding taxes remain to be discussed. Moreover, the lack of full global representation in the BEPS process has revealed the current insufficiency of global governance on tax matters as was made evident at the recent Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During these negotiations, developing countries proposed an upgrade of the existing Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body. While, in the end, the proposal did not make it into the outcome of the conference, the proposal and the arguments for it are not off the table.

The first meeting of this Committee after the Addis Ababa conference is a fitting occasion to discuss ways forward in inclusive global tax reform. Find an invitation to a side event on October 20, 2015, attached to this e-mail.

It is clear that a much wider global debate is needed to ensure a fair and effective reform of international taxation. One strong voice which aims to contribute to such a debate is that of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, an initiative bringing together renowned experts from the fields of finance, tax and the economy, including José Antonio Ocampo (Chair), Eva Joly, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Magdalena Sepúlveda.

Invitation and program (pdf, 1,3 MB)

Fit for whose purpose?

Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations

27 July 2015, 1:15-2:45pm | Conference Room 7 | UN Headquarters, New York

The Post-2015 Agenda is being shaped at a time of challenge for multilateralism. Multi-stakeholder partnerships and deeper engagement with the business sector are being positioned as central pillars for implementation as well as for mobilizing and leveraging the trillions of dollars needed.

This direction is not taking into account the recent pattern of UN development funding, a pattern which has been characterized by underfunding on the one hand and increased earmarking of funding from donors, public and private, on the other. A continuation of this pattern might undermine the integration of economic, social and environmental policies and programmes – the essence of the agenda for the next 15 years.

The side event will discuss the challenge of shaping the Post-2015 Agenda, building on findings of a recently completed comprehensive study undertaken by Global Policy Forum on the practices and consequences of private funding of the UN system.

Speakers:

  • Barbara Adams and Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum
  • H.E. Guilherme Patriota, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN
  • Manuel Montes, South Centre
  • Noelene Nabulivou, DAWN
  • Alessandro Motter, IPU

Following up on Addis Ababa

What will we need to sustain the outcomes of the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development?

Side-event during the 3rd Drafting Session for the Outcome Document for FfD3
Thursday, 18 June 2015, 1 – 2:30 pm
Bahá’Í International Community Office, 866 UN Plaza, Suite 120, New York

Organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, APWLD, Regions Refocus, DAWN, SID, Latindadd, CIDSE, FTC, Eurodad, GPF, Social Watch, Third World Network, and ANND

The outcome document for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) is being finalized at the United Nations in New York. This is a key moment to make an assessment and influence the issues under negotiation to ensure progress is not lost in the interests of fact-tracking consensus. The outcome document must establish new ground on a range of issues such as combatting illicit financial flows and global tax cooperation.

Key to this is action on proposals of monitoring and accountability without repeating the mistake of leaving follow-up and review to insufficient processes. Several proposals are on the table. They range from integrating the existing FfD monitoring track into the follow-up for the Post-2015 Agenda and the work of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to creating a set of specialized bodies under the auspices of the United Nations. These would not just monitor outcomes and implementation but also carry forward the agenda with the development of new instruments and policies. One proposal, for example, is to supplement the existing expert committee on international cooperation on tax with an intergovernmental tax body with universal membership. Only in this manner, or by similar systemic reforms, proponents argue, could the challenges of the current global economic system be addressed.


Panelists include
  • H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Minami, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
  • Mr. Dominik Ziller, Deputy Director General Global processes, financing for development, effectiveness, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Mr. Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern/CIDSE
  • Ms. Nicole Bidegain, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
  • Ms. Tove Ryding, Eurodad
  • Ms. Tessa Khan, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Moderator: Mr. Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum


Wednesday, March 25, 08:30-11:00
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de Conference/Salle de Soutenance

Goals for the Rich

Indispensible for a Universal Post-2015 Agenda

Jointly organized with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Arab NGO Network for Development, Social Watch, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Third World Network

“Post-2015” is currently right in the centre of the development discourse. The UN, governments, civil society organizations and researchers are discussing what will come after the MDGs. But the “Post-2015 Agenda” must be much more than just an updated list of MDGs.

The Post-2015 process offers the opportunity to respond to changing global realities – be it the shift in geopolitical and economic power relations, or urgent global problems, such as accelerating global warming, growing inequalities, or the expansion of the global shadow financial system.

Conventional development concepts and their related goals and strategies do not provide adequate answers to these changing conditions and global problems.

That is why we need a truly universal Post-2015 Agenda that defines particularly the goals, responsibilities and commitments of rich countries. In order to overcome poverty, inequality and environmental degradation, the Post-2015 Agenda must become an “Agenda for the rich” and must include Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the rich.

The new paper of the Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives discusses how the responsibilities of the rich should be reflected in Post-2015 Agenda and its goals and targets. At the workshop we will present and discuss its key findings.

Speakers include

  • Ziad Abdel Samad (ANND)
  • Roberto Bissio (Social Watch)
  • Barbara Adams (Global Policy Forum)
  • Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum)
  • Hubert Schillinger (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)

Wednesday, 25 March, 15:00-17:30
Université de Tunis El Manar, R 107

Joining the global movement for a Treaty on human rights and corporate activity

An information and strategy session by the Treaty Alliance

Jointly organized with CCFD-Terre Solidaire/Forum citoyen pour la RSE, CIDSE, Franciscans International, FIDH, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Polaris Institute, Transnational Institute (These include members of the “Treaty Alliance”)

Civil society organizations and social movements around the world struggling against corporate abuse achieved a first victory in June last year when the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 26/9, establishing an Intergovernmental Working Group whose the mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally-binding instrument to regulate the activities of business enterprises. However, there remain important challenges to ensure that a robust treaty ensuring genuine corporate accountability and access to justice will be drafted in a participatory and transparent manner. Indeed, corporate-related abuse continues, access to remedies for victims of corporate crimes remains blatantly insufficient, and in the rush for land and natural resources, social movements and human rights defenders denouncing corporate abuse face increased repression and harassment. Civil society, social movements and affected communities' mobilization is instrumental in the struggle to put people and the planet before profits. In this context, the Treaty Alliance, a coalition of more than 600 NGOs and 400 individuals across the globe seeking corporate accountability and social and environmental justice, hosts an information and strategy workshop directed at all those interested in joining the struggle for a binding Treaty regulating corporate activity.

The aim of this workshop is to inform about the process, challenges and opportunities in the treaty development, and to enable social movements and affected communities to take an active part in the struggle for a binding treaty on human rights and corporate activity. This event will enable to share experiences, create synergies and ultimately to build strategic alliances. Participants will be encouraged to develop activities for mobilisation in their respective regions, to participate in advocacy around the process and content of the treaty discussions, and to remain engaged with the Treaty Alliance.

Speakers include

  • Francesca Restifo (Franciscans International)
  • Rose Trajano (FIDH/PHRA, Philippines)
  • Marion Cadier (FIDH)
  • Alberto Villarreal (Friends of the Earth/Dismantle Corporate Power, Uruguay)

Moderator: Brid Brennan (TNI, Netherlands tbc)


Thursday, March 26, 2015, 15:00-17:30
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de Conference/Salle de Soutenance

Stopping human and labor rights abuses by corporations

New developments in international and national regulation

Jointly organized with CCFD-Terre Solidaire/Forum citoyen pour la RSE, CIDSE, Franciscans International, FIDH, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Polaris Institute, Transnational Institute

Civil society organizations and social movements around the world are drawing attention to increasing situations of human and labor rights violations by business. There are important developments in corporate regulation both at international level and at national and regional levels. Following strong collective advocacy efforts by civil society within the “Treaty Alliance” for its establishment, the new United Nations inter-governmental working group on an international legally-binding instrument on business & human rights will hold its first meeting in July 2015. And proposals for national legislation requiring mandatory human rights due diligence by multinational companies have recently made important advances in some countries.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together a broad range of actors engaged against business impunity in order to raise awareness, share experiences, and inform strategies and collective actions. What obstacles do affected communities face in preventing and responding to human and labor rights abuses by powerful corporations (presentation of case studies)? What are current national and regional initiatives in order to promote corporate human rights due diligence obligations and access to justice? How could an international binding treaty help overcome obstacles, what are the next steps in this process, and how can organizations engage?

Speakers include

  • Rodrigo Peret (Franciscan Action for Ecology and Solidarity (AFES), Brazil)
  • Daniel Angelim (Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA))
  • Marco Zeisser (CooperAccion, Peru)
  • Mathilde Dupré (CCFD terre solidaire, France)
  • Ben Leather (International Service for Human Rights, Switzerland)
  • Dick Forslund (Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC), South Africa)

Moderator: Denise Auclair (CIDSE)


Friday, March 27, 2015, 08:30-11:00
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de Conference/Salle de Soutenance

Promoting Tax Justice by Strengthening Global Tax Governance

Jointly organized with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Arab NGO Network for Development, Global Alliance for Tax Justice, CIDSE, Eurodad, CNCD-11.11.11, MISEREOR, Oxfam, Public Services International, Action Aid and Christian Aid

International cooperation in tax matters has intensified in the last few years. Processes under the anti-BEPS framework at the OECD/G20 are proof of that. Nevertheless, countries in the global South that are suffering from the results of tax evasion and avoidance the most are still to a great deal marginalized and excluded from this. In some cases, countries in the global South are even suffering from a non-conducive global environment that limits their policy space in tax matters. For the poor, this means losing vast amounts of resources, where they could have been allocated to sustainable development.

With the Financing for Development Conference coming up in July, now is the time to set the course towards fighting tax avoidance and evasion by the rich and powerful corporations. The UN Secretary General calls for the establishment of an intergovernmental committee on tax cooperation under the auspices of the UN. Would such a committee foster dialogue and cooperation without marginalizing a majority of governments and people? Will this be a meaningful space outside the exclusive clubs of the OECD? The UN appears to be the natural place for this. But even more visionary solutions are conceivable.

Join us for a panel discussion with inputs from:

  • Firas Jaber (Arab NGO Network for Development)
  • Jorge Coronado (Latindadd/GATJ)
  • Jane Nalunga (SEATINI Uganda/ Global Alliance for Tax Justice)
  • Jean Letitia Saldanha (CIDSE)

Moderation: Teresa Marshall (Global Alliance for Tax Justice)



Friday, March 27, 2015, 11:30-14:00
Université de Tunis El Manar, Salle de Lecture 5

Securing Accountability and (a just sharing of) responsibility for the Post-2015 agenda

Jointly organized with CIDSE, Social Watch, Ibon and Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Nigeria

Civil society has put forward and worked hard to defend a vision of a new Post-2015 Agenda that will approach human rights, environmental integrity and the urgency of dealing with climate change in a way that addresses the injustice and inequity inherent in gender, social, political and economic relations at all levels.

As we approach the final phase of agreeing on the framework, there are clear indications that we are further from reaching this vision in the post-2015 agreement than ever before. The role that large corporate actors play in this regard deserves particular attention and serves as the red thread through the many obstacles faced in reaching a just and equitable agreement. Against the backdrop of corporate capture, universality, good governance, an enabling environment and similar concepts have become risk laden. The way they are being used will only serve to perpetuate the unjust distribution of power and resources in the Post-2015 world.

We need to challenge this rhetoric in a way that reveals the discrepancies between aspiration and the real agenda of those with power and influence. By putting the issue of equity at the center of discourse, more emphasis on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility could counter the singular focus on issues that are driven by vested interests, like the socalled global partnership with Corporates, opening countries financial systems to be exploited by private finance in the name of sustainable development, shifting state responsibility for fulfilling international commitments to non-state, unaccountable actors and more.

Join us for a panel discussion with inputs from (all tbc):

  • John Patrick Ngoyi (JDPC)
  • Paul Quintos (IBON)
  • Roberto Bissio (Social Watch)
  • Jean Letitia Saldanha (CIDSE)

Moderation: Barbara Adams (Global Policy Forum)

Public Panel Discussions During the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The SDG on Inequality: How Useful Can This Be for Women?

In cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and UNRISD

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Church Center of the United Nations, 10th floor
777 1st Avenue, New York

Download the flyer of this event.

The commitment to “eradicate the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women by addressing the structural causes of poverty through changes in economic structures” was one of the central promises of the Beijing Declaration, the final report of the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The lack of progress made during the twenty years since then, is sobering. On the occasion of the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office is organizing a project that examines the structural causes of poverty and seeks to develop alternatives with activists from around the world. From March 7 – 13, 2015, feminist activists and politicians from Germany, Croatia, Bolivia, Colombia, Nepal, Cambodia, and Kenya will be in New York City.

Additionally, GPF, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office and DAWN are organizing a public panel discussion. At this event, we will discuss whether the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be able to avoid the shortcomings of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on which the UN development agenda was based so far.

Speakers:

  • Dagmar Enkelmann, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany
  • Gathoni Blessol, The Rules und Bunge La Wamama Mashinani, Kenya
  • Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum, United States
  • Yiping Cai, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, China

Moderator: Stefanie Ehmsen, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office


Women’s Mobilization for Gender-Egalitarian Policy Change in the 20 Years since Beijing

In cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and UNRISD

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 3:00 – 4:45 PM
Conference Room E (First Basement, UN General Assembly Building)
UN Headquarters
1st Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

Download the flyer of this event.

The event aims at exploring the question of how women’s organizations and feminist movements can influence governmental decision-making. What strategies have proven to be effective to ensure policy agendas and laws reflect women’s interests? What are the factors and conditions under which non-state actors can effectively trigger and influence policy change?

Speakers:

  • Elisa Vega Sillo, Office for Depatriarchalization of the Vice-Ministry of Decolonization, Bolivia
  • Nitya Rao, University of East Anglia, Great Britain
  • Anne-Marie Goetz, New York University, United States
  • Rob Jenkins, Hunter College, United States

Moderator: Valeria Esquivel, UNRISD, Switzerland

2014

Side-event during the meeting of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

Strengthening the Global South’s Voice in Global Tax Governance

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 13-15h
Restaurant des Délégués, 8th Floor, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Jointly organized by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Eurodad, Global Policy Forum, MISEREOR, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Oxfam Germany.

The international cooperation in tax matters has intensified in the last few years. Processes under the anti-BEPS framework at the OECD or G20 are proof of that. Nevertheless, countries in the Global South that are suffering from the results of tax evasion and avoidance the most (at least in relative terms as recent papers by IMF and OECD show) are to a great deal excluded from this increasing cooperation. This means losing vast amounts of resources, where they could have been allocated to sustainable development. While countries of the Global South that are not part of the G20 are periodically “consulted”, the actual intergovernmental negotiations and decision-making have been taking place behind closed doors and without any tangible links to more inclusive processes. Once again, global standards are being developed without equal representation of developing countries, and with the majority of the world’s countries excluded from the decision- making processes.

At the same time, the Intergovernmental Commission of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance concludes that «a participatory and broad based dialogue on international cooperation in tax matters should be strengthened». But how to foster such dialogue and cooperation without marginalizing a majority of governments? We believe there is space outside the exclusive clubs of the OECD or the G20 to come to meaningful norms and mechanisms to strengthen tax governance at all levels. The UN appears to be the natural place for this. Concrete next steps could be an upgrade of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. But even more visionary solutions are conceivable.

We would kindly like to invite you to join us for a panel discussion around these issues and share your views with experts in the fields of international financial and tax cooperation.

Programme

Welcome: Hubert Schillinger, Director, FES Geneva Office

Panel discussion with contributions by

  • Manuel Montes, Senior Advisor, Finance and Development, South Centre
  • Tove Maria Ryding, Senior Policy Analyst, Eurodad
  • Dereje Alemayehu, Chair of the Coordinating Committee, Global Alliance for Tax Justice

Moderator: Wolfgang Obenland, Program Coordinator, Global Policy Forum

Please indicate your participation by sending an e-mail to woob[ät]globalpolicy.org.

Invitation and program (pdf, 180 KB)


The Privatization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Issues and Challenges in Partnerships with the 'Private Sector'

Side event, New York City

April 8, 2014 | 1:15 - 2:45 pm | 2nd Floor Conference Room | Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, New York City

Partnerships for sustainable development are increasingly being promoted as a major, if not the primary, enabler for the implementation of the successor international sustainable development goals to replace the MDGs by 2015. However, a growing number of civil society groups warn against a partnership approach that places primary emphasis on enticing private sector participation and investments as this risks reinforcing the coporate capture of the post-2015 agenda.

This one-and-a-half hour Public Forum aims to inform civil society organizations and member states with critical perspectives on the major issues and challenges associated with partnerships with the "private sector" for sustainable development.

Download the invitation here (PDF, 200 KB).

Watch a webcast of the event here.

Co-organized by: Brot für die Welt, the Campaign for People's Goals for Sustainable Development, United Methodist Church, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Global Policy Forum, IBON international, MISEREOR, Social Watch, and Third World Network

The_Privatization_of_the_Post-2015_Development_Age_recorded

Corporate influence through the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

Civil Society Strategy Meeting

Brussels | 18 March 2014, 10:00-16:30
APRODEV office
, European Ecumenical Centre, Boulevard Charlemagne 28, B-1000 Bruxelles

The workshop is co-organized by Brot für die Welt, MISEREOR and GPF

Since its launch in Camp David mid-2012, the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition has become a platform of increasing importance and power for transnational corporations. They now left the role of mere “policy-takers” to co-create enabling political environments conducive to their core business. African markets are to be opened up to access agricultural commodities or natural resources and to market commercial seed, fertilizer and pesticides under the banner of the fight against hunger.

So far, movements and civil society in Africa and in the G8 countries have raised their voice here and there, strongly criticizing the initiative. However, due to the opacity, complexity und “blurriness” of the G8NA it has so far proven difficult to put the New Alliance under real pressure.

We want to use the strategy meeting to analyze the corporate influence and agricultural policies that led to the frameworks of the 10 countries. We want to discuss the ‘ensemble of corporate agriculture initiatives’ that serve as the blueprint for the New Alliance, and analyze them from different perspectives. In a second step, we then want to discuss options for joint civil society strategies and actions for the next 15 months, towards the G8 Summit 2015.

Workshop Program (pdf, 90KB)

Fur further information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

2013

Financing for sustainable development: Can the international financial system make the leap?

The event is jointly organized by CIDSE, RightingFinance, and Third World NEtwork

Where: Conference Room A, United Nations Headquarters Between 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (a UN ground pass is required to attend this event)

When: Monday, 9 December, 2013, 18:15-19:30

Speakers:

  • H.E. Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN
  • Dr. Yanuar Nugroho, Deputy Representative, President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Republic of Indonesia
  • Ms. Linah Shimi, Deputy Head of Office "Official Development Assistance and Multilateral Development Institutions", Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, DG Treasury, France
  • Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum
  • Nerea Craviotto, AWID
  • Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern

Moderation: tba

The Rio + 20 Conference reaffirmed the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. As governments try to address the challenge of financing sustainable development that makes justice to all three dimensions, they will have to do so relying on an international financial and trading system that to a great extent predates such commitments and did not evolve in light of the need to serve them. Additionally, in a world where the exponential growth of finance has led to a finance-driven economy, how can the agenda subordinate finance to a real economy with human rights at the center?

This side-event will discuss whether and to what extent the current international financial, monetary and trading systems are equipped to make this leap, and what needs to happen in the agreement on the post-2015 development agenda to support the enabling of such transition.

Invitation (pdf, 30 KB)

Side Event during the opening of the 68th UN General Assembly

What kind of a Post-2015 Development Framework will bring about the Real change we need?

The event is jointly organized by CIDSE, GPF, and Social Watch

Where: UN Church Center, 2nd Floor, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

When: 23rd September 2013, 18:00-21:00

Speakers:

  • Bernd Nilles, Secretary General, CIDSE
  • Roberto Bissio, Coordinator, Social Watch
  • Heidi Hautala, Minister of Development, Government of Finland
  • Mariama Williams, Senior Research Fellow, South Centre
  • Wael Hmaiden, Director, CAN International
  • Ignacio Saez, Executive Director, Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Justin Kilcullen, Director, Trócaire
Moderation:Dr. Lorna Gold, Head of Policy, Trócaire

Reaching a broad consensus on the future development agenda is the ultimate goal of the upcoming negotiations. Extensive consultations and reports of high-level policy-makers, the private sector and academics have contributed to the discussion how to eradicate poverty and ensure a global sustainable development. Yet, to which extent have the needs of the poor and most vulnerable people been reflected?

Through the panel discussion we aim to identify gaps in the official Post-2015 agenda when held against the views and aspirations civil society has expressed in their active engagement in consultations on this agenda to date. The panel will equally discuss alternatives which could make a vision of greater justice and equity that also addresses the challenges posed by climate change and resource constraint a reality.

The event will conclude with a light dinner, during which participants can continue discussions and talk with our panellists and CIDSE experts on the future development agenda and the priorities of the poor.


Global Sustainability Goals: The way forward in shaping transformation towards a more equitable, just and sustainable world?

Workshop at the Global Media Forum, Bonn, 17-19 June 2013

The present framework of international development goals centering on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the strategies based on them do not provide adequate answers to the global problems, be it global warming, or the growing gap between rich and poor. Both the debate over a ‘post-2015 agenda’, as well as the agreement by governments at the Rio+20 Conference to start an intergovernmental process of formulating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now offer the opportunity to readdress holistic concepts of prosperity and progress in society.

How could an integrated system of Global Sustainability Goals look like? What are the principles and normative foundations of a Post-2015 agenda? What lessons can be learned from the MDG experience? How could Global Sustainability Goals be embedded in a rights-based approach to development and a system of fair burden-sharing? And what accountability mechanisms must be put in place?

At the Workshop we will present and discuss the findings of the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives (www.reflectiongroup.org) and its proposal for a Framework of Universal Sustainability Goals as Part of a Post-2015 Agenda.

The workshop will be moderated by Jens Martens, Director, Global Policy Forum

Speakers:

Barbara Adams, Senior Policy Advisor, Global Policy Forum

Danuta Sacher, Chair of the Executive Board, terre des hommes

Hubert Schillinger, Coordinator, Dialogue on Globalization program, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

The Global Media Forum is hosted by the Deutschen Welle. For further information and registration, please visit the conference website.

Workshops at the World Social Forum, Tunis - 26-30 March 2013

Global Sustainability Goals: The way forward in shaping transformation towards a more equitable, just and sustainable world?

28 March 2013, 13.00 – 15.30hrs
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1

The present framework of international development goals revolving around “Millennium Development Goals” for the year 2015 do not provide adequate answers to the global problems, be it global warming or the growing inequalities. Both the debate over a post-2015 agenda as well as the agreement at the Rio conference to formulate Sustainable Development Goals now offer the opportunity to readdress holistic concepts of prosperity and progress in societies.
What could an integrated system of Global Sustainability Goals look like? What are its normative foundations? Beyond goals: what accountability mechanisms must be put in place? How could such goals be embedded in a rights-based approach to development and a system of fair burden-sharing?
With (inter alia): Roberto Bissio, Social Watch, Anita Nayar/Nicole Bidegain, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum Europe, Ziad Abdel Samad, Arab NGO Network for Development, Jean Saldanha, International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), Sara Burke, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office.

Invitation (pdf, 200 KB)

Eco-Social Fiscal Justice as Part of a Holistic Post 2015 Agenda

28 March 2013, 16.00 – 18.30hrs
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1

Fiscal policy is a key instrument to turn a rights-based approach of sustainability and societal progress into practice. Budgets allow inferences to be drawn about the political influence of different interest groups: Are business interests pushed through? Or is public spending focused on the needs of the people? There are many discussions on Sustainable Development Goals succeeding the MDGs. But Sustainable Development Goals will remain useless if it will not be reflected in correspondent Sustainable Development Budgets.
We want to discuss what these budgets should look like. And we want to bring together actors from budget monitoring and transparency initiatives with people who have so far been working on social and environmental issues.
With (inter alia): Silja Dressel, GIZ, Filomeno Santa Ana III, Action For Economic Reform, Slim Gargouri, Accountant and tax expert, Rocío Moreno, Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation, Iara Pietricovsky, INESC (tbc), Diego de la Mora, Fundar, Semkae Kilonzo, Policy Forum, Jens Martens, GPF Europe

Invitation (pdf, 200 KB)

Open Forum on the Tax Justice Agenda

29 March 2013, 13.00 – 15.30hrs
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1

The debate around tax justice is concentrated on combating tax evasion and avoidance as well as the underlying structures that enable those practices - by corporations as well as individuals. In development oriented circles discussions focus on the precarious state of public finance in many countries in the South and North as well as around the issue of domestic resource mobilization through means of fairer and more effective tax systems and administrations. We want to share experiences and strategies towards our common goals and enable us to cooperate more closely to achieve them in solidarity.
What are pressing issues locally and globally? Is there a need and room for better cooperation? What strategies are to be employed?
With (inter alia): Alvin Mosioma, TJN-A, Arnaud Zacharie, CNCD-11.11.11, Wolfgang Obenland, GPF, Murray Worthy, War on Want, N.N., CIDSE

Invitation (pdf, 200 KB)

 


2012

 

Assessing the World’s Agriculture: the IAASTD Report and the Future of Sustainable Food Policy (December 5, 2012)

On December 5, 2012, GPF and the Working Group on Food & Hunger invited Molly Anderson from the College of the Atlantic to discuss the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report and the future of sustainable food policy. Ms. Anderson was one of the coordinating lead authors of the study that reflected the work of more than 900 agricultural experts from 110 countries. To this day the IAASTD report remains by far the most definitive study of global agricultural science and technology.  During the luncheon, Ms. Anderson discussed the report’s implications for policy making. She also discussed the contested terrain of food system alternatives after Rio+20.

IMG_7435Molly Anderson

"Tax Justice - Human Rights - Future Justice"

International conference on November 27th in Berlin, Germany, at the headquarters of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation.
A joint initiative by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Global Policy Forum Europe, MISEREOR, and terre des hommes in cooperation with the Tax Justice Network Germany

The debate around „tax justice“ is currently concentrated on combating tax evasion and avoidance as well as on the dismantling of the underlying structures that enable those practices.
In development policy oriented circles discussions focus on the precarious state of public finance in many countries in the South as well as around the issue of domestic resource mobilization through means of more effective tax systems and more efficient tax administrations. Problems here are domestic elites not paying their fair share; a good part of economic activity is happening informally; transnational corporations are evading effective taxation by using tax incentives and manipulative transfer pricing methods.
In the human rights arena the issue of „maximum available resources“ in combination with extraterritorial obligations of states is gaining increasing attention.

In the middle of the financial and sovereign debt crises, taxation is receiving more and more attention in Europe and Germany as one way out of the mess: wealth taxes, bank levies and a European financial transaction tax are shifting into the focus of policy makers.

Parallel to this, the evolution of the discourse around eco-social tax and fiscal reform is progressing as instruments to curb environmental degradation, climate change and limiting the consumption of finite and rare natural resources.

Tax Justice, Future Justice and the fulfillment of Human Rights need to be advanced in combination. At our international conference, we want to learn from renowned experts on how to achieve this and debate their proposals.

Invitation and program (pdf, 350 KB)

Info Steuergerechtigkeit #07 - Steuergerechtigkeit als Alternative zum Spardiktat von Schuldenbremse und Fiskalpakt (pdf, 400 KB)

Info Steuergerechtigkeit #08e - Taxes and human rights (pdf, 500 KB)

Info Steuergerechtigkeit #09e - Environmental tax reform in countries of the South (pdf, 500 KB)

Bonn Symposium 2012
Paradigm Shift 2015. Towards a New Sustainable Development Agenda

A conference by the Development and Peace Foundation in cooperation with GPF Europe and the United Nations Association of Germany
Deutsche Welle and Haus der Geschichte, Bonn
13-14 November 2012

Over the last decade, the development policy debate has been dominated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This set of development policy objectives has proved to be a very effective tool for public awareness-raising and campaigning on development issues. At the same time, however, the last ten years have also highlighted the weaknesses of a development policy approach which is focused primarily on combating the most extreme forms of income poverty and hunger and meeting communities’ basic needs. In view of the changes taking place in global economic and (power-)political relations – China’s upsurge in significance being an obvious example – the division of the world into “industrialised” and “developing” countries, with an affluent North and impoverished global South, seems increasingly anachronistic. In our ever more interdependent world, countries which were long characterised as “developing” or “emerging” nations are now helping to shape the international policy agendaand bringing their own ideas and concepts to the table. The global power shift, the emergence of new strategic alliances and the growing importance of global public goods are just some of the crucial factors influencing theinternational community’s efforts to negotiate a new development agenda. Some of the emerging countries are themselves now playing a greater role as development actors in other countries and regions of the world – amajor paradigm shift in the global development architecture. These changes bring new challenges and offer new opportunities. Above all, they force us to question the usefulness of development goals which, although formulated at the global level, are mainly relevant to a narrowly defined group of “poor” countries.

In recent years, processes which seek to identify alternative concepts of development and models of prosperity have been initiated at various levels. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) the international community agreed to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, they will be elaborated in a different organisanional setting to the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals planning process. Aspirations to combine both agendas in the near future were disappointed.

Against this background, the Development and Peace Foundation (SEF), together with the Global Policy Forum and the United Nations Association of Germany, will give a discussion floor to those still demanding and working for a common agenda. The Symposium will explore the fundamental issue of what development will mean in an increasingly complex and differentiated world in future. Which new strategies and forms of cooperation must be developed at the global policy level in response to an increasingly diverse cast of actors and growing global interdependencies? This year’s Symposium will provide a platform here in Germany for the debate – now being conducted with growing intensity by international civil society and policy-makers – about the future of the MDGsand their institutional parameters, and, in particular, will explore the implications for UN institutions and other Bonn-based organisations.

Conference Website
Programme of the conferene (pdf, 640 KB)
Programme of workshops (pdf, 630 KB)

The Committee on World Food Security: Civil Society Participation and Recent Policy Developments (November 8, 2012)

On November 8, 2012, GPF and the Working Group on Food & Hunger invited Nora McKeon from Terra Nuova (Rome) to discuss the  Committee on World Food Security. Ms. McKeon addressed the role of civil society in the process and discussed the recent policy developments in Rome, arguing for better cooperation between Rome in New York in this UN process. The policy luncheon was a part of ‘The Future of Global Food Policy’- forum series at the United Nations and was heavily attended by both delegations and members of civil society.

IMG_6988

Nora McKeon

Land Grabbing - A Grassroots Perspective: A Discussion with ActionAid Representatives (September 13, 2012)

On September 13, 2012, GPF and the Working Group on Food and Hunger organized a policy luncheon on land grabbing with ActionAid representatives from Senegal, Tanzania and Bangladesh. The representatives provided examples of cases of land grabbing from their countries, highlighting the existing challenges concerning land tenure. In addition to the specific country representatives, Ruchi Tripathi and Marie Brill from ActionAid International introduced the different ways ActionAid is working on land tenure issues globally. The policy luncheon was a part of the 'Future of Global Food Policy' - forum series at the United Nations and was heavily attended by both delegations and members of civil society.

IMG_6536

ActionAid Representatives and Jim

Raging War, Waging Peace: Achieving Justice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (August 31, 2012)

GPF co-hosted a discussion with representatives of a delegation from the DRC gathering church and civil society leaders. The delegation was in New York to hand a petition to the Secretary General and the Security Council calling for peace and justice in the DRC. During their presentations, the panelists talked about the history of Rwandan intervention in DRC, the role of natural resources in the conflict, and the plight of Congolese women.

IMG_6319

The panelists

Advancing Farm Workers’ Rights in the Corporate Food Supply Chain: A discussion with Rev. Noelle Damico (May 10, 2012; New York)

NoelleJim2

Noelle and Jim

The Tragic Legacies of Lebanon's Phalangists: A conversation with Jonathan Randall (May 11, 2012)

GPF co-sponsored this book launch with the Presbyterian Ministry at the UN. Author Jonathan Randall, a longtime Washington Post correspondent, spoke about the re-issue of his classic 1983 study of politics and civil war in Lebanon, the Israeli invasion, and the massacres of Sabra and Shatilla.  Just World Books publisher Helena Cobban, herself a Middle East expert and journalist, also spoke.

LebanonBook

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, with author Medea Benjamin (May 2, 2012)

Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) have become the signature weapons of the US covert air strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. The use of drones in undeclared wars violates both the US Constitution and international law. Drone strikes are carried out without due process, and do not discriminate between intended targets and bystanders. Many innocent civilians, including children, are killed as a result. Medea Benjamin’s book is a call to action, with a look at what activists, lawyers, and scientists are doing to rein in the drones.

MedeaShahzadGPF

Shahzad Akbar, Medea Benjamin and
James Paul

Luncheon with Bruno Tissot of the Bank for International Settlements (April 23, 2012)

Bruno Tissot, Advisor to the General Manager of the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements, spoke at a private luncheon meeting organized by GPF for a group of NGOs and other experts.  Tissot talked about the instability of the global financial system and the growing difficulty in finding solutions to the crisis that began in 2008.  He noted that $15 trillion in additional sovereign spending has failed to bring renewed health to markets.  Participants concluded that neither banks nor government treasuries have much more capacity to keep the bailout going and strong political leadership is woefully absent.

Guest

Bruno Tissot

The Land Grabbing Disaster and the Global Food System: A discussion with Haroon Akram-Lodhi (April 11, 2012)

Hedge-funds, governments, and agro-industrial industries have been buying or leasing large blocks of agricultural land around the world in a process widely known as "land grabbing." Land grabbing has displaced tens of millions of small producers, who have lost their livelihoods as a result. Global Policy Forum invited Professor Haroon Akram-Lodhi of Trent University to speak about the issue.

IMG_4292

Haroon Akram-Lodhi

Law in the Time of Cholera: UN Peacekeeping, Cholera, and Human Rights in Haiti (April 9, 2012)

GPF organized this event with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti to discuss the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and the the larger role of MINUSTAH, the UN's Peacekeeping force that brought cholera to the region. Co-sponsers include the Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Ministry at the UN, and United Methodist Women. The discussion featured Abby Goldberg (New Media Advocacy Project), Mario Joseph (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux), Dr. Evan Lyon, and Brian Concannon (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti).

Haiti_Panelists

Abby Goldberg, Evan Lyon, Mario Joseph, and Brian Concannon

The Movement for Food Sovereignty: A discussion with La Via Campesina (March 26, 2012; New York)

La Via Campesina coined the term, "Food Sovreignty," in 1996. The term refers to a policy framework advocated by small-scale farmers that allows them to define their own agricultural system.

Dena

Pat Mooney, David Weaver and
Dena Hof

Corporate Influence on Food Policy - A discussion with Marion Nestle (February 15, 2012; New York)

This discussion with Professor Marion Nestle examined the increasing influence of corporations on food policy. Through the deregulation of Wall Street, a sharp rise in lobbying power and billions being poured into marketing, giant corporations have taken over the food system. Nestle warned against public institutions partnering with food companies and advocated for tighter regulation of corporations.

Marion_Nestle

Marion presents

Climate Change & Agriculture: Looking towards Rio + 20 – A discussion with Doreen Stabinsky (January 18, 2012)

This discussion featured Doreen Stabinsky, Professor of Global Environmental Politics at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbon, Maine. With Rio + 20 coming up in June, this timely discussion was focused on the link between climate change and agriculture. Professor Stabinsky warned that “business as usual is not an option” and advocated for a reform of the overall agriculture and food system: a paradigm shift away from industrial agriculture and towards sustainable production and consumption. She warned that unless we address the current model of development, we will be unable to achieve global food security. Delegates, UN staff and members of the NGO community participated.

Doreen

Paul Mikov, James Paul and Doreen Stabinsky


2011

 

Nurturing Development: The Role of Innovative Financing for Development and its Implications of Economic Governance (December 6, 2011)

In the context of the 5th High Panel Debate on Financing for Development, GPF and UBUNTU Forum co-sponsored this event on how to better align the twofold goals of effective economic governance and fundraising for development.  The discussion featured Manuel Manonelles (UBUNTU Forum), Peter Bakvis (International Trade Union Confederation), Julien Meimon (Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development), Gail Hurley (United Nations Development Program) and Rodrigo Robredo (Spanish Foreign Ministry). The debate focused on Financial Transaction Taxes, in particular the Currency Transaction Tax (CTT) and on the Air Transport Levy as three innovative methods which succeed in raising revenues for development while taxing those individuals and economic sectors that have the financial capacities to pay. At the same time, FTTs and CTTs can improve economic governance and push speculation back.

Pascoe_026

Julien Meimon, Manuel Manonelles and Gail Hurley

Recent Developments on the Right to Food - A Conversation with UN Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter (November 16, 2011; New York)

In this discussion, UN Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter gave an update on the Right to Food since the start of his second term as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. De Schutter talked about the urgent need to curb commodity speculation, end subsidies and for the WTO to change trade rules that privelege exporting countries. De Schutter also touched upon the negative impacts of biofuels, land grabbing, and the need to recognize and support small-scale farmers.

olivier

Olivier de Schutter

Purchase for Progress - Connecting Smallholder Farmers to Markets in Africa and Central America: A discussion with Ken Davies (October 28, 2011; New York)

This discussion featured Ken Davies, Coordinator of UN World Food Programme’s “Purchase for Progress” (P4P) initiative. This five-year pilot program began in September 2008 and is based in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Davies spoke about the structure of the program and efforts by WFP to buy staple crops from farmers’ organizations in these countries, through direct or forward contracts. P4P trains small and medium traders in farming techniques and crop quality control. P4P is primarily funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has connected over 500,000 small farmers to markets.

Ken_Davies

Ken Davies and Jim Paul

Human Rights in Palestine and the Role of the 66th General Assembly: A Briefing by Raji Sourani (September 27, 2011)

GPF, the NGO Working Group on Israel and Palestine, and US Federation for Middle East Peace co-sponsored this event featuring Raji Sourani, Founder of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights. As the UN Security Council debates the Palestinian Authority’s bid for recognition of a Palestinian state, Sourani highlights issues of basic fundamental human rights, the international rule of law, and standards of accountability. He also deconstructs the normalization of the Israeli occupation. An award winning human rights lawyer, Sourani was denied entrance to the US for the last 11 years due to his alleged association with terrorists. His trip and this event were possible only after former US President Carter, among others, advocated on his behalf.

Raji_Sourani

Picture Credit: fidh.org

Innovating in Justice, Innovating in Finance: Time for a Financial Transaction Tax (September 22, 2011; New York)

The debate focused on the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), which could generate resources to fund development. Introducing a tax of only 0,005% on currency exchange transactions, for instance, would be sufficient to raise over $30 billion per year. Panelists acknowledged the unprecedented willingness among governments and policymakers to establish such a tax. The introduction of a FTT has long ceased to be a utopia: its implementation is economically and technically feasible, and is now a matter of political will. GPF has long advocated for the introduction of global taxes, and published a major policy paper on this topic in 2001. However, Jim Paul and other NGOs representatives warned that governments may try to hijack the revenue generated by a tax such as the FTT to fill their own coffers.

IMG_1664

James Paul, Manuel Manonelles & Jose Maria Fernandez Lopez de Turiso

Palestine: The UN Debate and Beyond - A Discussion with Rashid Khalidi, Karima Bennoune, and Benjamin Beit Hallahmi (September 12, 2011; New York)

This discussion featured Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, Karima Bennoune, Professor of Law and at Rutgers University, and Benjamin Beit Hallahmi, Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel. It examined the context of Palestine’s UN bid and explored the legal ramifications of the idea of Palestinian statehood. According to Khalidi, for the last two decades the rules functioning as the basis for peace negotiations have been imposed by the US, often at the insistence of its Israeli ally. Although in his view the Palestinian initiative will not end the occupation or result in liberation, it is a positive step for changing the terms currently underpinning the conflict. The UN, a multilateral forum with an international legal basis, is where this issue should be decided.

Rashid_and_Doug

Rashid Khalidi & Doug Hostetter

International Workshop

Civil society strategies towards tax justice – what next?

hosted by MISEREOR, Global Policy Forum and terre des hommes
Bonn, Haus der Evangelischen Kirche, Adenaueralle 37, Germany
13 September 2011

With this workshop we would like to take stock of the tax related debates in international fora, particularly the G20, the OECD and the UN; we will exchange views and experiences from various regions and share information about the tax agenda of CSOs in Africa, Asia and Latin America; and we will discuss advocacy priorities and themes for the coming months. Key issues of the joint brainstorming and strategizing will be country-by-country reporting (Dodd-Frank and beyond), measures against tax dodging (lessons from the SABMiller and Glencore cases), and an update of the TJN’s Financial Secrecy Index 2011.

Invitation and Programme (pdf - 70 KB)

Presentations at the Workshop (engl. pdf - 2.8 MB)

A European Seat on the UN Security Council? (May 23-25, 2011; Brussels)

GPF was the lead organizer of a conference in Brussels on May 23-25, to consider the possibility of a European seat in the UN Security Council. Co-sponsored by the Dag Hammarskold Foundation of Uppsala, the Development and Peace Foundation of Bonn, and the Istituto Affari Internazionali of Rome, this was GPF's third conference on Security Council reform and without doubt the most ambitious. Forty-two experts gathered to discuss the issue, seen as a dimension of growing regionalism in global governance and a way to better represent all the world's people on vital issues of peace and security. Among the speakers and participants were Ambassador Peter van Walsum (the Netherlands), Member of the European Parliament Ana Gomes (Portugal), Ambassador Andrzej Towpik (Poland), Professor Daniele Archibugi (Birkbeck College London), and GPF Senior Advisor Celine Nahory (Switzerland, India). The conference ended on the 25th, with a very well-attended hearing in the European Parliament and plans for future collaboration on the topic by many of those attending.

conference

More than 40 experts attended

Energy and Eating - How biofuels affect the world's food supply and what we should do about it: A discussion with David Pimentel (March 16, 2011; New York)

The diminishing supply of oil and high energy prices encourages the conversion of grain and other food products into biofuels. This luncheon discussion with David Pimentel, Emeritus Professor at Cornell University, addressed the negative impacts of biofuels on the environment and economy. Delegates, NGOs and UN staff participated. Pimentel talked about the challenge of energy conservation and how grains should be used to feed the 4.5 billion people who are currently malnourished worldwide.

David_Pimentel

David Pimentel and Jim Paul

The Food Crisis and the Limits to Growth: A Discussion with Martin Lees (February 9, 2011; New York)

This discussion featured Martin Lees, former Secretary General of the Club of Rome and former top UN official. In a world where one in three people are under-nourished in sub-Saharan Africa, and where 80 per cent of income is spent on food in African countries, a dialogue on the food crisis and limits to growth is essential.  The current model of growth is failing to eradicate hunger and is failing to provide opportunities for people to find productive work. Additionally, economic growth is destabilizing the climate and ecological systems and is ignoring the interests of future generations.

Food__Hunger_Luncheon_Series_Martin_Lees_030

Martin Lees & Jim Paul

Speculation and Food: price instability and the food reserve option - A Discussion with Frederick Kaufman and Karen Hansen-Kuhn (January 20, 2011; New York)

In this discussion, investigative journalist Frederick Kaufman addressed wheat market prices, grain futures and the "financialization of food", as well as the "subversion" of market. Karen Hansen-Kuhn, International Program Director at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy discussed government food reserves as a method to confront price volatility.

Food__Hunger_series_luncheon_20_Jan_2011_007

Frederick Kaufman & Jim Paul


2010

 

Luncheon with Danny Chingimbu, a smallholder farmer from Zambia (December 15, 2010; New York)

The NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger met with Danny Chingimbu, a smallholder farmer from Zambia, at a luncheon cosponsored by IFAD - the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The conversation considered the experience of rural farmers in Zambia, as well as ideas about holistic solutions to promote the growth of household agricultural production.

luncheon_2

Danny Chingimbu presents

Realizing the Right to Food - A Conversation with UN Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter (Luncheon, December 1, 2010; New York)

This discussion with Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, addressed landgrabbing, speculation, biofuels and other topics. Delegates, NGOs and UN staff participated. De Schutter talked about the challenge to mobilize public opinion and the very grave implications of current trends in terms of growing poverty and hunger.

olivier_and_jim

Olivier de Schutter and Jim Paul

Forum, "Must We Change the Global Economic System in Order to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty?" (September 22, 2010; New York)

This forum, organized by Church World Service and co-sponsored by the NGO working Group on Food and Hunger, was held in connection with a UN summit to assess progress on the eight Millennium Development Goals to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015. The participants, coming from a range of humanitarian, church and advocacy groups, discussed what systemic change is needed to empower impoverished people around the world. The event was followed by a reception at GPF's office.

 

Luncheon with Noel de Luna, Chairman of the Committee on World Food Security (July 19, 2010; New York)

GPF and the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger invited Mr. de Luna, a diplomat, from the Philippines, to discuss the important recent reform of the Rome-based Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the possible links between the Rome process and food policy activities in New York.

 

GPF Roundtable: Discussing the Outcome of the ICC Review Conference (June 24, 2010; New York)

GPF invited the convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, William Pace, and assistant clinical professor at the Centre for Global Affairs at New York University, Jennifer Trahan, for a roundtable discussion on the relevance and outcome of the Review Conference of the International Criminal Court. The discussion focussed mainly on the amendment on the crime of aggression and the role of the United States during the negotiations on this issue.

Pace_and_trahan_prepare_notesMr. Pace and Ms. Trahan prepare their notes

Achieving the MDGs in Haiti: Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Agriculture (June 14, 2010; New York)

The Presbyterian UN Office, together with the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger, invited Chavannes Jean-Baptiste to speak to a New York audience on Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Agriculture in Haiti. Chavannes has been on the front lines of struggle for Haitian farmers for many years as Head of the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) and Coordinator of the Joining Hands Initiative in Haiti. Chavannes founded the MPP in 1974 and has been the director for the past 34 years. Chavannes is also a founding member of La Via Campesina, the largest worldwide movement of farmers and peasants.

Achieiving_MDGs_in_Haiti_048Chavannes Jean-Baptiste

Financing the United Nations in Times of Economic Insecurity (June 16, 2010; New York)

This event addressed the issues, challenges, and prospects of financing the operation of the United Nations. The conference consisted of two panel discussions, each followed by an engaging question-and-answer period. Ren Yisheng of the Chinese Mission, Thomas Gürber of the Swiss Mission, and Klaus Hüfner of UNA Germany and Global Policy Forum spoke on the first panel. Kaire Mbuende of the Namibian Mission, Morten Wetland of the Norwegian Mission, and Bengt Säve-Söderbergh of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ret.) spoke on the second panel. Numerous diplomats and experts attended the conference, which was co-hosted with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.

side_panel_comp

The distinguished panelists discuss UN finance issues

Lunchtime discussion on Private Security Contractors and the United Nations (May 19, 2010; New York)

This discussion focussed on the role of private security contractors (PSCs) in contemporary politics, warfare and particuarly within the United Nations system. The panel consisted of: James Cockayne (Senior Fellow and New York Director of the Center on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation), Scott Horton (New York attorney and expert in military and international law) and Jeremy Schaill (Investigative journalist and Puffin writing fellow for the Nation Institute). Drawing on the expertise of our three speakers, the discussion addressed crucial questions like: does the UN use PSCs and should we strive to restrict or regulate PSCs?

alice powell associate at gpf introduces the speakers

Alice Powell of GPF introduces our speakers


2009

 

Luncheon on International Tax Policy with John Christensen (December 4, 2009; New York)

This event featured the Director of the London-based Tax Justice Network, who discussed the very large tax revenues that are evaded every year by multinational companies and wealthy individuals, using "secrecy jurisdictions" like the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg and many more. These missing funds impoverish states while enriching individuals, creating fiscal crises among both rich and poor countries. An international movement is under way to re-capture these revenues and make taxes fairer. Event co-sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, CONGO, NGLS, Tax Justice Network, and the World Council of Churches.

Tax_Justice_Network_Luncheon

John Christensen presents

International Dialogue Putting People First: Social Consequences and Policy Implications of the Global Financial Crisis

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastraße 17, 10785 Berlin
19 November 2009

Invitation and Programme (pdf - 500kb)

Luncheon on Humanitarian Work in Iraq with John Filson (October 30, 2009 - New York)

A lunch event at Quaker House with John Filson, who worked as the Menonite Central Committee's Iraq Program Coordinator from 2007-2009, based in Northern Iraq. Filson talked about the difficulty of working as a neutral humanitarian in a highly-political context under the US occupation. Event co-sponsored with the MCC UN Office and the Quaker UN Office.

filton

John Filson presents

Luncheon with Abdulstatar Yunis of La 'Onf (October 13, 2009; New York)

A brown bag lunch with Abdulsatar Younis, a representative from the Iraqi organization La 'Onf: meaning "No Violence." GPF sponsored this event, which provided an opportunity to listen to the winner of the Pfeiffer Peace Prize of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Younis talked about the efforts of La 'Onf to bring peace and reconciliation to war- torn Iraq.

Iraq_meeting_033

Abdulsatar Yunis demonstrates

Luncheon on Agriculture, Food and Climate Change: the challenge of sustainable food production (September 22, 2009; New York)

This event, held during the day-long United Nations Summit on Climate Change, brings attention to the close connection of climate change with food & agricultural production. Already, climate change is having a serious negative effect on food production, as droughts, floods and water scarcity affect yields. At the same time, agriculture is contributing a substantial proportion of all greenhouse gases. The luncheon will bring together experts from the UN, NGOs, faith communities and academia to examine this pressing topic and to consider options for policy.

Sanchez

Ricardo Sanchez presents

Global Policy Reform of Food and Agriculture (May 11, 2009; New York)

Side Event during the Commission on Sustainable Development, co-sponsored with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Church World Service, the NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger and others. Speakers included Alexandra Spieldoch of IATP, Gerda Verberg the Netherlands Agriculture Minister and CSD Co-Chair, Monika Kalra Varma, Erika Rosenthal, Arthur Getz, Barbara Adams and others.

05-11-09_IATP-CSD_Side_Event_028

Gerda Verberg presents

Enabling Equitable and Sustainable Development: the IAASTD (May 7, 2009; New York)

A Side Event at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, featuring speakers who were authors of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development. Organized jointly with many others, including FAO, UNESCO, the IAASTD, the Governments of Switzerland and France, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Third World Network and Church World Service.

 

The Crisis in Haiti and the United Nations (May 5, 2009; 1:00-2:45; New York)

A brown bag lunch with lawyer Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and Mario Joseph of the Haiti-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux. They presented recent developments in the country and the controversial role of Minustah, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country. In particular they talked about the flawed recent elections.

 

Breakfast Roundtable on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food (April 6, 2009; 8:15-9:45; New York)

Special guests: Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and Molly Anderson, Coordinating lead author for the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development and Fellow at the Wallace Center. Organized jointly with the NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger.

April_2009_30

Molly Anderson presents

Meeting with Prof. Daniele Archibugi - Author of the Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Towards Cosmopolitan Democracy (February 19, 2009; New York)

Daniele Archibugi teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London and serves as Reserach Director at the Italian National Research Ceouncil. Archibugi's new book, The Global Commonwealth of Citizens, considers how democracy can be built - from the local to the global - in today's world. Archibugi argues for the "central importance of the United Nations" and sets out ways the UN can be strengthened and made more accountable. He tackles many interesting questions, such as self-determination, war, multilingualism, and humanitarian intervention. This event was co-sponsored by Global Policy Forum and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Jimplus2

Daniele Archibugi presents

Financing the United Nations: More Effective Funding for Global Priorities (February 11, 2009; New York)

Leading practitioners and theorists reflected on the recently-passed UN Regular Budget and on the UN's financial challenges for the coming budgetary year 2009. Angela Kane, Under Secretary General for Management, gave the keynote opening remarks. Speakers included Klaus Hüfner, professor emeritus of the Freie Universität Berlin, Steve Dimoff of the UNA-USA Washington Office, Mohammad Tal of the ACABQ, and others. Hilary French of Worldwatch Institute and Jeffrey Laurenti of the Century Foundation moderated the discussions. The event was organized by Global Policy Forum and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

unfin

Meeting with Conor Foley - Author of The Thin Blue Line (February 9, 2009; New York)

Author Conor Foley has worked for UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies in a number of crises - including Kosovo, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sri Lanka and other countries. His new book, The Thin Blue Line, develops a critique of humanitarian action and military intervention. His analysis grapples with the complexities and dilemmas of the humanitarian project. At this lunch meeting, he argueed that military intervention is rarely a good solution to the world's problems.

 

Crisis in Gaza: UNRWA Humanitarian Briefing Panel (January 9, 2009 - New York)

Co-sponsored by Global Policy Forum and the Israel/Palestine Working Group. This event included information and commentary from Andrew Whitley, Director, UNRWA Representative Office in New York, Peter Weiss, Vice President, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and many international NGO representatives, human rights advocates, and members of the public.

gaza3


2008

 

International Workshop: Social and Human Rights Budgeting

9 December 2008
Berlin, Permanent Representation of Bremen

Invitation,Programme and Registration (pdf – 139 KB)

 

 

Step Up to the Plate: Ending the Food Crisis (October 16, 2008 - New York)

On the World Food day, GPF supported an event on the food crisis, organized by World Hunger Year. Speakers talked about the real causes and solutions to the crisis. The Great Hall at Cooper Union was packed with more than 500 people including activists, students, and journalists. More information on the event here. To read the Call to Action and then sign-on, click here. To watch excerpts from Stepping up the Plate please click here.

 

The Right to Food: How Can the UN Respond to the Global Food Crisis? (April 23, 2008 - New York)

Global Policy Forum and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation organized a day-long conference on the global food crisis. Representatives from the UN, NGOs and academic institutions spoke about the causes of the crisis as well as solutions, focusing on the role of the UN.

1


2007

 

Demystifying the Iran Crisis: Nuclear Weapons and Mad Mullahs? (November 13, 2007 - New York)

A discussion and fundraising reception to support the work of Global Policy Forum. Special guests were Ervand Abrahamian (CUNY Distinguished Professor) and John Burroughs (Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy) Each speaker touched upon the historical context of a nuclear Iran in relation to the United Nations and the international community.

 

Policy Luncheon on Iraq (October 19, 2007 - New York)

Iraq experts on Security Council delegations and selected UN staff members had a telephone dialogue with three leaders of major parliamentary blocs in Iraq . The parliamentarians and the delegates discussed the renewal of the UN mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq .

Co-Sponsors: Global Policy Forum, Mennonite Central Committee UN Office and World Council of Churches UN Office.

 

Money may not be everything, but Civil Society Perspectives on Financing the International Development Goals (October 15 - 16, 2007 - Bonn)

One year ahead of the United Nations Financing for Development Conference in Doha in 2008, Global Policy Forum Europe, terre des hommes and Social Watch hosted an international seminar on development financing. The meeting served as a brainstorming session. Participants shared experiences and expectations seeking to contribute to the formulation of civil society benchmarks for the Financing for Development Conference.
Full Program

 

Whose Partnership for Whose Development? (July 4, 2007 - Geneva)

One day ahead of the "Global Compact Leaders Summit" at the UN in Geneva, an international group of NGOs and researchers sponsored a hearing, to assess the partnership approach of the Global Compact and to propose alternatives for real corporate accountability. For more information, see the speaking notes from this event.

 

From Disaster to Peacemaking (June 12, 2007 - New York)

GPF co-sponsored two events at the UN with Worldwatch Institute and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on how natural disasters and the subsequent international aid response can influence peacemaking in conflict areas. Worldwatch researchers Michael Renner and Zoe Chafe presented their report "Beyond Disasters: Creating Opportunities for Peace" to a group of experts from the UN and NGOs - first at a roundtable and then at a policy luncheon.

 

Luncheon on Iraq Policy Issues with Iraq Experts from the Security Council and the UN (May 22, 2007 - New York )

Kristele Younes of Refugees International, spoke about the Iraqi refugee crisis and James Paul of Global Policy Forum, introduced the new study "War and Occupation in Iraq " Co-Sponsors included Global Policy Forum, Refugees International and Mennonite Central Committee.

 

Reception to Launch the Report "War and Occupation in Iraq" (May 8, 2007 - New York )

Over fifty of GPF's friends and donors gathered in New York at the home of Board member Dinni Gordon for a pre-release party of the "War and Occupation in Iraq" report. Special guest Denis Halliday, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, gave a speech and GPF's Jim Paul and Céline Nahory introduced the report and talked about the research and writing process.

 

Global Public-Private Partnerships - Privatisation of Multilateralism? (January 23, 2007 - Nairobi)

At the World Social Forum 2007 in Nairobi, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Global Policy Forum Europe organized a joint workshop, critically assessing the development of "global partnerships" between government and private actors. The workshop aimed to trace the scale and scope of these global "partnerships," and to discuss their limits, risks and side-effects. Panel discussants included representatives from Consumer Information Network, Social Watch, People's Health Movement and Third World Network.

 


2006

 

Book Launch: Christian Fundamentalism vs. Progressive Advocacy (October 20, 2006 - New York)

GPF co-sponsored a book-launch event of Faith in Public Life's Executive Director Jennifer Butler's book on the increasing influence of the Christian Right at the UN and beyond.

 

The Global Climate Crisis (October 3, 2006 - New York)

Global Policy Forum and International Catholic Organizations Information Center organized a two-part event on global warming. After a screening of Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," three panelists - Michael Renner from Worldwatch Institute, Mohammad Reza Salamat from DESA, United Nations and James Tripp, General Counsel at Environmental Defense - discussed global climate change and steps to address it.

 

Challenges for Reconstruction and Peace in the Aceh Province, Indonesia (April 26, 2006 - New York)

Global Policy Forum organized a Brown Bag Luncheon with Michael Renner of Worldwatch Institute. Renner talked informally about his recent trip to the Aceh province. His presentation with photos, maps, and satellite images covered the problems of the post-tsunami reconstruction, the shaky peace agreement between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Jakarta government, and ongoing challenges to the political process and democratization.

 

The Situation in Haiti and the Role of the UN (April 2006 - New York)

GPF invited Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, to talk at a brown-bag luncheon about the situation in Haiti and the role of the UN.

 

The Challenges of UN Finance (March 22, 2006 - New York)

Global Policy Forum and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation organized a high-level meeting on the financial difficulties of the United Nations. The event focused on the current state of UN finances, including the US-imposed six-month spending cap on the regular budget, preventing the UN to spend funds beyond June 30, 2006. Our meeting also looked at the scale of assessments and longer-term trends. The meeting brought together NGOs, UN officials and diplomats to share information, discuss key issues, and consider action to strengthen the UN's finances and head off the crisis.

financemeeting

Enhancing NGO Relations with the United Nations - The Missing Element in the UN Reform Agenda (February 15, 2006 - New York)

Global Policy Forum, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions opened a dialogue with UN delegates and members of the UN Secretariat on the future of NGO participation at the United Nations. Participants discussed reform proposals for greater NGO participation; best practices that can be enhanced and replicated; and areas where governments are most resistant and where political progress appears possible. Discussion also centered on the role NGOs can play in future deliberations on UN reform and what steps are necessary to engage new NGO players and social movements in the work of the UN.

 

Archived events

Public Panel

Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment through Human Rights

Friday March 17, 2017, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Church Center for the UN
777 First Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY, 10017

In cooperation with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office, Public Services International (PSI), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

International leaders and civil society activists will soon convene again at the UN Headquarters in New York for the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), which will take place from March 13 to 24, 2017. This year, the Commission will address the issue of women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, a subject of uttermost importance to tackle persistent gender inequalities. Today, most of the world’s poor are working, and the majority of those are women. This clearly shows how employment, while essential for development, is not enough to guarantee the economic rights of millions of women.

The legal barriers posed by the formal and informal economies, the lack of a gendered perspective in policy and planning processes, and the persistent disparities in the labor market pose difficult challenges to women’s advancement in the economic sphere. Trying to cope with the failures of neoliberalism to secure substantive equality, an international commitment becomes imperative.

We are co-organizing a Parallel Event along with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Public Services International (PSI), DAWN, and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

This panel will bring together researchers and activists to assess the current situation of women in the working world. The speakers will explore the importance of a global response for achieving women’s economic empowerment, from a perspective that takes the framework of human rights as a pathway to fulfill social justice. They will do so by assessing the contributions and shortcomings of this approach, outlining the situation of women workers in the global economy, and highlighting the challenges and opportunities of advocacy efforts for women’s economic rights within the international realm.

Speakers:

Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Gita Sen, General Coordinator, DAWN
Barbara Adams, Board Chair, GPF
Gloria Mills, Equalities National Secretary, Unison UK – PSI
Jennifer Fish, Chair of Women’s Studies, Old Dominion University

Facilitator: Stefanie Ehmsen, Co-director, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office

Free and open to the public. Registration here.

Download the flyer here.

 

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.