Upcoming Events

Conversation with authors of the Civil Society Report

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2018

Exploring new policy pathways: How to overcome obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Church Center, 10th floor, 777 UN Plaza, New York
12 July 2018, 6:15-7:45pm

Jointly organized by Arab NGO Network for Development, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, Public Services International, Global Policy Forum, Society for International Development, Social Watch, Third World Network with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development. Fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs. In particular, there is a need for more coherent fiscal and regulatory policies and a whole-of-government approach towards sustainability.

These are the main messages of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Spotlight Report 2018 describes policies, resources and actions that are necessary to implement the 2030 Agenda. It highlights strategies and approaches which depart from business-as-usual and prioritize fulfilment of human rights and respect for planetary boundaries.

At the roundtable event authors of the Spotlight Report 2018 will present key findings and recommendations to participants for discussion.


6:15 Welcome by Luise Rürup (FES New York Office) and Barbara Adams (Global Policy Forum)

6:30 Brief statements by Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Ziad Abdel Samad (Arab NGO Network for Development), Corina Rodríguez Enríquez (DAWN), Kate Donald (CESR), Stefano Prato (SID), Sandra Vermuyten (PSI)

7:00 Discussion; Moderator: Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum)

As space for this side event is limited, we kindly ask you to RSVP by 10 July 2018 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Side Event during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018

Partnership or Business Case?

Private Sector and the SDGs

Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN, 871 UN Plaza, New York
13 July 2018, 7:15 pm – 8:45 pm

Jointly organized by Government of Germany, Government of Uruguay, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, Brot für die Welt, Global Policy Forum, Public Services International, Social Watch, MISEREOR, World Council of Churches

The private sector plays a significant role in achieving the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Several corporations have already pledged their support for the SDGs or evaluated the relevance of SDGs in their business activities. The UN Global Compact has started a global campaign to celebrate business leaders who are taking action to advance the 2030 Agenda.

In many countries, engaging the private sector in SDG implementation is part of official policy. Governments and the UN are seeking increased commitment from the private sector in order to finance SDG implementation and bring growth to their economies. Many governments expect the involvement of companies in SDG implementation to lead to greater social and environmental awareness in business strategies.

Among civil society organizations (CSOs), the increased involvement of the private sector in sustainable development has received mixed responses. Some CSOs welcome more business involvement as a necessary recognition of responsibility and a shift in the understanding of the private sector’s role in society. As a result, various partnerships between CSOs, governments and the private sector have emerged. Other CSOs view the growing involvement of the private sector in sustainable development critically. The democratic legitimation of this trend as well as the budgetary rationale of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) is being questioned as governments hand over more of their duties and power to private companies, particularly in the social sector. Some CSOs view this as a further push towards the privatization of public goods and services and worry about a new form of greenwashing with the SDGs.

This side event will focus on the following questions:

What are the activities and strategies of private sector actors in SDG implementation? Does private sector involvement lead to more sustainability and better implementation of the SDGs? Does it positively affect business models and behavior in the long run? What are criteria and political frameworks for private sector engagement in SDG implementation? What are recommendations for the private sector, governments and civil society organizations with regard to sustainable development?


Opening remarks and introduction to side event: Anna Cavazzini, Bread for the World

Findings from the case study “SDGs and Finance Sector”: Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum

Discussion with: Cormac Ebken, Deputy Head of Division 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Dr. Laura Schneider, Project Manager, econsense; Shanta Lall Mulmi, RECPHEC; Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, Public Services International;
Moderator: Marie-Luise Abshagen, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development

Please register by July 11 by writing to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Please note that for security reasons you must register in advance and bring your personal ID to the venue. A UN grounds pass is not necessary.

Side Event during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018

SDG-implementation at national level: What's the point of national reports?

The experience of Voluntary National Reviews and of Civil Society shadow (or spotlight) reporting. How it is key for meaningful participation and accountability?

July 13, 2018 | 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM
WeWork Grand Central, 4th Floor, Room 4A,
450 Lexington Ave , New York 10017
Organized by Social Watch in co-operation with Alliance Sud, Arab NGO Network for Development and Global Policy Forum

The national voluntary reporting to the High Level Political Forum of ECOSOC is a practice that has gained traction, as dozens of governments are volunteering each year to participate and contribute their VNRs. A number of CSOs have prepared their own shadow or spotlight reports to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda. Rising inequalities and the need to substantially change policies to achieve the SDGs is a common theme in many of them. Is there a meaningful dialogue between the official and the alternative reports? What is the value of the whole exercise?

The event aims to:

  • share experiences of CSO shadow reports on national implementation; and
  • engage government and CSO-representatives in a discussion on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability


  • Roberto Bissio (Social Watch)
  • Clarisse Sonon (Social Watch-Benin)
  • Ziad Abdel Samad (Arab NGO Network for Development, Lebanon)
  • Iara Pietricovsky (INESC, Brazil)
  • Mark Herkenrath (Alliance Sud, Switzerland)
  • Rene Raja (Social Watch - Philippines)

Comments by:

  • Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (New School)
  • Ambassador Michael Gerber, Swiss Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development

Download the invitation to this event here (pdf, 70 KB).

Please RSVP by 12 July to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Due to space limitations we kindly ask that you RSVP in advance.