Global Policy Forum

Post-2015 Sustainability Agenda

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The Millennium Development Goals were created to progressively achieve 8 development targets by 2015. Although progress has been made in some areas, poverty and development continues to be a global challenge. Since 2010, the UN Secretary General initiated discussions on developing a post 2015 development agenda. The agenda follows the outcomes from the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 that highlights today’s development challenges. A UN System Task Team and High Level Panel have been established to complement national level consultations organized by the United Nations Development Group. The consultations focus on eleven thematic areas: conflict and fragility; education; environmental sustainability; governance; growth and employment; health; hunger, food and nutrition; inequalities; population dynamics; energy; and water. Citizens are also invited to contribute to the process through the “World We Want” platform. Discussions currently revolve around whether to extend the current MDG framework or create a new framework drawing from past experiences.

Articles, Events and Papers on the post-2015 sustainability agenda

| 2013 | 2014 | 2015 |

2016

Implementation of the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in and by Germany (March 29, 2016)

Following a participative and comprehensive process over several years, in September 2015 the United Nations (UN) adopted the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs must now be implemented in and by all countires, including Germany. A wide coalition of Civil Society Organizations there thinks that fundamentally different approaches must be taken in areas of political action. "Germany must accept its responsibility for sustainable development and implement the 2030 Agenda in accordance with its five principles (people, planet, prosperity, peace, partnership)." (German NRO Forum on Environment and Development)

Multi-stakeholder partnerships in the 2030 Agenda (March 15, 2016)

In support of the upcoming ECOSOC Partnership Forum (March 31, 2016), researchers Marianne Beisheim and Nils Simon have prepared an independent paper to inform and stimulate a debate around "ways to improve, inter alia, transparency, accountability and the sharing of experiences of multi-stakeholder partnerships and on the review and monitoring of those partnerships." The paper defines and differentiates types of multi-stakeholder partnerships, identifies reasons for their successes and/or failures, briefly recaps the history of the UN’s involvement in those partnerships and points out recent developments in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Finally, the paper outlines options for improving the overall governance and specifically the accountability, transparency, and measurement of results of multi-stakeholder partnerships at the UN. (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

Obstacles to Women’s Rights and to the SDGs (March 14, 2016)

During the United Nations observance of International Women’s Day 2016, Barbara Adams from Global Policy Forum and Social Watch addresses the obstacles to Women’s Rights: the unfair global trade and investment system and the lack of a debt workout mechanism deviate the resources that should ensure an universal social protection floor. (Social Watch)

PPPs and the 2030 Agenda (March 10, 2016)

In light of the emphasis given to public-private partnerships as a mechanism to finance infrastructure projects and highlighting the need for capacity building and knowledge sharing at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, a recently published working paper by the Department of Economic & Social Affairs at the UN Secretariat reviews the extant literature on the subject and identifies areas requiring better understanding and institutional innovation for ensuring value for money, minimizing contingent fiscal risk and improving accountability. "An institutional capacity to create, manage and evaluate PPPs is essential to ensure that they become an effective instrument of delivery of important services, such as infrastructure. There is also a need for a common definition of PPPs and internationally accepted guidelines, including uniform accounting and reporting standards." (UN-DESA)

SDG targets risk missing the mark on inequality (March 9, 2016)

This week, the UN Statistical Commission convenes for its annual meeting in New York. At the top of its agenda will be the latest report of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), which presents a final proposal for global indicators to monitor the SDGs. Various civil society groups have expressed their concern about particular indicators or missing indicators, as well as the opaque decision-making process. The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is particularly concerned that SDG 10 (‘Reduce inequality within and between countries’) does not include a robust measure of economic inequality, and as such this indicator set is woefully incomplete.(Center for Economic and Social Rights)

New Report: Die 2030-Agenda (February 24, 2016)

Am 25. September 2015 verabschiedeten die 193 Mitgliedsstaaten der Vereinten Nationen auf einem Gipfeltreffen in New York die 2030-Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Sie bildet den globalen Rahmen für die Umwelt- und Entwicklungspolitik der kommenden 15 Jahre. Kernstück der Agenda sind die 17 Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung, die SDGs, mit ihren 169 Zielvorgaben. Grundlage für das kritische Engagement politischer und zivilgesellschaftlicher Akteure im 2030-Prozess ist die ausreichende Information über die SDGs, ihre Zielvorgaben, die Herausforderungen und Kontroversen, die mit ihrer Umsetzung verbunden sind, sowie mögliche Indikatoren, um Fortschritte bei der Verwirklichung der Ziele zu messen. Die 2030-Agenda – Global Zukunftsziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung leistet dazu einen Beitrag und bietet neben einer politischen Einordnung der 2030-Agenda überblicksartig grundlegende Informationen und Analysen von SDG 1 bis 17. (Global Policy Forum)

Indicators of success: how best to measure Agenda 2030 (February 18, 2016)

Four months have now passed since Agenda 2030 was agreed at the UN in New York. Targets have been set under each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, but the crucial matter of designating indicators to measure progress remains in the balance. In a new article, the Center of Economic and Social Rights reflects on the difficulties to choose indicators that really measure progress of the Agenda 2030. CESR is concerned over those indicators that have already been defined by the Inter-agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators, as several of them may lead to skewed and/or inadequate tracking of progress. This reality is problematic because indicators are not only measures by which progress can be judged; they also focus attention on particular groups or issues and create incentives for policy action. If an indicator is reductive and of questionable relevance, then it implicitly allows governments to get away with doing little to achieve the target, and this in turn undermines accountability. (Center for Economic and Social Rights)

Where next for the United Nations Development System? (February 1, 2016)

The UN has released the advance unedited version of its report of the UN Development System (UNDS), lightly entitled the “Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 67/226 on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review [QCPR] of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.” The UNDS comprises the activities of some 30 agencies – coordinated by the UN Development Group – and the intergovernmental bodies that provide guidance and oversight, such as the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its commissions. This report is the key input for the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment to be held at the UNHQ on 22-24 February 2016. (Global Policy Watch)


2015

The Climate Justice Programme launched a report titled “Making a killing – who pays the real costs of big oil, coal and gas”. The report looks at the costs of climate change through extreme events, such as droughts or storms and slow-onset events such as the rising sea levels, and compares it to the profits made by carbon majors in the same periods. To address these disparaties it suggests the “Carbon Levy Project”. The suggested mechanism would extract a levy from carbon majors for every ton of CO2 emissions caused. The money generated would then be used for the international mechanism for loss and damage, unlocking additional funding to fight climate change and holding those responsible who caused a major part of it.

In light of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September, the question how other international agreements interact with SDGs is highly interesting. The Trade Justice Movement (TJM) has published a report which scrutinizes the effects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the SDGs and developing countries. The report “TTIPing Away the Ladder” finds that, in a number of points, TTIP will interfere with the implementation of the SDGs and the ability of developing countries to improve their situation. It argues that especially the ability of countries to develop their own strategies for development is hampered by TTIP. The trade agreement will also lead to more CO2 emissions and weaken the position of developing countries in future trade negotiations.

Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs (October 21, 2015)

A review of country climate targets reflecting the twin pillars of science and equity has been released by civil society ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris.

The new report, Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs shows that there is still a big gap between what it will take to avoid catastrophic climate change, and what countries have put forward so far. It is an independent review, supported by social movements, environmental and development NGOs, trade unions, faith and other civil society groups from all over the world

The report argues that while equity is a core principle in the UN process to find a new global climate deal, countries have so far been allowed to determine their own targets (INDCs - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) on a purely national basis without reference to the scale of the global effort needed or what is fair. It warns that we have 10 – 15 years to implement significant emissions reductions to prevent climate change spiralling out of control.

Rethinking the development paradigm: Reflections from civil society in the region on Post2015 and Financing for Development (October 7, 2015)

The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) has published a booklet titled ‘Rethinking the development paradig: Reflections from civil society in the region on Post2015 and Financing for Development’. Some of the central topics are the role the private sector has been given in the Post2015 development agenda and the diminished support for civil society organizations in the region. This shift in stakeholder roles comes before the adoption of “business-binding human rights standards.” In the global partnership for development the focus has shifted towards private sector involvement while minimizing the goals for fair trade, debt relief and neglecting the regulation and control of capital movement.

As part of the involvement of civil society in the arab track of sustainable development goals ANND has organized forums parallel to the arab economic and social summit, in which proposals and recommendations for the summit were made. The documents in this booklet include analysis of most prominent arab development challenges and tackle on some of the elements of the alternative development model.

UN Committee passes first ever set of UN debt restructuring principles (August 12, 2015)

Just ten days after the UN’s International Conference on Financing for Development, and just in time for the endorsement of the new sustainable development agenda, a UN Committee has agreed on a set of principles to guide further sovereign debt restructuring processes. The new UN principles were inspired by the devastating bank bailouts in Greece, and by the vulture fund lawsuits that Argentina faced at US courts. They build on preparatory work done by an expert group convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and, subject to approval by the UN General Assembly (UN GA) in early September, will be the first step towards a new multilateral debt restructuring framework that aims to prevent future debt crises, or at least manage them better. (Eurodad)

Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 Presents a Bold Vision for Women and Girls (August 12, 2015)

The Women’s Major Group, made up of more than 600 women’s organizations and networks from around the world, recognizes the historic agenda for global sustainable development that 193 governments agreed to on Sunday. At the center of this broad and ambitious plan are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be formally adopted by Heads of State in September at the UN General Assembly. The SDGs chart out global development across social, environmental and economic areas for the next 15 years, and if fully implemented could be transformative for women and girls everywhere. (Women's Major Group)

No Aid, No Tax, No Development (August 5, 2015)

"The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is widely seen as a major disappointment for developing countries as well as others hoping for adequate means of implementation to realise national development ambitions and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has become clear that the South, including the least developed countries, should not expect any serious progress to the almost half century old commitment to transfer 0.7 percent of developed countries’ economic output to developing countries. But to add insult to injury, developing countries cannot expect to participate meaningfully in inter-governmental discussions to enhance overall as well as national tax capacities. While OECD countries agree that taxation is the only viable strategy for developing countries to exit foreign aid dependency in the long run, they have refused to accede to the latter’s desire for a full-fledged inter-governmental body for international tax cooperation under United Nations auspices," writes Jomo Kwame Sundaram in an op-ed for IPS. (IPS)

U.N. Targets Trillions of Dollars to Implement Sustainable Development Agenda (August 3, 2015)

After more than two years of intense negotiations, the U.N.’s 193 member states have unanimously agreed on a new Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) with 17 goals — including the elimination of extreme poverty and hunger — to be reached by 2030. The new goals, which will be part of the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda and to be approved at a summit meeting of world leaders Sep. 25-27, cover a wide range of political and socio-economic issues, including inequality, poverty, hunger, gender equality, industrialisation, sustainable development, full employment, human rights, quality education, climate change and sustainable energy for all. However, the Agenda is far less ambitious when it comes to the means of implementation, warns GPF's Jens Martens: “The implementation of the SDGs will require fundamental changes in fiscal policy, regulation and global governance. But what we find in the new Agenda is vague and by far not sufficient to trigger the proclaimed transformational change. But goals without sufficient means are meaningless.” (IPS)

Reactions to the Addis Ababa Outcome Document (July 16, 2015)

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development is coming to an end. Yesterday, the countries reached an agreement in Addis Ababa on the final outcome document. The Conference on Financing for Development has reportedly seen the presence of 27 heads of government and many more senior government representatives from the capitals. Representatives of UN Agencies, civil society from across the globe and the business community were also taking part in the conference. While the UN reports that the “groundbreaking agreement” forms the “foundation of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development that will leave no one behind”, civil society organizations are expressing disappointment. Particularly the fact that the final outcome rejects the proposal of establishing an intergovernmental UN body on tax matters is seen as a failure. But the criticism of the outcome document is not limited to the missing global tax body. (Eurodad, ActionAid, et al.)


UN experts: Corporations must contribute to sustainable development by respecting human rights (July 16, 2015)

The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights this week urged Governments across the world to ensure that corporations do not undermine sustainable development, and called for greater transparency and accountability for how businesses address human rights risks and impacts. “States must set a clear vision for connecting the increasing role of the private sector and businesses in development with accountability and agreed standards for business practices aligned with human rights,” the independent expert group said in a letter to lead negotiators as they enter the final stages of negotiating the ‘Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.’ In their letter, the experts highlight that the draft outcome documents stress the critical importance of engaging all relevant stakeholders, including business and the private sector, in implementation of the new Agenda. However, they caution that business activities can also undermine respect for human rights if not properly regulated. (UN Human Rights)


Addis Ababa CSO FfD Forum Declaration (July 14, 2015)

The coordination group for the civil society participation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July 13-16 2015) has convened a forum for civil society in advance of the conference. One outcome of this forum was a declaration with reflections and recommendations to the Member States of the United Nations and the international community. Furthermore, the CSO FfD group published a statement, expressing the concerns and demands they have regarding the draft outcome document of the Conference on Financing for Development. (CSO Coordination FfD Group)


Financing for Development is ‘Preserving’ the Status Quo (July 14, 2015)

This week, we witness state leaders, high-level officials, civil society groups, and business representatives convene for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss and agree on an action plan for financing development, including the Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by UN member states in the September 2015 Summit. “We started from an optimistic viewpoint on FfD3 and now ending with so much disappointment over what seems like retrogression from old agreements. There is no mention at all of peace dividends generated from the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, and the reduction in defense spending. Debt relief and condonation are treated marginally. The emerging document suggests business as usual. It doesn’t explain the fundamental reasons for why there is lack of financing sustainable development,” lamented Isagani Serrano, co-convener of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). (Social Watch Philippines)


Why is the “North” shying away from global collaboration on tax? (July 14, 2015)

One of the more contested issues at the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is how to improve/ensure global cooperation in tax matters. During preparatory negotiations in New York, a proposal surfaced that would upgrade a UN expert committee on the issue into a full-fledged political, and more importantly universal, commission. The commission could deal with issues like fighting tax evasion and avoidance, could set standards for double taxation agreements and for how to deal with transnational corporations. This proposal, however was rejected with force by most OECD governments. (Wolfgang Obenland)


Frozen in diplomacy (July 14, 2015)

The debt crisis in Greece dominates the news in Europe but a significant related event lacks public attention – the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3). This is being held in Ethiopia from 13 to 16 July and is designed to come up with proposals on how to shape international financial relations more equally and to finance efforts to advance sustainable development. FFD3 deals with vital issues such as the mobilization of domestic resources and reform of tax policies, the role of private finance, debt and debt sustainability, trade, and reforms in the international financial system. As things stand now, however, things look bleak. The draft for an outcome document of the Addis Ababa conference, at the moment being called Addis Ababa Action Agenda, is full of rhetoric but little action. The mistrust between the global North and South seems overwhelming. (Jens Martens)


What lies beneath? A critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development (July 13, 2015)

Public-private partnerships (often referred to as PPPs) are increasingly promoted as a way to finance development projects. Donor governments and financial institutions, such as the World Bank, have set up multiple donor initiatives to promote changes in national regulatory frameworks to allow for PPPs, as well as provide advice and finance to PPP projects. PPPs also feature prominently in the discussions around the post-2015 and the financing for development agendas. Currently, there is a strong push to increase the involvement of the private sector in the development arena and to promote PPPs as key tool to reach the soon to be agreed sustainable development goals. This report published by eurodad critically assesses whether PPPs deliver on the promises of their proponents and gives concrete recommendations for policymakers. (Eurodad)


Civil Society Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression and Intersex Status (July 07, 2015)

417 NGOs from 105 countries, including GPF, signed a Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression and Intersex Status which was delivered on Monday 29 June 2015 at the 29th UN Human Rights Council. The statement urges the Council to act now and end the violence and discrimination suffered by LGBTI people around the world. It welcomes the resolution passed by the Council in September 2014 but expresses concern about severe human rights violations from State and non-State actors because of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or intersex status. The 417 NGOs ask for systemic responses from the Human Rights Council to the systemic violations of human rights. (ILGA)


The new Global Financing Facility – a model for financing the Sustainable Development Goals? (July 01, 2015)

A new briefing paper from Global Policy Watch (an initiative of Social Watch and Global Policy Forum) highlights the key role that the Global Financing Facility (GFF) is to expected to play as a financing vehicle for Goal #3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that of: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Similar to the Global Fund or GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance), the GFF will specifically finance reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The briefing note points out that: “Important decisions about the financial support of national health strategies are taken at the sole discretion of the GFF Investors Group. But the GFF Investors Group is a self-selected, exclusive body and not subject to intergovernmental oversight and mutual accountability mechanisms.” The GFF also consolidates the role of the World Bank Group as a dominant financing institution for SDG #3 on health, which will form a core part of the post-2015 development agenda overall. This bypasses the role of the UN, which includes the World Health Organization. (Global Policy Watch)


New launch: Global Trends 2015 available in English (June 29, 2015)

Global Trends analyzes current developments and longer-term trends in the fields of peace and security, world economy and society, and sustainable development. Global Trens has been first launched in 1991 and it is based on a wealth of statistical data and information from a variety of international sources and presents its findings in a clear and accessible format. Applying a multidisciplinary approach, it aims to explain patterns and linkages in complex global processes and identify the potential for more responsible global governance. For the first time, an unabridged English translation of Global Trends is available as an online publication. Global Trends is published by the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:), the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), and the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/ GCR21). (Global Trends)


10 Reasons Why an Intergovernmental UN Tax Body Will Benefit Everyone (June 17, 2015)

During the 3rd official drafting session to formulate an outcome document for the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, a coalition of 30 NGOs from around the globe are urging governments to pave the way for setting up an intergovernmental body on tax cooperation with universal membership under the roof of the United Nations. To 'sweeten the deal' for delegates, and to strengthen their resolve, negotiators received a little gift of chocolate, which came right in time just after lunch. Of course, arguments were also provided for why the world needs a new institution for a truly global tax governance. (Eurodad, GPF, et al.)

Can Green Growth Really Work? (June 17, 2015)

“Green Growth” is frequently promoted as the new growth paradigm. It is of a different quality as it is largely based on enhanced material/resource/energy efficiency, structural changes towards a service-dominated economy and a switch in the energy mix, favouring renewable energy. But can Green Growth also mitigate climate change at the required scale and pace? Is it the solution to the multiple crises we are facing or an excuse to do nothing fundamental to bring about a U-turn of global Greenhouse Gas emissions? A new paper by Ulrich Hoffmann argues that resource efficiency, re-structuring of economies and a change in the energy mix are not sufficient to cope with the complexities of climate change. A much deeper transformation is required: climate change threatens the global equality of opportunity for prosperity and is thus a huge developmental challenge for all countries, but particularly for the global South. (Ulrich Hoffmann)


Regulatory framework fails to match hope placed on private companies, new studies say (June 11, 2015)

Negotiations towards the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on July 13-16, are in full gear. In line with ongoing trends in the landscape of development assistance, deliberations thus far have shown a strong promotion, especially by Northern countries, of increased reliance on private sector sources for development funding. Two new studies set out to interrogate what does this mean for the language on human rights accountability of the private sector that we should expect to see negotiated in the conference, and whether expectations are being met by reality. (Aldo Caliari)

INGOs in Haiti: Development Actors as agents for Alternatives to Development? (June 09, 2015)

NGOs, particularly those seeking to imagine and practice alternatives, are confronted with the pitfalls of this aspiration and the reality of being a part of the structured mainstream development apparatus. Very little practical research has been conducted so far, both about the consequences for their work, as well as conflicts within Post-Development theory itself. Indeed, although Post-Development has been discussed extensively on a theoretical level and been criticized for lacking propositions of concrete and constructive alternatives, spaces for a practical Post-Development implementation have yet to be explored. In this discussion Julia Schoeneberg aims to investigate what practical contribution Post-Development has to offer for progressive development work. The focus of her paper is laid on partnerships and cooperation between Haitian and international NGOs. (Julia Schöneberg)

The Third FFD Conference Follow-up (May 28, 2015)

As governments negotiate the Third Financing for Development Conference (FFD 3) to be held in Addis Ababa (13-16 July 2015), an important decision that they will have to make refers to the follow-up process. This brief piece by CIDSE offers some thoughts on the international dimensions of such monitoring, accountability and review mechanisms. The briefing note elucidates that the FFD follow-up process has two roles to fulfill: it should serve as a coordination forum for tracking progress on all sources of finance for development, and secondly it should support the SDGs. Nevertheless the paper points out why it is crucial that the FFD follow-up process needs to be separate and autonomous from the Post-2015 agenda. (CIDSE)

A milestone on the road to fairer global taxation? (May 22, 2015)

For decades, development policy was shaped by the notion that the poor countries of the Global South needed money from the wealthy North in order to advance in their development. At the latest since the 2008/09 financial crisis this view of things has, it seems, begun to change. In the current Global Governance Spotlight, GPF's Wolfgang Obenland, analyses the negotiations on the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, scheduled to take place from 13 to 17 July 2015 in Addis Ababa, and shares his assessment regarding its progressiveness. (Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden)

The Truth About Trade Agreements (April 28, 2015)

"In both the financing for development negotiations and the post-2015 development process, attention is given to trade policies as an instrument for sustainable development, both within the World Trade Organisation and preferential trade and investment agreements. The question of how to align those policies with our objectives here requires us to urgently re-order the hierarchy of obligations to which many Member States currently subscribe. It is a question of policy coherence at its most stark." says Tessa Khan of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development during the negotiations for a Post-2015 Agenda in New York. APWLD

The Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectivestoday launches its latest Discussion Paper. "Goals for the Rich - Indispensable for a Universal Post-2015 Agenda" deals with the question of how a fair sharing of costs, responsibilities and opportunities among and within countries can be achieved in formulating and implementing a Post-2015 Sustainability Agenda. (Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives)

Accountability for the post-2015 agenda: A proposal for a robust global review mechanism (March 18, 2015)

CESR has long argued that embedding meaningful accountability into the post-2015 agenda will be critical to ensure it stands any chance of achieving its goals and creating real, empowering change on the ground. As the Secretary-General has said, a new paradigm of accountability is in fact “the real test of people-centred, planet-sensitive development.” In May 2015, one week of the intergovernmental negotiations will be dedicated to discussing what this new paradigm will look like, but already there are signs that ambition may be falling short of what is required. In advance of these negotiations, CESR - along with Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Human Rights Watch – has developed a proposal for a robust monitoring mechanism at the international level, with the human rights principles of transparency, participation, universality and accountability at its core. (Center for Economic and Social Rights)

The new working paper by Christian Aid and the Center for Economic and Social Rights responds to the list of preliminary indicators that the the United Nations Statistical Commission is considering. Their analysis and concrete proposals are based on the premise that a human rights-aligned fiscal data revolution is essential to expose the hidden injustices buried in the way resource-related policies are conducted, and who truly benefits from them. (Christian Aid and the Center for Economic and Social Rights)

The "A" Word: Monitoring the SDGs (February 23, 2015)

In a new article released by Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS) , Roberto Bissio gives his take on the post-2015 process and suggests what must be done to ensure the promises made will be fulfilled. Twenty-two independent UN human rights rapporteurs wrote to the Rio+20 Summit that “real risk exists that commitments made in Rio will remain empty promises without effective monitoring and accountability.” This danger also exists for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The absence of specific targets for monitoring and accountability implies specific consensus about next steps is missing. In fact, many of the targets are essentially impossible to assess quantitatively because they refer to concepts for which there are no indicators or no internationally agreed definition. Governments are primarily responsible to their own citizens through oversight bodies such as parliaments, and so it will be up to civil society to demand and promote regular reporting on national progress. (Future United Nations Development System)

Joint Statement of the Chairpersons of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies on Post-2015 Agenda (January 26, 2015)

In a Joint Statement released by OHCHR, the Chairpersons of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies give their opinion on the post-2015 development agenda and call for accountability to be strengthened. Their call was issued as UN Member States started discussions to finalize the draft set of 17 sustainable development goals which will be put forward for adoption by heads of state at a UN summit in New York in September 2015. The statement also highlights the important role to be played by the private sector in achieving the SDGs, and the importance of ensuring private sector accountability. (OHCHR)

Side-event: Applying Common but Differentiated Responsibilities in a Financing Sustainable Development Context

You are cordially invited to a conference by the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN, CIDSE and Social Watch on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 in the UN Conference Building, New York. Dealing with responsibilities in a financing sustainable development context, this event seeks to generate discussion on conceptual challenges such as an evenhanded approach to the three pillars of sustainable development, adapting a framework like the Financing for Development process to the universal agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals without denaturalizing and decontextualizing it and how to incorporate important principles agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

Reviewing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and Partnerships (January 20, 2015)

In September 2015, the heads of state and government of the United Nations (UN) Member States are scheduled to decide on the Post-2015 agenda. This is to include not only a list of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also a mechanism for monitoring and review. What would the review mechanism have to look like to contribute to the implementation of sustainable development? Marianne Beisheim, researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) examines the debate taking place over the review process, highlights the positions of selected key actors, discusses criteria for designing a review, and applies these to analyze and assess existing review systems. Finally, she develops specific proposals for a universal, state-led, participatory, multi-level “Commit and Review” process that could serve as a central component of the follow-up process for the Post-2015 goals. (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

Confronting Development: A Critical Assessment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (January 12, 2015)

In a new report released by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office, Barbara Adams and Kathryn Tobin give their take on the post-2015 process and suggest how various actors can intervene to shape proposed new goals. The Sustainable Development Goals will determine the global development agenda for years to come. They will affect not only the UN’s Secretariat, funds and programmes but each member state as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector around the world. If processes converge to create a universial and effective agenda, which holds governments and others to account, the UN would reassert itself for addressing the many conflicts that cannot be resolved by individual countries. Such an accomplishment would have implications for a whole spectrum of issues, and it is not too late for the United Nations, member states, and international civil society to make this happen. (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office)

2014

In a recent blog post, the Center for Economic and Social Rights takes a look behind the data ‘revolution’ and finds that high quality, accessible data – combined with important shifts in how we collect and use it – could certainly play a role in improving human rights enjoyment, empowerment and accountability. Indeed, CESR states that data can illuminate human rights problems and help to identify potential policy solutions. Not only does it provide and aggregate information about people, it should also be used for and by people to help them shift power imbalances, claim their rights and procure the services to which they are entitled to realize those rights. However, CESR cautions that transformative change is still ultimately a question of political will and power. Data must not be perceived as a quick fix to solve global poverty and inequality, rather it is part of a much broader development approach that engages with communities and ensures they have the means to challenge development injustices.

The path towards a global strategy for financing sustainable development (November 7, 2014)

On September 19 2014, Global Policy Forum, in collaboration with MISEREOR, hosted an expert panel discussion that raised many strategic questions on the topic of financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the sustainable development goals. Many of the answers to these questions depend on the outcomes of negotiations in the run up to the UN Financing for Development Conference in July and the expected UN Summit to pass a post-2015 agenda in September 2015. In the meantime, however, the workshop presented an opportunity for civil society, academia and government experts to reach some consensus on the crucial issues that need to be addressed before any agreements are finalized next year.

Eight Key Issues for a Post-2015 Global Development and Sustainability Agenda (September 25, 2014)

The German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, in cooperation with various other German civil society actors, has published a position paper outlining eight key aspects that need to be further built on by the post-2015 Global Development and Sustainability Agenda. Key elements include: a decent life for all; human rights; gender; generational and distributive justice and respect of planetary boundaries; the complete eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; and the safeguarding of natural resources and ecosystems – elements for which the Global North and Global South have a common but differentiated responsibility. The group of NGOs states that the implementation of the post-2015 agenda must become a political priority and cannot be allowed to fail due to short-term political thinking, a lack of political will, disputes about matters of competencies, or a refusal to provide the required financing.

OWG Report to be “Main Basis” for SDGs in Post-2015 Agenda (September 10, 2014)

The General Assembly agreed on September 10, 2014 that the proposal of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be the main basis for a concise set of sustainable development goals that will encapsulate a truly transformative post-2015 development agenda. Other inputs, such as the intergovernmental negotiating process at the UNGA's 69th session will also be considered. Japan, the EU and Australia are also encouraging the inclusion of the report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) in negotiations on the post-2015 agenda. Although some political issues remain unresolved, these do not challenge the substance of the OWG report as the backbone of consensus.

The search for accountability in development agendas (July 31, 2014)

„Accountability is only meaningful if the powerful can be brought into account” says Roberto Bissio of the civil society network Social Watch in a recent article. In order to achieve sustainable development, global accountability mechanisms have to change radically. Under the status quo, “mutual accountability” is practiced as oversight of donors and creditors over developing countries. Genuine accountability, however, would also include the developed nations’ commitments to human rights and environmental treaties and their pledges to give 0.7% of their GDP to development aid as well as multilateral organizations such as the WTO, the World Bank or the IMF. Last but not least, the private sector, that benefits from a vast extension of rights under trade and investment policies, has to be held accountable for its actions, according to Bissio. (Rightingfinance)

The Road to Development Justice (July 28, 2014)

Inequality is now so high that a woman garment worker earns less in a year than the Walton family earns every second. Climate change will force 50 million people to migrate from Bangladesh alone. The global crises of inequality and climate are both caused by our global economy. Together they threaten the future of humanity. It's time for a new model - a model of Development Justice. This video by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development explains Development Justice and the shifts civil society in the Global South demand. It makes the case for why we need a new development model to address the double crises of inequality and environmental collapse. (Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development)


Means of Implementation nearly toppled process of SDGs agenda (July 24, 2014)

After thirteen sessions, the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) made an important step forward towards a global sustainable development agenda last week in New York. It formulized a 24-page "outcome document" that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, broken down into 169 targets. Once again, conflicts about the means of implementation (MOI) of the SDGs arose between member states in the final hours of the negotiations. The tense climate in the discussions revealed skepticism and suspicion on both sides of the fence, with most developing countries expecting the developed countries to not commit to goal specific MOI and with diluted commitments on the combined Goal 17, given the history of unfulfilled aid and UN treaty financing commitments from most developed countries. In conclusion, Third World Network explains, the adoption of the SDG document by the OWG in some sense was a step forward, despite the fact that the text failed to meaningfully address an enhanced global partnership for development as well as ambitious and substantive means of implementation both within the goals and through themes of trade, finance and technology.  The myriad green lights given to private sector financing and partnerships for sustainable development, without any specific language on evaluations, accountability, transparency and overall governance, were deeply worrying. (Third World Network)

Women’s “8 Red Flags” following the conclusion of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (July 22, 2014)

On Saturday 19th of July the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concluded negotiations and submitted a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the United Nations General Assembly. Though the SDGs will be ultimately negotiated in September 2015, the proposal by the Open Working Group will have a big influence on the final set of goals. The SDGs will supersede the Millennium Development Goals and encompass a broad spectrum of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Yesterday, the Women’s Major Group, one of the nine Major Groups involved in the negotiation process within the Open Working Group, released a statement critically assessing the new SDGs. The Women’s Major Group welcomes the, in comparison to the MDGs, more holistic approach to development as well as specific goals that strengthen women’s rights. However, according to the statement, the SDGs fall short of expectations not fully implementing a rights-based development approach and failing to secure gender equality and women’s human rights in critical areas. (UN Women's Major Group)

The dilution of development aid? (July 21, 2014)

Development aid is being redefined. Before the new UN Development Goals (Post-2015 Agenda) can be determined, the industrialized countries of the OECD wish to redefine which financial flows count as development aid. In a new article, Swiss coalition Alliance Sud analyzes  propsoals for a new ODA (Official Development Assistance) standard, which would be used to determine whether donor countries are fulfilling their pledges to allocate .7% of their GNI to development assistance. So far, NGO criticism of the new measurement method could well be ignored. And it is already clear today that at the end of the negotiations, it is the interests of major donors and not those of developing countries that will have held sway. (Alliance Sud)

SDGs: Means of implementation below expectations (July 8, 2014)

Means of implementation (MOI) once again trigger difficult discussions between governments at the second last session (16-20 June) of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN in New York. Countries in the Global South insist to include MOI as a central topic within the draft of the OWG in order to be able to achieve the SDGs. Although the currently released Zero-Draft by the OWG on 30 June includes MOI for each goal and as a goal for itself, it was, unfortunately, integrated in a weak and insufficient way, according to Third World Network (TWN). TWN emphasises: "[u]nless Goal 17 targets and goal specific MOI are made more accountable it is likely that the SDGs will follow the example of the MDGs and end up being a car without fuel and sustainable development will remain as elusive as ever.“ (Third World Network)

SDGs: The disappearing act of the “inequality” goal (June 26, 2014)

The negotiations of the Open Working Group (OWG) on a draft of goals and targets for the Post-2015 Agenda has reached its final phase at the 12th Session on 16-20 June in New York. Discussions were raised with respect to an inquality goal, which was included as a stand alone goal in the zero draft after the last session of OWG. However, an unofficial release of a new set of goals by the Co-Chairs on 16 June merges poverty reduction and inequality into one combined focus area. Nevertheless, this is of little help to conclude the serious division between developing and developed countries in the inequality discussion. (Ranja Sengupta/Third World Network)

Linking Finance and the Post-2015 Agenda (June 25, 2014)

Aldo Caliari, Director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, argues in an article published by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) that financial and monetary reform should be a fundamental part of post-2015 development agenda. Taking this into consideration, the new agenda was a political opportunity to avoid following the imperfect path of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to include necessary means of implementation. On top of that, Caliari presents thoughts on key areas like financial regulations and mobilization of domestic resources, which could be covered in an action plan that is essential for development finance to work. (Aldo Caliari/UN-NGLS)

CSOs criticize closing of 12th OWG session to NGOs (June 24, 2014)

One day after NGO representatives were escorted out of the 12th Session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by security staff, the global women’s network Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) together with other partners from Major Groups and Stakeholders wrote an Open Letter to the OWG Co-chairs and all Member States. The broad alliance of civil society organizations (CSO) critically stated that closing the session to them without providing a clear reason violates the right to participation and limits their capability to distribute information. Besides that, other complications like the exclusion from following the webcast are contrary to the inclusive and open spirit of the OWG. (DAWN)

Will Post-2015 meet Human Rights standards? (June 11, 2014)

The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) asks whether the post-2015 development proposal will meet a Human Rights Litmus Test. The test, established by Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus, a global coalition of different organizations and co-convened by CESR, is a tool that evaluates current proposals of the Open Working Group according to existing human rights norms, standards and commitments by means of eight key questions. Following this, the ‘roadmap for embedding human rights’ sets out detailed criteria linked to each question, which help to examine whether the means of implementation, including ideas for financing, monitoring and accountability, are successfully ensured. (Center for Economics and Social Rights)

Post-2015 data test: Unpacking the Data Revolution (June 10, 2014)

Discussions about a successful follow-up framework for the Millennium Development Goals that is shaped by country conditions influence the current international development agenda. In this context the demand for a “data revolution” is increasing in policy circles. A new “Post-2015 data test”, established by The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), The North-South Institute (NSI) and Southern Voice, contributes to this effort, while enhancing accessibility of information for governments, decision-makers and citizens. Using this information may help to track development progress and performance at national and global levels and to examine country priorities and challenges towards possible post-2015 goals. (The Centre for Policy Dialogue, The North-South Institute and Southern Voice)

EC private sector plan putting business before poverty reduction (May 26, 2014)

The European Commission (EC) published an action plan which includes proposals to further private sector engagement in developing countries. The EC’s policy paper is an attempt to redraw European development cooperation to encourage policy change. By looking closer to the policy paper, Eurodad states that the EC misses to tackle the fact that main European impacts on private sector in developing countries are driven by European policies in other areas like trade, agriculture or tax. In doing so, the EC risks that business needs are considered before poverty reduction. Moreover, it is difficult to classify how the EC is going to put the announced objectives into practice. By taking all these points into consideration, Eurodad prepared recommendations for the EC and EU member states, which should be noticed to mitigate problematic aspects of the action plan. (Eurodad)

Post-2015 Agenda: Caution against role of partnership (May 8, 2014)

Third World Network (TWN) picks up on the debate over the performance of the private sector as contributor to the Post-2015 Agenda. Opinions over its role at UN level are dividing, according to TWN. Some in the international community recognize the private sector as crucial partners. In contrast, an increasing number of civil society organizations and networks worldwide express their substantive concerns over private sector financing for development. In line with this, Latin American countries like Brazil call attention to the need for a reform of governance mechanisms ensuring transparency, accountability and coordination. Furthermore they caution against the bringing in of additional funding from private corporations and philanthropy, which may lead to an outsourcing of development cooperation. (Third World Network)

New briefing demands ‘fiscal revolution’ to finance sustainable development (May 5, 2014)

As the negotiation of the post-2015 development agenda further evolves from broad ideas to more and more specific targets, the question of how to sufficiently finance sustainable development becomes increasingly important. Prior to the 11th session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals between May 5 and May 9 organizations Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Christian Aid published a policy briefing tackling exactly this issue. In order to ensure sufficient, equitable and accountable financing for sustainable development the authors demand a ‘fiscal revolution’ based on three dimensions of fiscal policy, namely complementary domestic and global fiscal commitments, socioeconomic equality within and between countries as well as transparency, participation and public oversight of domestic and global tax and fiscal decision-making. Additionally, the report proposes a set of six specific targets to be embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals. (Center for Economic and Social Rights, Christian Aid)

Call for Women's Right to Safe Abortion in Post-2015 Agenda (May 2, 2014)

The International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion calls for an inclusion of the right to safe abortion in the post-2015 agenda. The International Campaign is a coalition of organizations and networks, which aims to improve women’s human right to safe and legal abortion. As laid down in its statement women should be able to make their own decisions, without facing degrading treatment, discrimination or risks to their health or lives. (International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion)

A broad alliance of civil society organizations published a joint statement critically assessing the inclusion of human rights in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda prior to the session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals from May 5 to May 9. The CSOs applaud the universality of a working document of the OWG proposing fifteen focus areas and specific targets for possible SDGs, which reflect the current state of negotiations within the OWG. On the other hand, the supporters of the CSO statement criticize a number of shortcomings: although economic and social rights were represented in several goals and focus areas they were not recognized as human rights in themselves. Furthermore, the document lacked clear provisions to ensure that the private sector and international financial institutions remain accountable and fully respect human rights and the environment. Though, some progress may be achieved, the OWG needs to step up its efforts to fully incorporate human rights into the post-2015 development agenda according to the statement. (Arab NGO Network for Development et al.)


State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability (April 29, 2014)

The Worldwatch Institute is releasing the 2014 edition of its “State of the World” series. “Governing for Sustainability” examines how action—on climate, species loss, inequity, and other sustainability crises—is being driven by local, people’s, women’s, and grassroots movements around the world, often in opposition to the agendas pursued by governments and big corporations. The book’s contributors analyze a variety of trends and proposals, including regional and local climate initiatives, the rise of benefit corporations and worker-owned firms, the need for energy democracy, the Internet’s impact on sustainability, and the importance of eco-literacy. The book features an abridged version of GPF’s report on corporate influence in the Post-2015 Agenda. (Worldwatch Institute)

Human rights organizations focus on financing for development negotiations (April 23, 2014)

At the Special High-Level Meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held in New York on April 14-15, 2014, governments disscussed about features of new development goals which will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Commitments to financing the new goals are expected to play an important role in those negotiations. In this regard, human rights organizations argue that human rights should inform commitments to finance the new development agenda. (RightingFinance)

Civil society rallies to prevent privatization of post-2015 process (April 14, 2014)

In a new blog, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) emphasizes that debates intensify around the role of public-private partnerships in the Post-2015 Agenda. CESR warns that many governments were pushing hard to include the private sector, however this may drown out global civil society’s demands for human rights at core of a sustainable development framework. Proponents of private-public partnership failed to recognize risks of privatizing post-2015, one reason why civil society was rallying to decrease the role of corporations in the post-2015 process. (Center for Economic and Social Rights)

Report on private contributions to financing for development Post-2015 (April 11, 2014)

New report on "Financing for Development Post-2015: Improving the Contribution of Private Finance" commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on Development and co-written by Eurodad, Development Finance International, A&J Communication Development Consultants and Development Initiatives finds that global public finance cannot be directly substituted by private finance, as it pays for public goods, is more predictable and counter-cyclical, and can be targeted at the poorest countries. Global private finance mainly goes to higher income countries and has difficultly targeting MSMEs or paying for public services. Leveraging private finance has faced many problems including in proving additionality, in transparency and lack of ownership, and poor evidence of development impact. (European Parliament and Eurodad)

CSO Statement on Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development (April 10, 2014)

Civil Society Organisations participating in an outreach event of the UN Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing on “Co-Creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development” in Helsinki issued a statement on what they perceive as key elements of the experts committee's work. The CSOs underline that there is “need to act now. […] To put the world on track for a sustainable future, all actors have to contribute to sustainable development. We need financing of good quality and quantity, sustainable use of our natural resources and crucial policy changes, which works in favor of those currently left behind [...] Partnerships between public and private sectors and catalyzing private investment with public money can only be complementary to public finance.” (Civil Society Organisations)

Statement by Righting Finance Initiative (April 2, 2014)

On April 3-4, 2014 the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Financing Sustainable Development holds a consultation on  "Co-Creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development" in Helsinki, Finland. This committee was established by the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference, which called for committee of experts tasked with preparing a report "proposing options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives".

In a statement for the occasion, Righting Finance says that "in view of the systemic market failures of the past decade, we are convinced now more than ever of the need for an effective and capable government as a protector and guarantor of human rights in development rather than a mere enabler of private sector development". (Righting Finance Initiative) 

Subsidy reform and economic and social rights (March 25, 2014)

The Arab NGO Network for Development, in collaboration with the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and the New America’s Middle East Task Force, recently conducted a study of IMF recommendations to Arab governments, particularly those pertaining to austerity measures and subsidy regimes. The report is based on systematic reviews of IMF staff reports on transitioning Arab countries – Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt – and consultations with regionally-based civil society organizations and thought leaders. (annd and ECESR)

New development goals need to include commitments by the rich (March 20, 2014)

A meeting aimed at coordinating global advocacy on a new development agenda was held last February 23-24 in Istanbul, convened by the UN Secretary-General’s adviser on development planning, the UN Foundation, the Overseas Development Institute of the UK and CIVICUS. Social Watch addressed a letter to the meeting arguing that "joint civil society action around Post-2015 has to focus on goals and commitments for the countries of the North, the necessary changes of the consumption and production patterns in these countries, and the structural framework conditions shaped by these countries, particularly in the global financial, investment and trade systems". (Social Watch)


Women respond to UN SDG proposal (March 19, 2014)

At the ninth session of the UN General Assembly's Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals, the Women's Major Group (WMG) issued a response to the 19 proposed focus areas, assembled by the OWG in February. Through their response WMG contributes to the intergovernmental processes on SDGs and reflect the broad range of areas. The WMG is pleased to see an integrated approach, recognising the inter-linkages between the focus areas. It appreciates the stand-alone focus on gender equality and women's empowerment, as well as the dealing with inequalities, multidimensional character of poverty or the universal access to education. However, it regrets that women's rights are not mentioned in the document, although equality and empowerment cannot be furthered "without firm commitment to and fulfillment of women's human rights". (Women's Major Group)


The Future HLPF Review (March 13, 2014)

In a new working paper, Marianne Beisheim from the German Insitute for International and Security Affairs analyzes the options for a review mechanism for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a UN body created after the Rio+20 summit in 2012 and inaugurated in September 2013. The HLPF is replacing the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development and aimed at providing political leadership and guidance and a a dynamic platform for regular dialogue, stocktaking, and agenda-setting – all to advance sustainable development. Furthermore, the HLPF is to provide "follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments." In her paper, Marianne Beisheim develops criteria for an effective review mechanism, analyzes existing review mechanisms and evaluates their advantages for the new HLPF review. (Marianne Beisheim, German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

The Ecological Dimension in the Post-2015 Agenda (February 14, 2014)

In 2012, the Rio+20 Conference agreed upon launching negotiations for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Post-2015 era. While the MDGs’ targets  were aimed at poverty reduction, several southern countries aimed at formulating and implementing concrete goals for a new agenda for sustainability and development. In a new publication German environmental and development organizations have therefore engaged in the discussion and present a set of ecological sustainability goals to be included in the Post-2015 Agenda and to put the ecology in the focus of the future SDGs. (German NGO Forum on Environment and Development)

Post-2015 Agenda: flowery rhetoric, little substance (February 5, 2014)

The basic parameters of the future development agenda were laid out at the autumn session of the UN General Assembly. The roadmap was presented and initial answers given as to where the global journey should be taking us from 2015 on. The train to genuine sustainability could soon jump the tracks. Moreover After four UN reports, their is no mention of the need to transform financial, trade and economic relations to reduce glaring inequalities, says Swiss coalition Alliance Sud in an analysis of where the post-2015 process is headed. (Alliance Sud)

Creating Sustainable Development Budgets (January 28, 2014)

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) has launched a special issue of its newsletter that focuses on budgeting for environmental sustainability. In his contribution, Jens Martens, Director of the Global Policy Forum lines out the idea of 'Sustainable Development Budgets' and their key role as an integral part of the post-2015 agenda. Moreover articles include examples of what countries are doing to “green” their budgets in Philippines and Canada and what shall be done about environmentally harmful subsidies. (IBP)

2013

Realizing the Right to Development (December 13, 2013)

The event “Realizing a vision for transformative development” was held in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. Roberto Bissio, Social Watch Coordinator, who participated in the event, highlighted that removing the obstacles for development cooperation is essential. (Social Watch)

World Conference Of Indigenous Women: "Progress And Challenges Regarding The Future We Want" (November 13, 2013)

The 2013 World Conference of Indigenous Women "Progress and Challenges Regarding the Future we Want" held from October 28-30 2013, in Lima, Peru, was attended by about 300 Indigenous women leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, the Artic, Russia and the Pacific. AWID's Gabriela De Cicco has conducted an interview with Mirna Cunningham Kain, President of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and AWID Board Member, about the conference, their agreed agenda and the issues Indigenous women consider most urgent for their collective. (AWID)

The Working Group on "Financing for sustainable development" of the socalled UN System Task Team (UNTT) has issued four background papers for the Intergovernmental Expert Committee on Sustainable Development Financing and its deliberations surrounding the post-2015 UN development agenda. Paper #1 reviews investment requirement estimates that have been published over the last decade for nine sectors; paper #2 takes stock of national, regional and international public sources for sustainable development finance; paper #3 examines the challenges in raising private sector resources; paper #4 explores challenges and opportunities of public support.

Moving from Rhetoric towards Real Implementation of Gender Equality (October 22, 2013)

The Women’s Major Group (WMG) responds to the Special Event convened by the President of the UN's General Assembly to review progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and to chart the way forward. In acknowledging the achievements the Women's Major Group is nevertheless greatly concerned that without a transformative shift in the way that gender equality and women’s human rights and justice concerns are articulated, a truly sustainable post-2015 Development agenda will not be achieved. (Women's Major Group)


Gita Sen speaks at HLPF on Sustainable Development (September 26, 2013)

The representative of the Women's Major Group Gita Sen spoke at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Prof. Sen was invited to speak on behalf of the 9 Major Groups, that were created to ensure civil society's participation in the decision-making for sustainable development in the UN. She gave a strong speech and provided the forum with four important statements surrounding: the need for well-regulated financial systems to sustain the economic system, human rights needing to be at centre to achieve sustainable development, the enforcement of clauses for transparency and clear mechanisms for private corporations, and the ongoing presence of civil society now and in the future.

ANND comments on the SG's report (September 25, 2013)

Although the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) welcomes the report and joins to the general call towards a life of dignity for all by the UN's Secretary General it mentions shortcomings and deficits in a newly announced comment. Amongst others ANND is concerned with the lack of interlinkages between development and trade on the one hand and Human Rights and trade on the other and calls to implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. (ANND)

The UN’s NGLS has launched a report on the post-2015 development agenda which entailed a four-month consultation with 120 regional civil society networks and includes statements from GPF. Together the networks have come up with four objectives surrounding justice, human rights, the equal distribution of resources and accountability/transparency. The recommendations will be presented to officials on 25 September 2013.

UN: Experts committee on financing sustainable development begins work (September 13, 2013)

The long awaited work of an experts committee on sustainable development financing, a key outcome of the Rio+20 United Nations conference, has finally started. The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing held its first session on 28-30 August at the UN headquarters in New York. However, contrary to most multilateral discussions and intergovernmental processes in the UN, the session was closed to not only external stakeholders but also the Member States that are not part of the Committee membership of 30 states. (Third world Network)

Letter by Women's Major Group to Ban Ki Moon on his MDG/Post-2015 Report (September 6, 2013)

Women's Major Group, representing 500 women's organizations form all around the world, today addressed UN Secretary-general Ban Ki Moon with regard to his report to the 68th General Assembly on the progress towards the MDGs and the UN's development agenda beyond 2015. In the letter, which is supported more than 50 civil society groups (including GPF), the coalition calls for a stronger recognition of women's rights in the debated post 2015 development agenda as well as for a meaningful approach for a truly transformative approach to the prevailing macro-economic model. Finally, the letter calls on Ban "to ensure that human rights are firmly placed at the centre of the new development paradigm and to warrant that any new framework should be fully coherent with existing agreements and processes on (women’s) human rights". (Women's Major Group)

Rethinking the Role of Consumption (July 24, 2013)

Economic growth remains the focus of both policies and societies worldwide. In the meantime, social inequality rises and the ecological destruction of our planet continues to accelerate. We know that things have to change, but struggle to imagine a good life beyond the consumption driven lifestyles we have established for ourselves in. In this new publication Is Different Really Enough? Thoughts on a New Role for Consumption, experts from different parts of the world address the question of consumer responsibility in the necessary transformation process towards more sustainable societies and set out to look for new roles for consumption. (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)

Women's Rights Groups send Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon (July 5, 2013)

In an open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, a coalition of women's rights groups DAWN, IWHC and Resurj urge Ban to reassert the importance of women's rights within the post-2015 development agenda. They call on the Secretary-General to put on emphasis on women's reproductive health, sexual education for both girls and boys and the promotion of women's leadership. The groups see an emerging consensus in the High-Level Panel's report, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network's report and the Global Compact's report on the importance of women's rights, and ask the Secretary-General to reflect this in his own recommendations. (DAWN, IWHC, Resurj)

What's the Future for Women's Rights? (July 1, 2013)

In an interview with Susan Tolmay from the women's rights organization AWID, Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, talks about how women's rights have come to be understood more as fundamental human rights, and how the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights helped to shape this process. She also points to the challenges that remain on the road to a full realization of women's rights, and what impact the MDGs have had with regard to women. (AWID)

Declaration Adopted at Vienna+20 Conference Calls for Primacy of Human Rights (June 28, 2013)

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Second World Conference on Human Rights, which produced the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, a wide range of civil society organizations gathered in Vienna this week. They adopted the Vienna+20 CSO Declaration, which emphasizes the primacy of human rights and calls for rights to be made operational. (FIAN International)

Beyond Pragmatism in the Post-2015 Agenda - the GPF Europe Director in ICAE Virtual Exchange (June 12, 2013)


The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) is currently having a virtual exchange on the topic “Post-2015 Education Agenda: Advocacy Actions”. In a contribution, the director of Global Policy Forum Europe, Jens Martens, calls  for a holistic post-2015 development agenda that would go beyond mere pragmatism. (ICAE Virtual Exchange)

DAWN Criticizes High-level Panel Report (June 13, 2013)

In a statement, the global women’s network Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) puts forward heavy criticism of the report published by the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda on 31 May 2013. DAWN argues that the report does not pay attention to women's concerns and instrumentalizes their human rights, while also propagating a questionable model of corporate driven economic growth. (DAWN)

SDSN Releases Its Report on the SDGs: An Action Plan for Sustainable Development (June 7, 2013)

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published its report “An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The report outlines sustainable development priorities for the period 2015-2030, covering what SDSN regards as main dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth and the end of poverty, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance. In its report, SDSN proposes ten Sustainable Development Goals, which among others include ending extreme poverty, providing universal access to health and education and combating climate change. By contrast to the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons, which released its report last week, the SDSN has included a specific focus on inequalities. (SDSN)

UN High-Level Panel Does Not Exhibit New Ideas (June 4, 2013)

In a response to the report presented by the UN High-Level Panel on the Post 2015 development agenda last Thursday, economist Gabriele Köhler argues that the report contains nothing fundamentally new. By contrast, the panel remains within the familiar neoliberal paradigm, opting to neglect issues concerning the reorganization of the global value chain, access to work and land, as well as the dismantling of the welfare state. (Gabriele Köhler)

Somalia Failing to Meet Millennium Development Goals (June 3, 2013)

In its national report for Somalia, the international civil society network Social Watch points out that Somalia is unlikely to meet most, if any, of the Millennium Development Goals. Given the repeated crises in the country, Social Watch calls for a renewed focus to discuss the special challenges faced by Somalia, and to ask why it is not on the path towards fulfilling the MDGs. (Social Watch)

High level panel proposes to the UN to put mega business, not people, at the center of development (May 31, 2013)

Social Watch, a network of civil society organizations in over 80 countries that monitor their governments compliance with international commitments, expressed deep disappointment with the suggestions of new development goals to replace the MDGs proposed today to the United Nations by a High Level Panel. (Social Watch)

A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development (May 30, 2013)

The High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda released “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,”a report which sets out an agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The report calls upon the world to rally around a new "Global Partnership" that wants to offer hope and a role to everyone in the world. (High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda)

New Report: Africa Net Creditor to the Rest of the World (May 29, 2013)

A joint report by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Financial Integrity (GFI), launched Wednesday at the 48th AfDB Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, reveals that the African continent has been a long-term net creditor to the rest of the world. The report finds that Africa suffered between US$597 billion and US$1.4 trillion in net outflows between 1980 and 2009 after adjusting net recorded transfers for illicit financial outflows. (Global Financial Integrity & African Development Bank)

UN-NGLS launches first issue of The 2015 Post (May 28, 2013)

The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) this week launched a new e-magazine. The 2015 Post provides an overview of the current state of affairs and recent events and discussions related to the UN-led process of defining the post-2015 agenda and the intergovernmental decision-making follow-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or “Rio+20.” In an effort to highlight a range of voices and views on significant issues, The 2015 Post includes opinion pieces, interviews, and analysis of UN and civil society-led projects, conferences, reports and resources. It captures key messages emerging from these processes, while pointing out future opportunities to engage with them. (NGLS)

In a recently published briefing paper Kishore Mahbubani writes "As we move into an era of great convergence, the West must fundamentally rethink its policy that its long-term interests are served by keeping institutions of global governance weak. With only 12 percent of the population of the global village and a declining share of economic and military power, the West’s long-term geopolitical interests will switch from trying to preserve its "dominance” to safeguards to protect the West’s “minority” position in a new global configuration of power."

The paper was published in a briefing series by the Future United Nations Development System project of the Ralph Bunche Institute, sponsored by several European governments, Wilton Park and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. (Future United Nations Development System)

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter calls for the post-2015 development agenda to be urgently refocused on equality, social protection and accountability, as the efforts of the UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals to draft post-2015 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) entered a crucial phase.

In a statement co-signed by 17 UN rights experts, the Special Rapporteur called for goals on eliminating inequalities and establishing basic social protection for all, as well as for a double accountability mechanism to hold countries to account for their commitments at national and international level.

The experts said: "Future goals must be sensitive to who benefits and at whose expense, and must go beyond blunt, aggregate targets that allow us to pick the 'low-hanging fruit' and ignore the most vulnerable groups, while leaving systemic injustices untouched." (Olivier De Schutter)

Accountability and Human Rights Post 2015 (May 23, 2013)

In a joint report, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Center for Economic and Social Rights emphasize the role played by accountability measures in the post-2015 development vision. They point out that a major deficiency of the Millennium Development Goals has been a lack of accountability. To address this concern, the report makes several recommendations intended to strengthen both national and international accountability mechanisms, to empower those who are most vulnerable, and to streamline a human rights approach into the post-2015 development debate. (OHCHR/CESR)

Interview: Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (February 25, 2013)

UNDP’s administrator Helen Clark, in a recent interview talks about the success and failures of the MDGs and how those lessons can be incorporated into the post-2015 development agenda. The MDGs brought exceptional results for Africa’s least developed countries with regards to healthcare and primary education because the benchmarks were most relevant to the continent. However, there is a need for addressing inequalities in progress post-2015 as country-wide and global reporting on the MDGs masked the weak progress achieved in key areas for Sub-Saharan Africa. The future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the name suggests, will have sustainability integrated into each goal rather than stand along development goals, and Ms. Clark cites the success of India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in this regard. The SDGs will refine the existing MDGs, for example, by setting education goals beyond primary education, addressing the root cause of diseases and focusing not just on employment but the quality of work as well. (This Is Africa)

Give Grassroot Groups a Real Say on What Comes Next in Development (February 22, 2013)

The upcoming Sustainability Development Goals due to replace the MDGs in 2015 are expected to have a “people-centered agenda”. However, civil society organizations (CSOs) have little voice in international decision-making, nor are there any mechanisms created to change that process for the SDGs. Moreover, grassroots CSOs in the global south in particular are often unable to participate, unlike larger northern NGOs that are well connected, have better funding and are ideally situated to lobby at international conferences. As a result, addressing root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental destruction, predominantly seen in the global south, are unlikely to have the desired impact without the input of local CSOs, which have a real understanding of these issues. For the SDGs to achieve greater success there is a need to enhance CSO involvement as stakeholders rather than background voices. (Guardian)

UNDP's Clark: Balancing Water, Food, Energy Key to Post-2015 Goals (February 13, 2013)

The eight MDGs, successful in varying degrees, are due to be replaced by a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) post-2015. Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, suggests that these SDGs will be more overarching. Discussions until now have focused on creating a holistic approach to development, one that put greater emphasis on creating a sustainable economy and environment as well. This cross-cutting approach applies to the suggested concept of water-food-energy nexus that accounts for how these are interconnected as well as their economic, social and environmental dimensions. Balance is needed to promote holistic governance while setting measurable and specific goals to encourage political support during their implementation. (AlertNet)

Menstruation Taboo Puts 300 mln Women in India at Risk - Experts (February 11, 2013)

With the upcoming 2015 deadline for the MDG’s, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council highlight issues with menstrual hygiene in India. Over 300 million women lack access to menstrual hygiene products due to a patriarchal society stigmatizing discussions surrounding menstruation, according to a WSSCC program manager. Up to 23% of girls drop out of school while others are affected by health or livelihood consequences. Furthermore, only 34% of the population has access to improved sanitation and hygiene, creating estimated losses of $53.8 billion for the country. Menstrual hygiene taboos undermine gender equality and highlight the need for public education programs to help overcome cultural barriers in urban and rural areas. WSSCC is lobbying for its inclusion in the post 2015 goals as an important indicator of progress in sanitation, health, education and workplace development. (AlertNet)

 

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