The peoples’ uprisings in the Arab region presented a golden occasion for revisiting the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and particularly the partnership between the Arab countries and the European Union (EU).  The Joint Communication of the High Representative and European Commission, “A New Response to a Changing Neighborhood, ” highlighted important lessons learnt but remained an exercise of self-assessment without the engagement of EU partners and relevant stakeholders (including civil society) for what are widely considered today as major historical changes in the Arab countries.

The need to prevent the damaging drainage from developing country economies represented by illicit financial flows has been gaining international attention. In a recent report (“the Report”) the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Mr. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (“the Expert”), added his voice by developing the implications human rights law and principles have for action on this front.

The June negotiations round on the outcome document for the post-2015 development agenda ended without resolution of the means of implementation issue.

The 6th session of the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations was held on 22-25 June at the UN headquarters in New York.

Means of implementation (MoI) have been the subject of many disagreements during the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) negotiations in 2013-2014 when many developing countries wanted to have MoI under each specific goal while developed countries wanted to keep MoI only under goal 17. Now the discussions are about how MoI should be integrated into the post-2015 agenda as well as how the outcome of the Financing for Development (FfD) track should be incorporated into the final outcome document. The current disagreements show a clear North-South divide.

Khan, Mokhiber, Donoghue,
Schillinger, Rücker and Bissio.

What can New York learn from Geneva? Can human right mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) developed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva serve as a model for the follow up of the new development agenda currently beingdiscussed in New York?

That was the guiding question formulated by Hubert Rene Schillinger, director of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Geneva to a panel on “accountability mechanisms for implementing the SDGs” held last June 18.

Irish ambassador David Donoghue, co-facillitator of the drafting process of the new development agenda admitted that “accountability” is referred to as “the a word” in New York and he explained that “to address sensitivities in various quarters, the phrase we use is ‘follow-up and review’ instead”.

The country is experiencing its worst energy crisis in over a decade which is paralysing the economy and ruining livelihoods. Two public demonstrations were held late February in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana's two main cities, over electricity load-shedding which gives consumers 12 hours electricity and 24 hours total blackout.

But while the opposition-led demonstrators were thumping the streets with anti-government placards and slogans, organised labour in the country took up the struggle on a different front largely ignored by organisers of the demonstration but which many consider as being at the heart of the energy crisis.

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