Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 304 - July 10, 2017

Issue 304 - July 10, 2017
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Civil society groups reclaim policies for the public

A global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions presents today the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017. It is published on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York. The report provides the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The editing team of the Spotlight Report states:
“In the 2030 Agenda governments committed to a revitalized Global Partnership between States and declared that public finance has to play a vital role in achieving the SDGs. But in recent decades, the combination of neoliberal ideology, corporate lobbying, regressive fiscal policies, tax avoidance and tax evasion has led to a massive weakening of the public sector and its ability to provide essential goods and services. Read the report here



Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Colombia: Are ‘partners’ delivering?

Colombia’s National Development Plan 2014-2018 prioritizes the development of the different productive sectors, mainly the infrastructure sector, energy and mining, as well as hydrocarbons, encouraging the participation of private firms.
The Colombian government proposes that the mining-energy and hydrocarbon sectors will play a key role in ensuring sustained and inclusive economic development, as they will generate significant resources to finance investments that serve to consolidate peace and fight against inequality. However, the productive sectors mentioned have been one of the main focuses of social conflict in the country because of their impact on human rights and the environment. Read more



Finland discusses the 2030 Agenda and the role of business in it

Photo: Maailma Kylässä
The government published the national implementation plan of the SDGs in February 2017. Economic growth and business opportunities are emphasized throughout the plan. Several CSOs have been critical about this approach because it will not reduce global inequality or help conserve natural resources for future generations. The economy should be a tool to achieve sustainable welfare and growth should not be seen an absolute value as such. Finnish CSOs have underlined that the social and ecological responsibility in businesses requires, besides dialogue, binding legislation. France and the Netherlands have legislated recently that businesses active in these countries must take care of human rights along the entire supply chain. Finland should follow their example as soon as possible. Hence, responsibility in public procurement needs to be enhanced by increasing the availability of consultation services. Social and economic responsibility are in a marginalized role in the implementation plan. In addition to ecological impacts human rights issues should be taken more effectively into account. Read more


Social Watch starts publishing country reports 2017

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2017 on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda in its first year. Stalled, or slipping back, is the theme that appears in many of the contributions. Natural and un-natural disasters, some of them of catastrophic proportions, appear again and again not just as an obstacle to faster progress towards the agreed goals, but in fact setting the clock back. Part of the reason for lack of progress has to do with an over-reliance on public-private partnerships, urged by the World Bank as a way to finance implementation of the SDGs.

The Social Watch national platforms are independent coalitions of civil society organizations struggling for social and gender justice in their own countries. The Social Watch network has been publishing since 1996 yearly reports on how governments implement their international commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve equality between women and men.


While commending the institutions of the European Union for their gradual achievements in the field of safeguards and remedies over sanctions, these steps need to be further reinforced, a United Nations human rights expert has said.
This recommendation has come in an end-of-mission statement by Mr Idriss Jazairy, UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. Read more



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