Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 307 - July 28, 2017

Issue 307 - July 28, 2017
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Too many public-private-partnerships went wrong

"There are regrettably too many examples of public-private-partnerships that went wrong" said RobertoBissio, coordinator of Social Watch, during an official session of theHigh Level Political Forum at the UN. Bissio demanded to better definethe different roles of different stakeholders and the rules that bindthem.
Asked to produce anexample of "partnerships" devoted to women equality, he referred to thereport published in 2013 by the World Bank: "Investing in Women'sEmployment: Good for Business, Good for Development" to highlight aninitiative with the private sector on women's employment. This reportpraises a modest initiative of 9 million dollar of the Brazilianconstruction firm Odebrecht... a firm that a few years later was orderedby US courts to pat a fine of 2.6 billion dollars in fines for his massive practice of bribing decision-makers in many countries. "Womenwashing" can be as bad as "green washing, he said "and without properscreening and vetting and safeguarding these "partnerships" can result in moral damage for the UN and the member states involved". Read more



Inequality requires transformation of power relations and resource distribution

On the last official day of the UN High-Level Political Forum, civil society express concern that ‘vision without implementation is hallucination’.
Despite soaring rhetoric, glossy reports and slick presentations, the fact remains that implementation on the ground is “stalled”, as highlighted in a series of civil society national reports as part of the global Spotlight Report initiative.
Increasingly, civil society is expressing concern that the SDGs are being used not as a roadmap for social, economic and environmental transformation, but as a vehicle to entrench inequitable power relations. In particular, as exhibited in many speeches at the HLPF over the last week and official national reports, much energy is invested in high-profile ‘partnerships’ with the private sector. Read more



Civil Society sees ‘room for improvement’ in national implementation of 2030 Agenda as well as an unfavourable international environment.
During the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) of 44 countries at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, many civil society activists raised questions, criticizing government (in-)action as well as crippling framework conditions that slow down implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level. Read more


Civil society activists are criticizing a piecemeal approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Especially worrisome to activists is a growing gap between aspirational goals and a lack of proper and comprehensive means of implementation. On many occasions – during side-events as well as in official sessions – civil society experts pointed out that relying on financial means alone to implement the SDGs represented a reductionist view. “It is important to question whether ‘trillions’ are really needed to achieve the goals. More fundamental are the policy and regulatory challenges,” explained Stefano Prato, Managing Director at Society for International Development. Rather than looking for ever-new financial products to pay for ‘sustainable investments’, he added, there was the need to challenge production models, with their “externalities” and ossification of gender inequalities in the division of labor. Read more

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