Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 334 - September 14, 2018

Issue 334 - September 14, 2018
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Brazil: The unreality of promoting the SDGs without a sufficient budget


Austerity is a major concern in the report of Brazil. After over a decade of meaningful progress in tackling poverty through public investments in health, education and social protection, constitutional amendment 95/2016 (CA 95), known as the “Expenditure Rule”, came into force in 2017, freezing real public spending for 20 years. “By constitutionalizing austerity in this way”, comments the report by INESC, “any future elected governments will be prevented from democratically determining the size of human rights and basic needs investments.” Rule CA 95 has already begun to “disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups” as “significant resources are diverted from social programmes towards debt service payments”. These fiscal decisions “put at risk the basic social and economic rights of millions of Brazilians, including the rights to food, health and education, the implementation of the SDGs, while exacerbating gender, racial and economic inequalities”. They could also amount to a massive violation of social and economic rights, since “the Brazilian government has not demonstrated that EC 95 was necessary, proportionate and a last-resort measure, nor that less restrictive alternative measures have been explored and analysed.” In fact, INESC, CESR and Oxfam argue that alternatives – such as more progressive taxation and tackling tax abuses – are readily available. Read more


Bitter observations from Benin


In Benin the Social Watch-Benin network set up four working groups (social, economic, environmental and governance) to draft a parallel report to the government's Voluntary National Review which reviewed 33 priority targets selected from each of the six SDGs to be reviewed at the HLPF in 2018. Indicators were available for only six of these. The network concludes that while the SDGs “have been incorporated in the government's Programme of Action and the projects initiated by the development cooperation partners” the lack of “an efficient information system able to illustrate about implementation” risks resulting in “bitter observations, as has happened with other international commitments and conventions”. Read more



Vector of hope, source of fear


The 2030 Agenda is enthusiastic about the “great potential” for accelerating human progress brought by information and communications technology and global interconnectedness. At the same time, however the UN now acknowledges “the dark side of innovation” and the new challenges of cybersecurity threats, the risks to jobs and privacy unleashed by artificial intelligence and the use of military related ‘cyber operations’ and cyber-attacks.
As with climate change, increasing inequalities or power concentration, those challenges cannot be solved by countries acting in isolation and urgently require strengthened multilateralism.
At the same time, a major technological shift is necessary to implement the global transition -required by the 2030 Agenda- towards less resource-intensive and more resilient economic and social development models. Most of that technology already exists, but new strategies are needed to generalize it at global level.  Read more


Social Watch publishes country reports 2018

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2018 on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. While circumstances and capabilities are unique in each country, common threads emerge: Inequalities, often exacerbated by the international policy framework, are not being reduced, poverty is underestimated or hidden but not eradicated, sustainability is sacrificed to extractivism.

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.


Comments on the Voluntary National Review Report of Lebanon at the HLPF 2018


Lebanon participated in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018, presented its progress report towards achieving sustainable development, and had its Q&A session on July 18th, 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
These comments, drafted by a group of civil society organizations, are intended as a contribution to the dialogue on the harmony between Lebanon’s international com­mitments to international institutions and donors, on one hand, and the achievement of SDGs, social justice, and equal­ity, on the other. Read more




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