“The universal and potentially 'transformative' character of the USPF has broad appeal to many rights-based advocates", explained Victoria Raquiza, convenor of Social Watch Philippines at the start of a debate convened by SWP and UNICEF in Manila, last April 26. “While acknowledging the strides made in social protection such as through the conditional cash transfer program (Pantawid Pamilya), PhilHealth and pensions for the elderly, social protection remains fragmented, inaccessible and unreachable to many Filipinos."

Speakers from the governmental Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Anti-Poverty Commission, and the Coalition of Services of the Elderly reacted to the propositions of UNIEF, the ILO and Social Watch Philippines.

The 2017 meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women agreed on the need for “progressive tax systems, improved tax policy, more efficient tax collection and increased priority on gender equality and the empowerment of women in official development assistance”. This call for an independent global tax body in connection with women, along with the call on Member States to strengthen government oversight of PPPs is significant. Does it perhaps signal a new willingness of CSW to take on constraints to women’s rights and empowerment beyond the national level?

All major presidential candidates promise in their platforms to increase the French development cooperation contribution to 0.7 per cent of GDP and yet "I bet you a bottle of champagne that whoever gets elected, when we gather again five years from now that promise will not have been met".

Jean-Michel Severino, the author of the bet, was speaking on behalf of Emmanuel Macron in a public debate about French international relations and development cooperation among representatives from the five leading presidential candidates, a contest so close that four of them are deemed likely to pass to the second and final round next May.

Eurodad published a new report on public development banks, entitled "Public development banks: towards a better model".

The report draws on a wide range of existing research and finds there are four main roles that public development banks (PDBs) can play to improve the impact of the financial sector on development.

Public development banks (PDBs) are enjoying a resurgence. The global financial and economic crisis has stimulated new interest in PDBs, particularly given the important role they play in providing counter-cyclical financing when private capital is in short supply. In recent years, several countries have established new national and multilateral PDBs, and at the global level they have been recognised for the role they play in the United Nations Financing for Development process.

Last week the UN Committee of Experts on International Tax (UNTC) met at the United Nations HQ in New York, a few metres from the Security Council meetings on Syria, followed by a special session on tax of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The undercurrent of the detailed technical discussions during the week has been a crisis of global tax governance. While, for example, the grand-sounding Addis Tax Initiative included a commitment to double the aid for tax issues to developing countries, very little has come to the UNTC.

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