New independent Spotlight report points out that women´s lower wages and poorer labor conditions have resulted in unfair advantages for corporations

New York, 12 July 2017: Corporate power threatens women´s human rights by promoting a race to the bottom in labour standards and avoiding taxes in the countries where profits are obtained, concludes the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017, in its analysis of the fifth Sustainable Development Goal which promises to achieve gender equality by 2030 and empower all women and girls.

Global Spotlight Report says that the Agenda 2030 proposal to eradicate poverty by 2030 is achievable but tax policies need to change.

“The promise made by governments to eradicate poverty by 2030 is doable if countries cooperate to fight tax evasion and capital flights” argues an independent report submitted to the High Level Political Forum of the United Nations as an input to its debate today around the first of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The “leave no one behind” slogan and the proposition to increase funding “from billions to trillions” made by the development banks and the International Monetary Fund are the two policy messages most commonly heard at the debate around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that started yesterday at the United Nations. “You cannot have both at the same time” commented Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, summarizing the analysis of the first SDG by the global Spotlight report, the major comprehensive independent assessment of the SDGs launched during the HLPF.

This is not just about ODA but also about fighting tax evasion and recovering the assets stolen or illegally transferred to fiscal havens” said Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, speaking on behalf of the Civil Society Financing for Development Group during an official session of the High Level Political Forum at the UN. Bissio said tax collaboration is essential and it should happen at the UN. Yet, there is a trend not to complement the Global Partnership but to substitute it with multiple PPPs that are non-transparent and not accountable. Recent Latin American experience additionally links PPPs with corruption on a massive scale.

Mr. Bissio participated at the Thematic review: "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world: Multi-stakeholder perspectives" that took place on July 11, 2017 during the Highl-level Political Forum in the United Nations, New York.

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.

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