Social Watch news

The UN Committee for Development Policy has announced Bangladesh’s eligibility for graduation from Least Developed Country to Developing Country. This success also brings confidence for achieving the SDGs. In the last 15 years, with limited resources, Bangladesh has witnessed one of the fastest reductions in poverty anywhere in the world. The country has met the target in reducing the proportion of population below the national poverty line (currently 22.4%) three years ahead of time. It has reached the targets in reducing infant mortality rate from 92 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 46 now; and in decreasing the prevalence of underweight children less than five years of age from 66 percent in 1990 to 32.6 percent at present. In terms of education, the country has achieved nearly 100 percent enrollment in primary schools; and attained gender parity with more girls than boys in primary and secondary schools.

Food is at the core of the nexus between identities, health, ecology and livelihoods, an intrinsic space where different important dimensions of life converge. Yet, policy discussions and deliberations that impact on food and food systems are often fragmented and incoherent. This article explores the close connection between these different domains and offers feasible pathways on how to place the virtuous interplay between sustainable and diversified local food systems and healthy diets at the core of the public policy agenda. It argues that turning to what is defined as the Peasant Food Web is the most effective strategy to address multiple intertwined challenges and offers concrete policy proposals that can facilitate the transition to agroecology and support peasants in feeding the world through a reinforcing loop between biodiversity, nutrition, health and livelihoods. Such a strategy requires significant efforts to ‘de-silo’ the current policy approach to what are often mistakenly addressed as separate challenges and break down the artificial boundaries imposed by the institutional settings that support each of the interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With over a 50 year stuggle under Israeli occuptation, Palestinians’ call for the right to self-determination is not something new. Systematic and gross human rights violations they face neither.

They are daily realities for Palestinians; while their country is now being defined as “least desirable, the least inviting and the least livable place on earth1”.

However their struggle for freedom is constant. In each and every occasion they call for an immediate end to occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and other places in West Bank. They urge Israeli authorities to respect all United Nations resolutions and its obligations under international law recognizing their right to self-determination. Civil society activists and human rights defenders are at the forefront becoming a voice for these calls. They advocate for international solidarity and action as well.

New York, Jul 30 (GPW) – Next September 24, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, will outline a new private investment strategy during a high level meeting that he is convening. Under the title of “Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” the meeting aims at building momentum and support to mobilize public, private, domestic and international resources, to improve financial norms and standards, and to disseminate to developing countries digital technologies to help them access finances.

Details of the format and objective of the meeting were announced on Friday, July 27 by Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and Assistant Secretary-General Elliot Harris.

After many years of women’s, union and human rights movements campaigning against bilateral and regional agreements known as “free trade agreements” or “trade and investment agreements”, the government of the United States of America has taken the opposite direction. President Donald Trump has imposed protective tariffs on steel and aluminum, prompting retaliatory action and sparking a “trade war” with unpredictable consequences. Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to withdraw from the Pacific Agreement, formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), now renamed as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by the eleven countries that did sign it. However, these two additional adjectives in the name do not reflect a change in the essence of the agreement pushed by Barack Obama to oppose China’s advance in the region.

A group of CSOs share their long-term experience and knowledge of enhancing sustainable development. Each of the seven CSOs is responsible for its own area of expertise of the Finland and the 2030 Agenda follow up report.

The Finland and the 2030 Agenda follow up report provides information about the state of sustainable development in the country, describes visions about the the future and above all makes specific recommendations for decision-makers to carry out the objectives discussed in the report.

The experience of Voluntary National Reviews and of Civil Society shadow (or spotlight) reporting.
How it is key for meaningful participation and accountability

The side event "SDG Implementation at National Level: What’s the Point of National Reports?" was held on July 17 in New York, during the meeting of the High Level Political Forum of the UN. The debate focused on voluntary national reports (VNRs) and parallel “shadow” or “spotlight” reports generated by civil society organizations (CSOs) on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The annual UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) has a unique role to review progress, define policies and flag priorities at national, regional and global levels for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieving the SDGs. This agenda has also become the premier driver and justification for institutional, financial and data reforms and capacity development.

A number  of decisions have been adopted during the twelve months since the last HLPF that are central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, particularly the measurement of progress towards the SDGs and strategies to finance them. They are complemented by or responsive to proposals of the UN Secretary-General on the funding and institutional architecture of the UN system.

The experience of Voluntary National Reviews and of Civil Society shadow (or spotlight) reporting.

How it is key for meaningful participation and accountability

The national voluntary reporting to the High Level Political Forum of ECOSOC is a practice that has gained traction, as dozens of governments are volunteering each year to participate and contribute their VNRs. A number of CSOs have prepared their own shadow or spotlight reports to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda. Rising inequalities and the need to substantially change policies to achieve the SDGs is a common theme in many of them. Is there a meaningful dialogue between the official and the alternative reports? What is the value of the whole exercise.

The High-level Political Forum, United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

You will find here the information of Social Watch participation in the framework of the HLPF 2018.

Syndicate content