National reports

Gross inequalities, arising from and seriously compounding the obscene accumulation and concentration of wealth, have become the defining issue of our time. In some quarters, particularly those inhabited by die-hard market fundamentalists, contrary to the existential threats it invokes, it is believed to be a universal default setting of human society – ordained by Fukuyama-ist end-of-history normalcy, leave alone, finality. As a critical element of the ever- deepening crisis, it is producing a toxic political-economic and ecological situation, the adverse historical implications to which neoliberal political dispositions remain unresponsive, if not utterly oblivious. No wonder it has become the single most important challenge facing humankind, particularly in respect to the accompanying deficit in democratic governance and peaceful coexistence between different sections of societies and even between nations.
As controversial as it may still be for some, the historical involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the development of Arab world countries over the past three or four decades—Jordan included—is a perfect of representation of the chronic foreign dependency of many of region’s (e.g., modern Levant) countries in the new millennium: A seemingly insurmountable dependency on support from bilateral and multilateral partners, under an almost permanent state of domestic or regional tension.
Three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the international community, France has launched a strategy to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This should lead to a ‘Road Map’ that will be presented at the United Nations in September 2019. On 26 April 2018 Brune Poirson, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, convened for the first time the High-Level Steering Committee for the implementation of the SDGs. The Steering Committee is a forum for debate and exchange to collectively build, with public and private actors, the roadmap on the implementation by France of the 17 SDGs. Ms. Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, General Commissioner and Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The global journey towards sustainable development has multiple routes, levels, interlinkages and perspectives. Different countries’ starting points are diverse and unequal, as are civil society organizations’ possibilities to participate. The conditions in Finland, a Northern European nation of 5.5 million inhabitants, are among the most conducive. Finland celebrated 100 years of independence on 6 December 2017. For most of these years, that is, since the 1918 civil war and the wars of the 1940s, Finnish society has been able to progress in peaceful conditions. Nowadays, Finland is used to being given top ranking in international country comparisons, as in the 2018 World Happiness Report and the most stable country in the 2018 Fragile States Index.
This report provides a critical appraisal of the Cyprus Government efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda with a focus on education. On July 2017 the Agriculture Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, who addressed the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development at UN headquarters in New York, stated that Cyprus has achieved great progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. He highlighted the importance at an international level of the application of the 17 SDGs and gave an account of Cyprus’ progress so far. The international non-profit centre CARDET participated in the UN forum with a report from the civil society perspective. An emphasis was placed on efforts to raise awareness among Cypriot citizens on the SDGs and their implementation at local, national and regional contexts.
Brazil made meaningful progress in tackling poverty from 2000 to 2013, largely with the aim of addressing the concentration of wealth and economic power. Most of this progress was a result of public investments in health, education, cash transfer programmes and social protection provision. Not coincidentally, the country’s economy thrived from burgeoning domestic demand. Brazil also set an example in its initial response to the 2008-2009 global economic crisis by increasing social investments,1 which in turn sustained the economy while promoting human rights.
In Mexico it is urgent to protect human rights from corporate abuses and end impunity rather than continue to promote private investment without effective environmental, social and human rights requirements. The national context favours the promotion of business but not sustainable development or human rights: legal reforms that give priority to energy projects over any other activity, lax and outdated environmental regulations, and a State that is indifferent to business abuses affecting civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental human rights of the population. In short, Mexico is a State that ignores its obligation to protect human rights from its violation by non-state actors.
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