At the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system, Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio said that “partnerships” with private philanthropy or big business should not be seen as a substitute for official funds for the implementation of the UN agenda. While, it is important to entice foundations to spend better and according to UN priorities, the Global Partnership for Development as established since Monterrey is between governments and it is therefore accountable to us citizens.

It is not surprising that the political battles have already become fierce in the concurrent negotiations for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) and the post-2015 development agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At stake is who will shape the agenda—and how much real impact it will have.

What is the direction of the “transformation” that is now so frequently discussed in both talks? Are we headed towards a world of multistakeholder partnerships and the increasing outsourcing of public functions to private control, where those in positions of privilege can maintain their entitlements, at least until we fully breach planetary boundaries?

Or towards a world where we make decisions based foremost on the welfare of the majority of people and the planet? 

As the co-facilitators of the Third Financing for Development Conference, to be held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) coming July released the first draft outcome document for negotiations (“Zero draft” or “the Draft”), RightingFinance issued a human rights assessment of it.

A key message emerging from such thorough assessment is that, without significant work on the core chapters, the agreement to emerge from Addis Ababa will frustrate the high expectations set for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the core of the new development agenda.

School children in Nepal’s
practice an earthquake drill in
the event of a natural disaster.
Photo: Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade/CC-BY-2.0

The death toll has now passed 3,300, and there is no telling how much farther it will climb. Search and rescue operations in Nepal entered their third day Monday, as the government and international aid agencies scramble to cope with the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck this South Asian nation on Apr. 25.

Severe aftershocks have this land-locked country of 27.8 million people on edge, with scores missing and countless others feared dead, buried under the rubble.

Thida Khus.

How can one push for greater political participation of women in a patriarchal state that believes government is a fraternity?

The Cambodian Committee to Promote Women in Politics faced this exact problem when it first started its work to encourage women to get more politically involved in the early 2000s. Back then, CPWP struggled to convince women to become more “involved in decision-making at the national and local levels” not only because of opposition from men, but also because some of these women didn’t see that as their role in politics.

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