Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 327 - June 8, 2018

Issue 327 - June 12, 2018

Iraqi women brief the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict

Ms. Hanaa Edwar, Chairperson of Iraqi Al-Amal Association, participated at the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts that was held in New York, 22nd May 2018.
Hanaa highlighted that civilians who have suffered must have access to justice and accountability. The Security Council Resolution in 2017 on Da’esh accountability, and the Joint Communique on the Reduction and Response to Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict signed in September 2016 are crucial documents and she urge to support their implementation.
She said there must be accountability for all harm committed in Iraq by all parties to the conflict. Accountability should not be limited to some people and some types of violations. All civilians deserve redress for their suffering. This must be clearly linked to reconciliation efforts. Read more



Partnerships for Sustainable Development – inclusive and accountable or laissez-faire marketplace?
Current conventional wisdom has it that partnerships are crucial for the success of the of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, the UN approach to engaging in stakeholder partnerships is rooted in pre-2030 Agenda practices and perspectives. It has been shepherded by UN offices mainly concerned with resource mobilization and often amounts to fitting UN development activities into a pipeline of bankable projects. Read more


Reducing inequality is one of the central pledges of the SDGs, appearing as a stand-alone goal (SDG 10) and as a cross-cutting commitment to “leave no one behind”. Reducing inequality requires resources; both (re)distributing currently available resources more fairly, and raising more resources to invest in goods and services which tackle inequality. Taxation is an essential tool for governments to achieve both of these objectives; hence the inclusion of fiscal policy in target 10.4. But so far, corporate tax abuse closes off both these essential channels for reducing inequality.
The SDGs do not explicitly mention the need for redistribution, but fiscal policy can only really reduce inequality if it is redistributive, with progressive taxes and pro-poor social spending. Certainly, it is clear that the current way that resources are distributed (skewing increasingly and obscenely to the very richest) is a major factor in the global inequality crisis which the SDGs seek to tackle. On the other hand, the SDGs do recognize the need for raising more resources – SDG 17 (and indeed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda) is largely focused on how to find the money to finance the SDGs, and places a particular emphasis on domestic resource mobilization. At the same time, we have increasing evidence to show how government investment is a crucial determinant of inequality; public services reduce inequality and provide ‘virtual income’, whereas recent austerity measures which have slashed investment in public services have increased economic inequality in those countries. Corporate tax avoidance and evasion (or tax ‘abuse’ collectively) close off both these essential channels for reducing inequality. Read more


This year is set to be an important milestone in the arduous journey of climate migrants. The global community is now beginning to fathom the challenges of people displaced by events such as floods, storms and sea level rise that are partly fuelled by climate change.
Natural disasters forced over 18 million people out of their homes in 135 countries just last year, according to a new global report released by Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). It highlights that weather-related hazards triggered the vast majority of the displacement, with floods and storms accounting for more than 80% of the incidents. China, the Philippines, Cuba and the US were the worst affected. Read more


Short-termism impedes progress of hundreds of millions of people. The prospects of around 800 million of the world’s poorest people remain dire. The global economy is experiencing a moderate upturn, and momentum around sustainable investing is growing, the UN said.
But the vast majority of investment is still short-term oriented and commitments by the international community to create sustainable economies are not being met. There is an increasing interest in socially responsible investing, but that is no substitute for a broader transformation in the financial system. The report states that the current system rewards investors, financiers and project managers that prioritize short-term profits. Similarly, policy makers are excessively focused on short-term considerations. But there is a price to pay. Infrastructure projects are shelved in favour of short term priorities. Small businesses and women remain excluded from the financial system. Read more

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