Germany

report 2016

Sustainable Germany – a long way to go

The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprises a number of goals which concern the internal situation in Germany. Among these are goals which derive from the human rights obligations, such as in the areas of education, health and social security. Examples include reducing the proportion of poor people in Germany by half and increasing the proportion of young people who complete secondary education. Other goals address the external effects of German politics and economy. They demand domestic measures which also have immediate impacts for people in the countries of the South. These include goals for reducing resource use, for changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, but also for the relationship to migrants and refugees. Still other goals go to Germany’s international responsibility and solidarity. Besides the traditional development policy obligations the corresponding targets concern all areas of structural policies, particularly trade, investment and finance.

BCI & GEI 2011
news

The importance of global cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually. While steps to curb the losses are underway, gaps in global tax governance remain both in the institutional setting and with regard to substantive issues. For example, there is still no body with universal membership that could discuss issues that are of particular importance to countries in the Global South. In order to fill these gaps, either existing institutions need to be further developed, or new ones established, or both. In any case, a new body would have to perform certain functions and meet particular criteria with regard to composition. A new paper formulates options for achieving this.

The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprises a number of goals which concern the internal situation in Germany. Among these are goals which derive from the human rights obligations, such as in the areas of education, health and social security. Examples include reducing the proportion of poor people in Germany by half and increasing the proportion of young people who complete secondary education.

Other goals address the external effects of German politics and economy. They demand domestic measures which also have immediate impacts for people in the countries of the South. These include goals for reducing resource use, for changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, but also for the relationship to migrants and refugees.

New study, released today by Global Policy Forum, examines the role and impact of philanthropic foundations in development. It addresses the impacts and side effects of philanthropic engagement by taking a closer look at the priorities and operations of two of the most prominent foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in two crucial sectors, health and agriculture. So far, there has been a fairly willing belief among governments and international organizations in the positive role of philanthropy in global development. But in light of experiences in the areas of health, food, nutrition and agriculture, which are discussed in this working paper, a thorough assessment of the impacts and side effects of philanthropic engagement is necessary. The important role being allocated to the philanthropic sector in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda makes the discussion of its role a matter of urgency.

More than a hundred Heads of State and Government will gather in New York this week to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda is intended to make the UN ‘fit for purpose’, but it is important to ask, ‘whose purpose will it be fit for’? 

A new study from Global Policy Forum warns that the United Nations is embarking on a new era of selective multilateralism, shaped by intergovernmental policy impasses and a growing reliance on corporate-led solutions to global problems. The changing funding patterns of the UN and its funds, programmes and specialized agencies reflect these alarming trends. Key features are the growing gap between the scale of  global problems and the (financial) capacity of the UN to solve them; the growing share of non-core contributions and earmarked trust funds in UN finance; increased reliance on the corporate sector; and the outsourcing of funding and decision-making to exclusive global partnerships.

The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) is considered one of the key achievements of the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Twenty years later, this principle has become a focal point of current negotiations on climate change and the post-2015 agenda. The developing countries that make up the Group of 77 want to preserve the principle unchanged. However, the US, EU and other industrialized countries want to do away with it in its present form. They argue that global power structures have changed. In their view, fair burden sharing must include contributions to climate protection from emerging economies like China, India and Brazil. "If consensus cannot be found, there will be neither a new global climate treaty nor a global development agenda worthy of the name in 2015" writes Global Policy Forum's director, Jens Martens.

When the United Nations began negotiating a Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations (TNCs) back in the 1970s, the proposal never got off the ground because of vigourous opposition both from the powerful business community and its Western allies.

Gustave Assah.

The participants in the civil society strategy meeting on monitoring and accountability organized by Social Watch last february in Montevideo were asked about how they personally work and relate with the huge task of making the powerful accountable. Here is what they said:

In a new working paper entitled "Corporate influence in the Post-2015 process" GPF's Lou Pingeot discusses the influence of transnational corporations in the Post-2015 process. This working paper by Brot für die Welt, Global Policy Forum and Misereor provides an overview of the main corporate actors in the post-2015 process and how they shape the discourse on development. The paper advocates for more transparency around the participation of corporations in UN processes, including their financial support to UN initiatives, and for more reflection on the risks of a corporate, private interests-driven development agenda.
The paper draws conclusions from its findings and makes recommendations for how to deal with corporate interests in global policy making in the future.

Jens Martens. (Photo: IISD.)

The UN has launched an extensive worldwide discussion on the new development agenda that is to succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Jens Martens, long-time observer of international development and environmental policy, cautions in an interview against consultation overkill and calls on NGOs to develop alternatives that go beyond what is currently politically feasible.

In terms of gender equity Germany places itself well above the European average, but below the Nordic countries and Spain.

SOCIAL WATCH
DEUTSCHLAND
REPORT 2009

Wednesday 18 November 2009, 10:30.

In view of global crises, human rights must be enforced against economic interests!

This Wednesday 18 November, the Germany Social Watch Report 2009, Globale Krisen – Soziale Folgen und politische Konsequenzen (Global Crises - Social impact and political consequences) will be launched in the Convention center in the building of the Federal Press, Room 0107
Schiffbauerdamm 40, corner Reinhardtstr. 55, 10117 Berlin

Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum, SW Germany) co-chair of the SW Coordinating Committee summarizes the most recent trends, the possible issues on the agenda and the key events in the preparatory process for the 2nd Global Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) to be held in Doha in 2008.

Bonn, 16 October 2006: In the past fifteen years, nearly one in every four countries has seen a decline in the quality of social services like education and health.

Author: 
Jens Martens

In times of growing dissatisfaction with the groaning pace of the global negotiation process, and the current difficulties on the part of governments to engage in new compromises, multistakeholder initiatives and policy networks between private and public actors are experiencing a boom which appears to be expanding unfettered within the United Nations system.

Endorsed by 28 organizations, the German Social Watch Report 2005 was launched in Bonn last October 21.

Berlin/Osnabrück. On the occasion of the commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Copenhagen World Summit (1995), German NGOs called for strengthening the fight against poverty and social exclusion. Last March 11, the Social Watch Germany representatives handed over to the Development Minister of that country, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (of the SPD), a catalogue of claims, which also included a protest for the insufficient actions undertaken regarding the resolutions adopted at the Copenhagen summit.

The German edition of the 2003 Social Watch Report was launched at a press conference in Berlin on June 25, 2003.

The German edition of the 2004 Social Watch Report was launched at a press conference in Berlin on July 1, 2004.

Only the successful creation of a broad social participation in issues of international economic policy will make it possible to counter the social and ecological reprehensibility of neo-liberal globalization with a globalization of social justice and ecological sustainability.