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The role of private sector in development is currently one of the most debated issues in international cooperation. It is inscribed in a wider context where financial resources for official development assistance (ODA) are shrinking, development cooperation is evolving beyond the traditional ‘aid’ concept, and the actors/entities that can be key players in development are growing. Fortunately, development is seen more and more as a holistic process that should be supported by integrated global policies (such as trade, investments, etc.), bringing about improvements in terms of both economic and social progress, the latter being based on the full respect of human rights.

The pivotal role of business in development discourse is based on the equation between economic growth and sustainable development, (voluntary) corporate social responsibility (CSR), enabling business environment provided by states, and finally public-private dialogues (private sector involved in policy making). The role of business has also been recognised in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

“While there was some small cause for optimism at Marrakesh, the major issues were shuffled off, either never to be seen again or put aside for further ‘negotiation’ in the future. Overall, a disappointing result”, said Azeb Girmai, LDC Watch Climate Lead.

On the positive LDC Watch welcomes the Renewable Energy initiative for Sustainable Development (REEEI) which was launched on the last day of the conference. This will scale up the provision of renewable energy to Least Developed Countries, particularly helping development in rural areas.

Opening of the Marrakech
Conference, 7 November 2016. (UN)

The Marrakech climate talks, which began on 7 November, closed on 19 November, with developing countries making a strong plea for pre-2020 climate action and for developed countries to fulfill their pre-2020 commitments.

This call was made at the joint closing plenary of the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22), the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12) and the first part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1).

A letter for governments regarding the need for an intergovernmental tax body to be established under the United Nations. The aim of this letter is to support the forces trying to bring this issue back on the agenda, and get as many countries as possible to speak out in favor. 

Ecuador has recently supported the idea of establishing a global UN tax body, and this creates new opportunities. However, this is not a "support Ecuador"-campaign, but rather an attempt to use the opportunity to get many more governments to speak out in favor of establishing an intergovernmental tax body. 

This is an effort to promote the creation of a Global Tax Body within the United Nations. Such an international tax body would help fight corruption and tax evasion and thus make more resources available for health, education and social services.

A United Nations human rights expert has called on newly elected United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres to convene a world conference to discuss the issues of tax avoidance and evasion, the abolition of tax havens as well as the protection of whistleblowers.

In a UN news release, the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Mr Alfred de Zayas (United States), said: "The choice of Mr Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General offers a unique opportunity to advance the fight against tax evasion and illicit financial flows, at a moment where the world is paying increasing attention to these crucial issues".

Corporate reporting can provide an essential contribution to monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

This conclusion was highlighted in an UNCTAD Secretariat Note titled "Enhancing the role of reporting in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals: Integration of environmental, social and governance information into company reporting" prepared for a meeting of UNCTAD's Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR).

ISAR, comprising accountancy experts, is holding its thirty-third session from 4-6 October.

It's had a very useful if sometimes controversial past and it will have great relevance for many more years ahead.
That's the sense one has about the Declaration on the Right to Development as it is commemorated 30 years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 1986.

Three decades ago, the Declaration "broke new ground in the struggle for greater freedom, equality and justice," remarked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, at a session of the Human Rights Council on 15June, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Declaration.

Several least-developed countries - Benin, Tanzania, and Cambodia among others - voiced their concern at the World Trade Organization on 22 September over the lack of progress in addressing their core issues such as the simplification of preferential rules of origin as promised in the Nairobi ministerial declaration (NMD), several participants told the SUNS.

During a meeting of the WTO's Committee on Rules of Origin (CRO), the LDCs reminded the preference- granting developed countries as well as the developing countries declaring themselves in a position to do so to notify the measures they are required to undertake for simplifying the preferential rules of origin under the Nairobi ministerial declaration of December 2015.

Development funding is increasingly being channelled through Development Finance Institutions. These national institutions are particularly solicited when using development aid money to free up further investment, known as leveraging. When used well, these tools have the potential to allow sectors of developing countries’ economies that wouldn’t otherwise attract investment to strengthen and expand. However, this joint TUDCN-CPDE research paper highlights a number of alarming shortfalls in how these institutions operate that can seriously undermine international development goals.

This new report, entitled ‘The development effectiveness of supporting the private sector with ODA funds’ examined nine Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). It is jointly produced by the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and the TUDCN. Five case studies (available below) provided a background for the study which found that DFI practice is lacking in three vital areas :

The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) announces the launch of the call for applications of the ninth edition of the ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy (IALLA) that will be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from November 10 to 17, 2016.

The ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy is the main international training programme that the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) has created with the aim of broadening the vision on adult learning and helping new leaders acquire advocacy skills through a participatory methodology that includes an interlinkage analysis within and beyond the field of adult learning and education, and promoting networking as an effective mechanism for collective learning. Since its creation in 2004 they have had a growing number of applicants from all regions and at this moment there are 222 IALLA graduates from 74 countries of all regions.

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