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International Movement ATD Fourth World presents the result of their participatory research on the Millennium Development Goals, Challenge 2015: Towards Sustainable Development that Leaves No One Behind, that brings the voices of people in poverty to the sustainable development debate. The result of years of participatory research with over 2,000 participants from over 20 countries, a majority of whom came from a background of poverty or extreme poverty, this report brings a unique voice to the global debate on international development.

Despite snowstorm warnings and ice-cold temperatures in New York, the Financing for Development (FfD) negotiations managed to pick up speed when governments convened for the first drafting session at the end of January. They are currently negotiating the outcome of the upcoming Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development, which will take place on July 13-16 this year, and is planned as a key milestone ahead of the Post-2015 Summit and the UNFCCC Climate Conference later this year.

This report provides the most comprehensive review of the quantity of different financing sources available to developing countries, and how they have changed over the past decade. 

They have analysed the best available data produced by international institutions, both from the point of view of developing countries as a whole, and for low-income (LICs), lower-middle-income (LMICs) and upper-middle-income countries (UMICs) separately. The report provides figures in absolute terms in US dollars, and also as percentages of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – a much better indicator of how important they are to the developing country in question. 

As the international community wades into the political discussions regarding the alternatives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 and the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as mandated by the Rio+20 conference, it is timely to consider the question of whether development is a matter mostly of individual effort on the part of nation-states or whether there are elements in the international economic system that could serve as significant obstacles to national development efforts. If there are obstacles in the international economic system, it is important that the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs address the question of the elimination or the reduction of these obstacles.

The limited number of successfully developing countries since the 1950s has provoked a debate over whether the success of these countries required their success in eluding international obstacles to development. The following discussion does not have to take one position or the other. It evaluates features of the international system on the basis of how these features are conducive to enabling long-term investment toward economic diversification.

A new report released at COP20 by Corporate Europe Observatory, Democracy Center and Transnational Institute shows how corporations causing social and environmental destruction in the Andes and Amazon are driving climate change, whilst enjoying influential seats at the climate-negotiating table. The case studies included demonstrate how corporations from the global North operating in the extractives industry use well-honed practices of political manipulation while hiding their true nature through extravagant public relations campaigns which trumpet their disingenuous environmental credentials. The consequences of these corporations’ manipulation of decision-making processes include: the opening of new gas fields that destroy indigenous territories, the decimation of local water supplies and the forced displacement of whole communities. Yet in the midst of such exploitation the writers of the report have also witnessed brave acts of resistance by local communities.

As part of the 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Based Violence (November 25 – December 10, 2014) AWID is honoring Feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) Who Are No Longer With Us and whose contributions to the advancement of human rights are very much missed.

Find out more here.

The loss of tax revenues due to international tax evasion and avoidance significantly reduce the funds available to finance policies aimed at fulfilling the human rights of women and girls and gender justice.

Due to the structural nature of gender inequality and its intersection with other categories such as age, race-ethnicity, sexual orientation and income, women in most of societies continue to be overrepresented in the lowest quintiles of the income distribution, continue to be the most responsible  for unpaid and care work, continue to be concentrated in the most precarious and poorly paid jobs, are still a minority in the spaces of representation and leadership in political, labor or territories, still face gender-based violence, human trafficking, and continue to have their sexual and reproductive rights and autonomy limited.

As far as financial issues are concerned, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) is shaping up to become 2015’s most important summit. If an ambitious global financing framework is not agreed in Addis Ababa next July, the success of the September summit on new Sustainable Development Goals and a post-2015 framework will also be in jeopardy. Even the climate summit in Paris at the end of 2015 risks being undermined. Before the actual FfD negotiations start in January, the UN conducted ‘a substantive informal session’ in New York from 10-13 November, which aimed to launch an open debate on the financing for development issues at stake in Addis.

In a week, Governments at the United Nations begin their preparatory meetings for the International Conference on Financing for Development(FfD) in Addis Ababa in July 2015. That conference is widely viewed as the last opportunity to agree to a package of proposals on financial, trade and global governance measures before the summit meeting in New York in September 2015 to ring down the curtain on the Millennium Development Goals and raise the curtain on new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If there is nothing underlying pretty words in the outcome document of Addis, there will be no time to come to meaningful "means of implementation" for the SDGs two months later. That will condemn the global effort to devise SDGs over the past few years to empty rhetoric. Governments at the UN thus recognize that the Addis meeting must be a "success", but does anyone see the Governments of North and South coalescing around any interesting proposals? Well, they have about 3-5 months to find those proposals. Perhaps we can help move the discussion in a fruitful direction.

1 for 7 Billion's NGO partners from across the world have written to all UN Member States to call for an open, fair and inclusive process to select the best possible candidate for Secretary-General of the UN.

Signatories include: Avaaz, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Equality Now, FEMNET, Forum Asia, Social Watch, Third World Network, Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the World Federation of UN Associations.

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