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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.

(Photo: UN)

Vulture funds are inherently exploitative, since they seek to obtain disproportionate and exorbitant gains at the expense of the full realization of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, and the right to development, the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee has said.

In its latest report on the activities of vulture funds and their impact on human rights, the Advisory Committee said that seeking the repayment in full of a sovereign debt from a State that has defaulted, or is close to default, is an illegitimate outcome.

From 11-20 July 2016, the 2016 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) took place at UN Headquarters in New York. Under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the meeting focused on the theme of “Ensuring that no one is left behind.” It was attended by nearly 1500 Member States, Major Groups and other stakeholders (MGoS), and intergovernmental and UN organizations. In addition to the official program, 37 side events were organized.

According to the Rio+20 outcome document and G. A. Resolution 67/290, the HLPF has the mandate to follow-up and review the   2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since this was the first meeting after the adoption of the SDGs, 22 countries offered voluntary reviews to the implementation of the goals, focusing mostly on how countries are preparing for and managing their transition towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Due to UNCTAD’s decidedly pro-South and uncompromising development-focused mission, its quadrennial conferences have traditionally been North –South showdowns. Coming a few months after the adoption of the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 associated goals, the theme of the XIV Quadrennial Conference of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) was “From Decisions to Actions.” There was, therefore, reason to expect that this time members would bridge their differences for the sake of reinforcing mandates of the organization critical to the Agenda’s implementation. But that was not the case, and the dynamics were a lot more akin to the difficult ones witnessed in the inaugural Financing for Development (FFD) Forum last April.

In all societies, from Northern Europe to South Saharan Africa, there are people that are so isolated, excluded and impoverished that they live in a state of extreme poverty that is passed from one generation to the next. They do not only live in material deprivation but also lack political voice and social capital and for these reasons they are often neglected or overlooked by politicians, service providers and policy-makers.  The obstacles that maintain them in poverty are therefore never properly understood nor addressed, with the result that the human rights violations that are the cause and the consequence of their extreme poverty continue unabated, and that the human capital they represent continues to be wasted.

African Civil Society is calling on Governments at this 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) to rise up to the fundamental challenge of equitable development in and for Africa within the global order. 'UNCTAD's foundational vision is as critical today as 50 years ago. The specific developmental challenges which UNCTAD sought to address are still here with us, and in the case of Africa have become more acute' the statement stated. Hence the conference must provide UNCTAD with the necessary space and means to articulate the policy requirements of Africa's structural economic transformation and work in support of their realization. UNCTAD 14 will be held in Nairobi, from 15th to the 17th of July 2016.

The first inter-sessional meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) after the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris last year, opened in Bonn on 16 May.

H. E. Mr. Manasvi Srisodapol of Thailand, the Special Representative of the Chair of the Group of 77 and China on Climate Change, speaking for the Group said as Parties move into the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the delicate balance of all issues achieved in Paris as well as the principles and provisions of the Convention must be preserved.

"The growing inequality in the world is perhaps the single most imposing barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out by the 2030 Agenda" say the international trade unions in a document addressed to the United Nations. The representatives of the workers argue that "the deepening of inequality has been accompanied by an erosion of labour institutions" and defend social dialogue as helpful to reverse this trend and tackle inequality.

"Leaving no one behind" means tackling inequality, says the submission by the Worker and Trade Union Major Group to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).

An “Environmental Performance Index” to be launched on May 9 at the UN claims to align itself with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but actually hides the impact of unsustainable consumption and production patterns in the North as well as the contributions of the Global South to achieving the internationally agreed targets.

The EPI (available here), now in its 10th edition, is authored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (Davos). This year’s report claims to have a “parallel approach” to the internationally agreed SDGs in its “use of quantitative metrics to evaluate policy performance” and maintains that “aligning EPI’s indicators with the SDGs provides a baseline for evaluating national performance and shows how far countries are from reaching global targets”.

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