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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.

There is no job description for the world’s top civil servant, except to solve its messiest problems. There are no campaign rules, nor is there any list of qualifications, except what is left unsaid: He (and it has always been a he) must be palatable to the world powers. Now, as jockeying begins for the selection of the next secretary general of the United Nations, to be chosen in 2016, momentum is building to open up the process. A coalition of nongovernmental organizations, supported by some former United Nations diplomats, is calling for a formal application process, including transparent selection criteria, an official shortlist of contenders and a chance for all member nations to evaluate the candidates.

The effort reflects a growing frustration with the dominance of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which bargain for influence over every important office within the system, most importantly the post of secretary general. The choice is made largely in secret, in council meetings held privately and in tough negotiations among officials from the five powers.

Third International Conference on Financing for Development, July 2015 The third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13-16 July 2015. It will gather high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, and Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities. The Conference will result in an inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to – and support the implementation of – the post-2015 development agenda.

In July 2015, the international community will have the chance to change the future of finance development. Governments, civil society, trade unions and other actors will meet for the third UN conference on Financing for Development (Ffd) in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to take concrete decisions for the future of development and how to finance it. In the run-up to this crucial meeting, two major reports have been released which are intended to inform the upcoming debates. We have had a report from the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance (ICESDF) and one from the Open Working Group (OWG) – a 30-member group nominated by the UN General Assembly to decide on the Sustainable Development Goals. Both reports should feed into future action. Disappointingly, both lack ambition and fail to present specific recommendations, something that CSOs - many in developing countries - and other actors have been calling for some time.   

The UN General Assembly has passed a landmark resolution that mandates the UN to create a “multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring”. Promoted by the G77 countries and triggered by the aggressive vulture funds lawsuits against Argentina, this resolution could be a game changer for the way future debt crises are managed. First and foremost, it has shifted the forum for political debate away from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) towards the UN. However, shamefully the EU’s vote was split over this crucial decision. 

As the United Nations decides on the future course of international development Post 2015, women of all ages, identities, ethnicities, cultures and across sectors and regions, are mobilizing for gender, social, cultural, economic and ecological justice, sustainable development and inclusive peace. We seek fundamental structural and transformational changes to the current neoliberal, extractivist and exclusive development model that perpetuates inequalities of wealth, power and resources between countries, within countries and between men and women. We challenge the current security paradigm that increases investments in the military--‐industrial complex, which contributes to violent conflict between and within countries.

While the International Movement ATD Fourth World welcomes the latest set of sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations Open Working Group, the goals could better emphasize reaching the most marginalized.

With regards to poverty, “While the  title of Goal 1, ‘End Poverty in all its forms everywhere,’ is ambitious,” said Isabelle Pypaert Perrin, director general of ATD Fourth World,  “target 1.2 - to reduce by at least half the proportion of men women and children of all ages living in poverty according to national definitions - falls short. With no clear reference to prioritising those living in the greatest poverty, it could lead governments to target only those easiest to reach. This would contradict the principle of leave no one behind.”

The Declaration of the G77 Summit, held in Santa Cruz on 14-15 June, has sections on three prominent issues that are presently the subject of negotiations at the United Nations - the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Declaration should thus have significant influence on the UN negotiations since it reflects the positions of the G77 and China, at the highest political level, and these positions can be expected to be maintained by the Group during the negotiations on these three issues.

A resolution was adopted in the UN Human Rights Council on June 26 that will begin the process of elaborating an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Despite strong opposition from the EU and US, the resolution received affirmative votes from 20 member States on the Human Rights Council, while 13 States abstained. France, Germany, Italy and Ireland were also among the 14 opposing countries.

This victory in the promotion of human rights was welcomed by the Treaty Alliance, a group of networks and campaign organizations collectively working to organize advocacy in support of developing binding international regulation to address corporate human rights abuses. A statement calling for an international legally binding instrument has been signed by 610 civil society organizations and social movements and 400 individuals from 95 countries. Additionally, the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament and the Vatican have made statements supporting the creation of such an instrument.

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