Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 353 - October 4, 2019

Issue 353 - October 4, 2019

Major action must be taken to access ‘hidden’ finance to fulfil SDGs


The High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development which follows the SDG Summit, must urgently find ways to access the funds governments need to achieve the SDGs, say members of the Reflection Group.
“The 2030 Agenda cites the enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power as one of the immense challenges to sustainable development. And yet governments are not doing nearly enough to tackle these challenges, despite a plethora of robust policy proposals emanating from civil society, academics and others”, say Kate Donald from the Center for Economic and Social Rights and Jens Martens from the Global Policy Forum. Read more


Gender Equality: a thread running through the Sustainable Development Goals


“There is simply no way we can achieve the 17 SDGs without achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls”. Who said this? A feminist polemicist? No, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointing out that gender equality is the thread running through the 2030 Agenda.
“We need to understand that gender equality does not depend only on national efforts to implement the SDGs - it requires new international governance arrangements” says Cecilia Alemany from DAWN, a contributor to Spotlight 2019, a Civil Society Reflection Group publication that analyses annual progress on the 17 SDGs.
A central plank of achieving women’s human rights is the recognition and validation of unpaid care work, and the rights of informal sector workers including in global production chains where women predominate. None of this can be adequately addressed at the national level alone. Read more


Another view of the Climate Action Summit


The so-called ‘Climate Action Summit’ was an odd affair. It began with a youth dialogue, including a speech from Greta Thunberg, who called out the audience of heads of state and CEOs of some of the companies known for their inaction in the face of the climate emergency.
“How dare you say it is business as usual”, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth, how dare you”, she said. This public telling off was greeted with tumultuous applause – perhaps showing that it was going to be business as usual after all. Read more



It is not possible to implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs without quality public services


“Public infrastructure is the bedrock of our societies: it helps families thrive, and allows communities and businesses to grow”, says David Boys, from global trade union federation Public Services International.
For this reason it is impossible to build a resilient infrastructure, an aspect of SDG 9, without a firm foundation of human rights and universal access to quality public services, says David Boys, writing in Spotlight 2019, published by the Civil Society Reflection Group, which analyses annual progress on the 17 SDGs.
Under-investment in public services results in lower growth and a rise in right-wing populism, where austerity and cuts in public services contribute to feelings of alienation and an increase in nationalism and xenophobia. If big business paid their taxes, this would fund public services Read more



People’s Assembly Debates UN Reform and HLPF Review


On 24-25 September, parallel to these High-level UN meetings and closed-door or invitation only business meetings, civil society organisations engaged in critical discussions on the future of sustainable development and reforms needed to ensure a just and equitable future for all.
The People’s Assembly hosted a session on “High level political forum (HLPF) Reform Including the Role of Private Sector in the UN”. The conversation, moderated by Jens Martens of Global Policy Forum (GPF), featured panelists Oli Henman of Action 4 Sustainable Development (A4SD), John Romano of the Transparency, Accountability, Participation (TAP) Network, Kate Donald of the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Barbara Adams of the GPF. Their remarks and the subsequent interactive conversation touched on challenges and opportunities ahead regarding reform to the wider UN, proposals to reconstitute the HLPF, and immediate opportunities to reform the HLPF. Read more




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