Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 220 - June 26, 2015

Issue 220 - June 26, 2015

What can New York learn from Geneva?

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Khan, Mokhiber, Donoghue, Schillinger, Rücker and Bissio.

What can New York learn from Geneva? Can human right mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) developed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva serve as a model for the follow up of the new development agenda currently beingdiscussed in New York?

That was the guiding question formulated to a panel on “accountability mechanisms for implementing the SDGs” held last June 18. Irish ambassador David Donoghue, co-facillitator of the drafting process of the new development agenda admitted that “accountability” is referred to as “the a word” in New York and he explained that “to address sensitivities in various quarters, the phrase we use is ‘follow-up and review’ instead”Joachim Rücker, president of the Human Rights Council, argued that “it is not about using human rights mechanisms as the follow-up and review mechanism for post-2015” but “the UPR has given us a lot of lessons to offer as a model”. Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, addressed the need to make corporations accountable for the human rights impact of their operations. Read more



Should countries cooperate on taxes at the United Nations?

Globalization has changed the rules of the game regarding tax systems. Seeking ways to increase their profits, multinational corporations take advantage of regulatory gaps and the public sector is always one step behind, trying to close loopholes.
In order to allow for fair taxation, more than good will is needed. The current UN debates on Financing for Development (FFD) and the new sustainable development agenda cannot avoid the issue of where resources will come from and the reform of the international corporate taxation system is one of the biggest demands from civil society.
An Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), led by Colombian economist José María Ocampo and backed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz published in June a report claiming that “almost half of global trade occurs within related corporate structures”. Read more


Ghanaian workers against privatisation of energy sector


The country is experiencing its worst energy crisis in over a decade which is paralysing the economy and ruining livelihoods. Two public demonstrations were held late February in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana's two main cities, over electricity load-shedding which gives consumers 12 hours electricity and 24 hours total blackout. 
But while the opposition-led demonstrators were thumping the streets with anti-government placards and slogans, organised labour in the country took up the struggle on a different front largely ignored by organisers of the demonstration but which many consider as being at the heart of the energy crisis. Read more


In 2012, governments agreed at the Rio+20 conference that all decisions on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda would be both consistent with international law and respect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities. The zero draft of post-2015 agreement, as well as the Open Working Group’s outcomes which preceded it, reiterate their grounding in the UN Charter with full respect for international law, including (implicitly at least) international human rights law. In the latest iteration of the Addis Ababa Accord on financing for development (FfD), meanwhile, governments unambiguously commit to respect all human rights, including the right to development. Read more



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