Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 263 - July 1, 2016

Issue 263 - July 1, 2016
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Afghanistan: Conflict creates more problems than aid can solve

More than 9 million Afghans (over one third of the population) are not able to meet their basic needs and many more people are highly vulnerable to becoming poor because of the ongoing conflict and heavy reliance on agriculture and international aid as well as the lack of clear pro-poor policies. Women's participation in the national Parliament (27%) is well above the global average of 21.8 percent, but gender norms in the culture and long walking distances to school in rural areas still prevent many girls to access education and violence against women remains a daunting challenge.
The Afghan civil society report acknowledges that the country “has received an unprecedented amount of international development aid over the past 14 years”. This huge aid inflow “has benefited the country, buy it has also brought problems: corruption, fragmented and parallel delivery systems, poor aid effectiveness and weakened governance.” Read more



El Salvador: Tax evasion and environmental risks are the main obstacles

Tax evasion and environmental vulnerability have been identified by Salvadorean civil society as the major obstacles to achieving the SDGs in El Salvador. Tax evasion in 2013 was estimated at $1.5 billion, more than one fourth of total government revenue. At the same time, the annual average of losses due to extreme weather events in the XXI century so far is "equivalent to almost 60 percent of the annual average of its public investment". It is urgent to take a development path that protects Nature from further degradation and strengthens ecosystems to reduce environmental vulnerabilities that mostly affect the poorest sectors of the population. Read more


Social Watch starts publishing country reports 2016

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2016, under the overall theme Goals for 2030... and obstacles to getting there. The Social Watch network thus joins the current global discussions around a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on a new development framework and the need for civil society monitoring.

The Social Watch national platforms are independent coalitions of civil society organizations struggling for social and gender justice in their own countries. The Social Watch network has been publishing since 1996 yearly reports on how governments implement their international commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve equality between women and men.


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. Read more


For several years the Group of 20 (G20) has been increasing the intensity of its focus on infrastructure investment, resulting since the beginning of 2014 in the launch of a Working Group on Investment in Infrastructure. Over those years, the G20 has tasked the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose membership comprises 34 countries, to provide numerous technical inputs for its work on infrastructure. The OECD is, indeed, one of the most visible and prolific of the international organizations acting as resources for the G20, often co-branding its reports with the grouping. A recently-released report, “In Search of Policy Coherence: Aligning OECD Infrastructure Advice with Sustainable Development, puts this facet of the organization's work under the spotlight. Read more



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