Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 341 - February 18, 2019

Issue 341 - February 18, 2019
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Right to development denied in Palestine


In Palestine, the main obstacle to realizing the SDGs is the occupation that continues to confiscate lands and, as reported by UNCTAD, deny Palestinians the human right to development. The indicators are alarming: unemployment has reached 27.7 percent in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and 44 percent in the Gaza Strip. The poverty rate for the year has reached 29 percent in 2017 and it is 53 percent in the Gaza Strip, reflecting the catastrophic effect of the 10-year ongoing blockade.
On the other hand, the civil society report by the Al-Marsad Social and Economic Policies Monitor perceives the Palestinian National Authority's efforts as “reproduction of the same policies and practices”, without the changes that would be required to progress towards the SDGs, “particularly employment and labor, social protection, progressive taxation, industrial and agricultural development, and public expenditure”. Civil society perceives its space as shrinking, while the Authority “takes control of the judiciary and affiliates with the private sector.” Read more


In Nicaragua to defend water is to defend life


In Nicaragua, the joint report of Coordinadora Civil and the National Platform in Defense of Water and Life, argues that access to water is both a human right and one of the Sustainable Development Goals“. Nicaragua is suffering a shortage of safe water as a result of the combined effect of climate change that reduces superficial water and the unregulated extraction of underground water by industrial agro-exporters and enclave tourism.
“Sustainable human development -concludes the report- will improve quality of life for all if it reduces environmental destruction, limits agricultural expansion and restricts open-pit mining that is exhausting natural resources, poisoning the water and causing disease and poverty.” Read more



Women, macroeconomic policies and the SDGs


Issues of economic growth and rising inequality are slowly taking centre stage in the realm of development, together with an increased focus on the need for economic policies centred around human rights.
The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”) is an ambitious attempt at setting a global policy framework that, if fully implemented, looks towards achieving gender equality in a transformative manner. However, despite some progress, there is still a long way to go in areas such as improving access to health care, education, sanitation and women's overall quality of life. Read more


Social Watch publishes country reports 2018

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2018 on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. While circumstances and capabilities are unique in each country, common threads emerge: Inequalities, often exacerbated by the international policy framework, are not being reduced, poverty is underestimated or hidden but not eradicated, sustainability is sacrificed to extractivism.

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.


Statement of the NGO Committee on Financing for Development


The statement of the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, was submitted to the UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office as a stakeholder input to the 2019 report of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development.
A major part of the statement is about social protection, which is a theme this year in the Commission on Social Development, Commission on the Status of Women, and the Financing for Development Follow-up Forum. Read more



Social protection in Lebanon: From a system of privileges to a system of rights


This report presents the social protection landscape in Lebanon from the lens of political economy, while taking into account debates on social protection on the international scene. In the conclusion, it provides a way forward to achieve universal social protection in the national context. When the developmental state model was being implemented all over the world, Lebanon was adamant in its laissez-faire economy. The developmental state has brought about welfare regimes and what was called welfare states in advanced capitalist economies in Europe. In parallel, except for a few years, Lebanon has opted for minimal state intervention in public policy, and social protection in general. This has been exacerbated in the reconstruction period where the private sector and non-state actors dominated the realms of social services and protection, such as health and education. In recent years, and with social protection gaining momentum on the international level, the discussion on social protection and social security resurfaced in Lebanon. Read more



UN expert issues new guiding principles on economic reforms and human rights


Human rights must be an integral component of policymaking to ensure economic reforms help advance societies, rather than hinder people’s lives, an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council said. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, published the Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms to assist States, international financial institutions, creditors, civil society and others to ensure that economic policies are embedded in human rights. They will be presented to the Human Rights Council on 28 February 2019.
“The thrust of the Guiding Principles is that States cannot shy away from their human rights obligations in economic policymaking at all times, even in times of economic crisis,” said Bohoslavsky. Read more



Invitation to contribute to the 2019 report


Social Watch invites you to participate in our renewed collective effort to make governments accountable for the ambitious promises they made us.
This report will be launched next July during the meeting of the High Level Political Forum of the United Nations that will review at ministerial level the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Almost four years after the adoption of this ambitious agenda, the 2019 report will look at how it is implemented. The Guidelines for the 2019 Social Watch contributions are available here.




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