Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 346 - May 28, 2019

Issue 346 - May 28, 2019
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Lebanon: Key challenges for SDG implementation


Lebanese civil society formulated concrete recommendations in their alternative report on the 2030 Agenda:
1. Move from project-led initiatives towards adopting a comprehensive national strategy on rights-based development, integrating targets and goals. Short-term project initiatives will have limited results while long-term nationally-owned policies can contribute to moving towards sustainable development for all.
2. Ensure that the National Committee for SDGs and the new National Human Rights Institute remain independent in their monitoring, coordination and advisory roles towards the implementation of the SDGs and the promotion and protection of human rights. In that regard, ensure the availability and accessibility of data and information on the initiatives taken, and encourage open and public consultations with all development actors and enhance national dialogue. An effective follow up mechanism should be set in order to move from ad hoc consultations or awareness raising initiatives towards a national level plan for dialogue.
3. Revisit social and economic policies to ensure their alignment with the rights-based development approach. Regarding implementation of the Capital Investment Plan, which remains as the key tool promoted by the government for job creation and development, ensure that an enabling environment for the private sector does not come at the expense of human rights and sustainable development. Read more


Alternatives to PPPs – growing instances of de-privatization


Quality public services are the foundation of a fair society and a strong economy. Such services make our communities and economies more equitable, resilient to downturn and disaster, and protect the youngest, sick, unemployed, disabled, aged and vulnerable. Quality public services are among the State's primary mechanisms for fulfilling its obligations for the realization of human rights, gender equality and social justice. They are key to the implementation of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.
Quality public services also support the economy by providing public infrastructure, research and innovation, a healthy and skilled workforce, and strong and stable justice and regulatory institutions.
The fight against privatization is not just a fight to stop the sale of our public services. It is also a fight for the type of society we want, a fight for social justice and equity. There is enough wealth in our economies to enable the required public investment, if corporations and the very wealthy pay their fair share. The consequences of underinvestment in quality public services are lower growth, higher inequality, less social cohesion and an inevitable political reaction that is currently being exploited to fuel racism, nationalism and xenophobia. 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.


Civil Society Shadow Reporting: Meaningful Participation in the Voluntary National Review Process


The role of civil society shadow reporting was debated at the plenary of the Global Festival of Action on SDGs, last May 2, 2019 in Bonn.Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, Barbara Adams and Jens Martens from Global Policy Forum participated in the session “Meaningful Participation in the Voluntary National Review Process”, together with Becky Malay from Social Watch Philippines, Ingo Ritz and Riccardo Morro from GCAP. Read more and see the video here



Philippines: Pass the Tobacco Tax


The Philippine Congress, particularly the Senate, has a handful of days left to pass important legislation. One of the urgent bills that the Senate should pass is the increase in the tobacco tax rate.
The Executive has strongly endorsed the bill of Senator Manny Pacquiao and has even certified its urgency. Pacquiao's bill proposes a tax rate of P60 (against the current rate of P35). Subsequently, the rate increases by 9% annually to keep cigarettes less affordable in light of rising income and inflation. Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and JV Ejercito have bills that introduce higher rates – P70 and P90, respectively. Read more.



Towards Optimal Expoitation of Salt in Ghana


Ghana has the best endowment for and is the biggest producer of solar salt in West Africa. The bulk of the production and export comes from artisanal and small scale (ASM) producers. Third World Network Africa (TWN-Af) presents a research report “Towards Optimal Expoitation of Salt from the Keta Lagoon Basin in Ghana” based on struggles between a large scale salt company and some communities around the Keta Lagoon in Ghana. At the centre of the conflict is the disruption of the livelihoods of the communities by the award of a concession to a foreign investor for large scale salt production, an act which has expropriated what the communities see as the commons around the lagoon where for generations they have carried out livelihood activities which combine fishing, farming and salt production. Read more.




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