Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 361 - March 3, 2020

Issue 361 - March 3, 2020
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Inequalities in Czechia


The Czech Republic has enjoyed steady economic growth, low inflation and low unemployment in recent years. Income inequality (Gini coefficient 0.25) is the third lowest among OECD countries. But the citizens at risk of income poverty are about 10% of the population, and 8% are in absolute poverty. Older citizens and single-adult households are worse off than other groups and Czechia has one of the highest proportions of homeless people in Europe.
Researchers have identified 606 socially excluded localities and 700 shelters in 297 cities and municipalities (small areas with a total population ranging from 95,000 and 115,000) with heavy concentrations of unemployment and indebted people. The majority of people living in the excluded localities are Roma, which proves the interlinkages of poverty, social exclusion and indebtedness to ethnic discrimination. Read more



Human rights risks of multi-stakeholder partnerships: the Scaling Up Nutrition Initiative


The potential of partnerships with the private sector dominated the narrative characterizing the initial phase of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In relation to SDG 2, a prominent multi-stakeholder platform is the Scaling Up “Movement”.
Laura Michéle and Kavya Chowdhry (FIAN International), Patti Rundall (IBFAN) and Stefano Prato (SID) explain that, as documented by a multi-country study, this initiative fails to address the social, cultural, economic and political determinants of malnutrition and rather emphasize short-term, technical interventions, owing to private sector influence. Read more


Social Watch publishes country reports 2019

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2019 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.


UN Statistical Commission 2020: From Measurement to Management


How to capture and manage big data? This is a question that will confront the 51st session of the UN Statistical Commission in March 2020 as they review the official reports. The four-year process of finalizing the global indicator framework to measure the 169 targets of the SDGs is drawing to a conclusion with the acceptance by the IAEG-SDGs of 8 additional indicators, 14 replacement indicators, 8 revised indicators and 6 deleted indicators. The framework has gone to the Commission for approval in March and the focus of different players in the data and statistics community is shifting to the management and use of data to influence and shape development policy agendas. Read more



Tackling Illicit Financial Flows at the United Nations: what will the FACTI Panel deliver?

On 28 January 2020 the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the President of ECOSOC, Mona Juul announced a new initiative “a high-level panel on international financial accountability, transparency and integrity (FACTI)”. This joint endeavour is framed as a means to target and recover assets for investment in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Proponents of a robust and strong agenda on tackling illicit financial flows suggest that addressing the various forms of illicit financial flows that divert or “rob” governments of vital public resources could free resources to be invested in public goods to achieve the SDGs. Read more



Civil Society FfD Group’s on FACTI

Input from the Civil Society Financing for Development Group in response to the announcement by the Presidents of the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN General Assembly, regarding the establishment of a High-level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Integrity and Transparency for Achieving the 2030 Agenda. Read more



CSO Letter on UN Food Systems Summit


The UN has announced the launch of a Food Systems Summit in 2021. This is to be welcomed as the world urgently needs more inclusive and sustainable food systems tackling the challenges of climate change. Yet, the World Economic Forum, representing powerful companies, is expected to be behind the organization of the Summit, as strategic partner of the UN. In addition, the UN Secretary-General has appointed the current President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa as Special Envoy for the Summit.
Corporations in the global industrial food chain alone are the biggest drivers of ecological destruction and increasing hunger and malnutrition rates. And yet, the UN is turning to them to solve the world’s crises?! The UN should build instead on the successful innovations in democratic food governance. These are the result of the work of civil society organizations and social movements representing those most affected by hunger and malnutrition. Read more



United Nations: Private debt both a cause and consequence of rights violations


High individual and household debt, which accounts for a significant portion of private debt in most countries, has been associated with inequality, macroeconomic instability, unsustainable sovereign debt and financial crises.
This is one of the main conclusions highlighted by Mr Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, in his report to the UN Human Rights Council.
In his report (A/HRC/43/45), the Independent Expert said that he has considered the negative implications for human rights of micro-credit, health-, education- and housing-related debt, abusive collection practices, including the criminalization of debtors, consumer debt, migration-related debt and debt bondage. Read more



Invitation to contribute to the 2020 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.
The Guidelines for the 2020 Social Watch contributions are available here in English. The Guidelines are also available in French and Spanish.




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