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Independent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges are key factors for the success of the SDGs. It is for this reason, a global alliance of civil society organizations and networks comprising of Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Social Watch, Third World Network (TWN), Global Policy Forum (GPF) with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has agreed to produce an annual Spotlight Report assessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the structural obstacles in its realization. The report puts a spotlight on the fulfillment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues.

What are currently the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs? Are there transnational spill over effects that influence or even undermine the implementation of the goals? Are the current policy approaches, as they are reflected, inter alia, in the 2030 Agenda, an adequate response to the challenges and obstacles (or are they part of the problem)? What has to be done? Which specific policy changes (at international level) are necessary?

At this UNCTAD 14 civil society forum side event some of key findings and recommendations of the global Spotlight Report will be presented and discussed from various perspectives.

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Independent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges are key factors for the success of the SDGs. It is for this reason, the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development together with other civil society organizations and networks has produced the first annual Spotlight Reportassessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the structural obstacles in its realization. The report puts a spotlight on the fulfillment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues.

What are currently the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs? Are there transnational spill over effects that influence or even undermine the implementation of the goals? Are the current policy approaches, as they are reflected, inter alia, in the 2030 Agenda, an adequate response to the challenges and obstacles (or are they part of the problem)? What has to be done? Which specific policy changes (at international level) are necessary?

For more: www.2030spotlight.org

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Independent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges are key factors for the success of the SDGs. It is for this reason, a global alliance of civil society organizations and networks has agreed to produce an annual Spotlight Report assessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the structural obstacles in its realization. The report puts a spotlight on the fulfillment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues.

What are currently the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs? Are there transnational spill over effects that influence or even undermine the implementation of the goals? Are the current policy approaches, as they are reflected, inter alia, in the 2030 Agenda, an adequate response to the challenges and obstacles (or are they part of the problem)? What has to be done? Which specific policy changes (at international level) are necessary?

At the side event key findings and recommendations of the global Spotlight Report will be presented.

Speakers: Barbara Adams/Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum), Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Ziad Abdel Samad (Arab NGO Network), Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network), and others.

Contributing partners of the report include: ATD Fourth World, ITUC, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Public Services International, Global Alliance for Tax Justice, International Centre for Adult Education, ETC Group, NGO Mining Working Group at the UN, What Next Forum, Council of Canadians, Society for International Development, Global Action to Prevent War, Ecoropa and more.

Please RSVP by 10 July 2016 to gpf@globalpolicy.org

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Shadow reporting is a well-established tool of civil society when it comes to holding governments accountable. A number of CSOs have already started to prepare shadow or spotlight reports or similar monitoring tools to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda, especially its 17 goals and 169 targets. The main focus in this first year’s reports was to devise and discuss methodologies and to monitor governments’ efforts on drafting national implementation plans or strategies. In future reports they will point to governments’ short-comings in the implementation and highlight issues relevant for successful achievement of the SDGs which have not been raised by their governments so far.

The event aims to:

  • present a number of CSO shadow reports on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability as examples of good reporting practice; and
  • to engage government and CSO-representatives in a discussion on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability with specific focus on “leaving no one behind”

Speakers include: Roberto Bissio (Social Watch), Areli Sandoval (Mexico, Equipo Pueblo), Daniel Jüttner (VENRO) / Marie-Luise Abshagen (German NGO Forum on Environment and Development), Marivic Raquiza (Social Watch Philippines), Jürg Staudmann (AllianceSud – Swiss Alliance of Development Organizations, Switzerland) and Mahinour El Badrawi (ECESR, Egypt)

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Shadow reporting is a well-established tool of civil society when it comes to holding governments accountable. A number of CSOs have already started to prepare shadow or spotlight reports or similar monitoring accounts to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda, especially its 17 goals and 169 targets. The main focus in this first year’s reports was to devise and discuss methodologies and to monitor governments’ efforts on drafting national implementation plans or strategies. In future reports they will point to governments’ short-comings in the implementation and highlight issues relevant for the successful achievement of the SDGs which have not been raised by their governments so far.

The aims of the event are thus to:

  • present a number of CSO shadow reports on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability as examples of good reporting practice
  • engage government and CSO-representatives in a discussion on national implementation, CSO participation and accountability with a specific focus on “leaving no one behind”
  • provide a space for mutual exchange and peer learning regarding national challenges and methods of CSO shadow reporting       

As space for this side event is limited, we kindly ask you to RSVP until July 10th.

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The Post-2015 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as one of its key components is intended to be truly universal and global. This requires a fair sharing of costs, responsibilities and opportunities among and within countries. The principle of »common but differentiated responsibilities« (CBDR) must be applied. Coupled with the human rights principle of equal rights for all and the need to respect the planetary boundaries, this necessarily translates into different obligations for different categories of countries – as well as individuals within these countries.

The rich and powerful have special responsibilities. For them we can broadly distinguish three types of goals and targets: those that are of particular relevance to the internal affairs of all including rich countries, requiring changes in their domestic policies (»domestic sustainability targets«); those that address the need to change domestic policies in order to reduce negative external effects beyond a country’s borders (»do-no-harm targets«); and those that zero in on their international duties and responsibilities (»international responsibility targets«).

Three specific »goals for the rich« are particularly important for sustainable development worldwide. In the list of 17 SDGs proposed by the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly these are: The goal to reduce inequality within and among countries (goal 10), the goal to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (goal 12), and the goal to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for development (goal 17). The Post-2015 Agenda will only succeed if these goals include specific and time-bound targets and commitments for the rich that trigger the necessary regulatory and fiscal policy changes

Find out more in the new discussion paper for the Reflection Group on how nobody should be left out of the Post-2015 Agenda. Not even the rich.

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In a new comment the the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives states that the SG’s report fails to address the core structural and macro-economic issues that shape the ability to implement and finance people-centered, ecologically sound policies and programs at all levels. >Read More
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The UN Secretary-General’s (SG) report “A life in dignity for all” (A/68/202) calls for a “new post-2015 era […] a new vision and a responsive framework […] a universal agenda that requires profound economic transformations and a new global partnership.” Unfortunately that new vision and the new partnerships proposed by the SG derail our ability to meet the challenges we face today. >Read More
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The debates on an agenda for international co-operation and development beyond 2015 offer the opportunity to (re-)address in a holistic manner well-being and justice in societies. Given the economic, social and ecological challenges in the world, this is urgently needed.

The present framework of international development goals centering on the MDGs and the related strategies do not provide adequate answers to the global problems, be they accelerated global warming, the growing gap between rich and poor, the financialization of the world economy or the disrespect for human rights. Given these problems we require changes in the economic and social systems. A development agenda focusing only on poor countries and not on the rich ones is inadequate.

This does not mean such an agenda should prescribe top-down identical goals, responsibilities and political recipes following a one-size-fits-all approach. A future development agenda ought to be based on common principles providing for a differentiation of countries according to their economic performance, social needs and ecological responsibilities. Similarly, the agenda ought to contain a differentiated catalogue of political commitments. Embedded between the general principles and the political implementation measures, Universal Sustainability Goals would be an essential albeit one element of the Post-2015 Agenda.

The discussions about any Post-2015 Agenda must address the structural obstacles and political barriers that prevented the realization of the MDGs. Without an honest assessment of these obstacles and barriers any so called »new« development goals will remain a paper tiger

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Growing inequalities and unregulated finances are expropriating people everywhere from their fair share in the benefits of global prosperity. The Social Watch Report 2012 concentrates on the effects of present mismangements and false recepies on the rights and well-being of future generations. “The ‘right to a future’ is the most urgent task of the present,” writes Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, member of the Reflection Group and editor-in-chief of the study. “It is about nature, yes, but it is also about our grandchildren, and about our own dignity, the expectations of the 99% of the world’s 7 billion men and women, girls and boys that were promised sustainability two decades ago and have found instead their hopes and aspirations being melted into betting chips of a global financial casino beyond their control.”

The lengthy study, based on the contribution of citizens’ organizations in 66 countries from all over the world that produced their national reports, concludes that “growing inequalities and unregulated finances are expropiating people everywhere from their fair share in the benefits of global prosperity”. “Our children will inherit the burden of deforestation, desertification, erosion of biodiversity and climate change. To revert this trend, the promise of universal dignity brought by human rights has to be enforced and the rights of future generations need to be recognized and properly defended,” concludes this 16th edition of the Social Watch Report.

The thematic chapters

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The world faces an unprecedented coincidence of global crises. They testify to the failure of the dominant model of development and economic progress that is oriented on a technocratic modernisation path, is blind to human rights and the ecological limits of the global ecosystem, confuses growth of Gross Domestic Product with progress in society, and regards poverty as a primarily technical challenge in which categories of inequality and social justice are neglected.

The Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives brought together 18 civil society activists and scholars from different disciplines from around the globe. Its members jointly drew lessons from the current crises, looked beyond conventional development concepts and goals, questioned the models and measures of development and social progress, and presented alternatives.

This report is the main outcome of the joint deliberations. It describes the root causes of the multiple crises, reconfirms the framework of universal principles and rights, reconsiders development goals and indicators, and draws conclusions for the post-2015 development agenda. It seeks to stimulate debates about alternative development paths, participatory and inclusive governance structures, and the transformation in politics and societies that future justice for all will require.

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On 31 October 2011 the Reflection Group submitted a statement to the secretariat of the Rio+20 Conference to be held in June 2012. It was prepared during a drafting session in October in New Paltz, NY and highlights some of the issues and proposals that will come up in the final report of the Reflection Group again. The final report will come out in spring of 2012 after a final meeting of the Group.

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For its fourth and - if things go as planned - final meeting, the Reflection Group is kindly hosted by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala, Sweden. While there is a lot do for the group on the three days from the 16th-18th of September, the group will also listen to this year's "Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture" delivered by Jan Eliasson, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and former President of the UN General Assembly.

 

Already on Thursday, September 15th, 19.15h, members of the group will join for public panel debate on "20 Years After Rio – Global Development Perspectives" at Uppsala University Building, Hall IX. Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), Yoke Ling Chee (Malaysia), Jorge Ishizawa (Peru), and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines) will discuss under the moderation of Henning Melber.

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The Reflection Group met for the third time in direct succession to the Social Watch Global Assembly in Manila, Philippines. The discussions brought many new insights. With the meeting in Uppsala coming up shortly, the group started working on the final outcome, that was decided to be in the form of a report on the "development" and well-being.
 

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At their second meeting in New York City, 4-6 March 2011, the members of the Reflection Group formulated the following appeal. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio 2012, must change the dominant mindset by Restoring public rights over corporate privileges after thirty years of strengthening the power of investors and big corporations through deregulation, trade and financial liberalization, tax cuts and exemptions, and weakening the role of the state; and after the market-driven financial meltdown. The principles and values of the Rio Declaration and the UN Millennium Declaration, adopted by heads of states and governments, are threatened and urgently need to be re-established. They include Human Rights, Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Diversity, Respect for Nature, and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. Corporate interests do not uphold these principles and values. >Read More
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The first meeting of the Reflection Group took place January 12-14 in Berlin. The meeting was a great start for the work of the group with a shared sense of urgency and commitment by the members. A report on the meeting will be available soon. Filomeno S. Sta. Ana III has already written an essay on the meeting that was published in the January 17, 2011 edition of BusinessWorld.

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Beijing/Berlin/Montevideo/New York/Uppsala, November 15, 2010 – Today, an alliance of civil society groups, networks and foundations, including Third World Network, Social Watch, DAWN, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Global Policy Forum, terre des hommes, and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, launched the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives.

The group consists of about 15 leading civil society activists, experts and academics from around the globe. The group will assess conventional and alternative models of development and well-being, reconsider development goals and indicators, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), draw conclusions for future development strategies and provide specific policy recommendations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012.

We find ourselves at a crucial point in time – fast approaching the 2015 deadline for the MDGs, while preparing for the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development. Today’s unprecedented coincidence of global crises – economic, financial, food and climate – reveals the dead end to which the dominating models of development have led us. It is now time to break old ground, to draw lessons from these crises and to fundamentally rethink our goals and measures of development and social progress – in North and South.

The time between the Summits 2010 and 2012 provides a unique window of opportunity to reconsider the current development paradigm and to develop strategies towards a holistic, rights-based approach of global development and well-being.

Four meetings of the Reflection Group are scheduled to take place throughout 2011. The expected outcome will be presented in a report to be published prior to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

Group Members

Barbara Adams (Global Policy Forum, US), Beryl d’Almeida (Abandoned Babies Committee, Zimbabwe), Alejandro Chanona Burguete (National Autonomous University of México), Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network, China), Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker (Germany), Filomeno Santa Ana III (Action for Economic Reforms, Philippines), George Chira (terre des hommes India), Gigi Francisco (Development Alternatives with Women for the New Era, Philippines), Henning Melber (Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Sweden), Jorge Ishizawa (Proyecto Andino de Tecnologias Campesinas, Peru), Karma Ura (Centre for Bhutan Studies, Bhutan), Roberto Bissio (Third World Institute/Social Watch, Uruguay) Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines), Yao Graham (Third World Network-Africa, Ghana), Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum Europe, Germany), Hubert Schillinger (Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Germany), Danuta Sacher (terre des hommes Germany).

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Over the years since the Millennium Summit, the MDGs have proved to be an instrument of development policy that is both effective as publicity and suitable for campaigns. They are easy to understand and to communicate to a broader public. The civil society and UN campaigns on the MDGs have contributed to enhancing public awareness of the problems of poverty and hunger in the countries of the South – including not only those people especially concerned with development. Under the guiding motto of the MDGs, the UN, IMF, World Bank and OECD have overcome inconsistencies among their diverging development concepts and strategies – or at least they have managed to cover them up. Thanks to their unambiguous quantitative and timebound targets and the political commitments they entail, the MDGs provide a set of instruments to increase accountability of governments towards the people and check the effectiveness of their policies – in North and South. However, the last ten years have also shown up the problems linked to focusing the development discourse on combating the most extreme forms of income poverty and hunger and providing basic social services for the population. The MDGs bear a number of weaknesses and deficits resulting in terms of both their conception and their implementing strategies. The discussion about the Post-2015 Development Agenda, i.e. about the question what the future of the MDGs is going to look like after the year 2015, will have to yield answers to these weaknesses and deficits.
 

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