UN General Assembly discusses monitoring and accountability in the new development agenda

The President of the UN General Assembly’s convened the Interactive Dialogue “Elements for a Monitoring and Accountability Framework for the Post-2015 Development Agenda” that was held on May 1, 2014 in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The outcome of the event will provide an additional input into the report mandated to the Secretary-General to synthesize all inputs available by the end of 2014.

Roberto Bissio, Third World Institute's Executive Director, who participated in the panel highlighted that accountability is only meaningful if the powerful can be brought into account. We firmly believe that it is up to citizens to hold their own governments accountable. Corporations have to be made accountable not only to their owners and consumers but to their workers and to the people that are affected by their operations. Corporate accountability requires rules set by governments, respect for human rights and environmental due diligence as well as reporting, ensuring access by those negatively affected to an effective remedy, tax transparency; proper land appropriation rules, etc.

Read his complete intervention here or see the video here or download here the pdf version.

The Privatization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The increased influence of corporations over the UN development agenda was highlighted by several civil society organizations last April 8 in New York. During a side-event at the Church Center, (see the video here) different worrying trends were highlighted: the redefinition of ODA that will put more public funds in the hands of corporations, the lack of accountability of the different associations between corporations and UN agencies and the privileged access that big corporate players may be getting over international norm-setting. At the General Assembly hearing on partnerships, Roberto Bissio denounced how information access is being made more restrictive under corporate pressure. Brazilian Ambassador Guilherme Patriota condemned the "outsourcing of development responsibilities" and announced his country opposition to the UN Partnership Facility proposed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (see the video here).

Uruguay shows it is possible to fight poverty, reduce inequalities and grow at the same time

Uruguayan ministers at the
Social Watch meeting.
Photo: Wolfgang Obenland.

Alternatives to austerity programs do exist, conclude civil society organizations and networks from around the world that met in Montevideo, convened by Social Watch to discuss strategies to face the multiple global crises. In the opening of our debates, the Uruguayan ministers of Interior, Eduardo Bonomi, of Labour, José Bayardi, and of Social Development, Daniel Olesker explained the way in which they managed to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequalities and grow at the same time. See the video here. (To see the English subtitles, press on the CC at the bottom right of the video).

Mujica: The UN needs to leave the usual track

Uruguayan president José Mujica.

Uruguayan president José Mujica meets with international civil society during a "strategy meeting" organized by Social Watch and demand action from the powerful governments of the world. February 2014, Montevideo.

Realizing the Right to Development

The event “Realizing a vision for transformative development” was held in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.

Roberto Bissio, ITeM's Executive Director, who participated in the event, highlighted that removing the obstacles for development cooperation is essential.

Putting the development agenda right

In devising the post-2015 framework, the international community needs to move beyond the primacy of this narrow economistic metric toward a broad rights-based agenda rooted in the human rights principles that the international community has already endorsed and coupled with rigorous monitoring and accountability mechanisms, writes Roberto Bissio of Third World Institute.

Despite significant macroeconomic growth over the past ten to fifteen years globally, especially in many developing countries, progress of key social indicators has slowed down since 2000. To a considerable degree this is the result of growing inequalities between and within nations.

The vague “green economy” on the spotlight in Madrid

Roberto Bissio, director of the Third World Institute (IEeM) an international co-ordinator of Social Watch, was interviewed in Madrid by Spaniard journalist Susana Hidalgo (eldiario.es). The conversation, within the framework of the seminar “The Rio+20 we are navigating: Is that the future we want?”, dealt with the variety of definitions assigned by the international community and the social movements to the concept of “green economy”.

UNCTAD rejects austerity measures and receives support from civil society

The meeting in Geneva.
(Photo: UNCTAD)

Civil society was crucial for the success of the 13th Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) this year, said the Secretary General of the agency Supachai Panitchpakdi to representatives of key non governmental organizations and networks. In their turn, they expressed their appreciation for the UNCTAD’s most recent annual report, which concludes that austerity measures did not lead to economic growth, and recommends supportive government policies to get over the crisis.

First Arab Watch Report: Governments forget their pledges on basic rights

Arab governments are legally bound by the constitutions to respect basic economic and social rights, but they usually abandon their commitments in the practice as time goes by, according to the first Arab Watch Report, launched by civil society organizations of ten Middle East and North African countries.

The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) launched this first regional report on economic and social rights – focused on the rights to work and to education – during a regional workshop held in Beirut, on 9 and 10 October.

International civil organizations claim for a lasting solution to sovereign debt

Eurodad, Afrodad, Latindadd, Jubilee USA and the Third World Network (TWN) joined hands to call in a joint statement for a lasting solution to the sovereign debt crisis and the establishment of a fair and independent international debt workout mechanism.

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